We have a wonderful Y-Combinator mentor Michael Rubin, a co-founder and CFO of Magic
. One thing we learned during this process was that we needed to be even more aggressive than we were in getting our products to market. We felt that we had to have the perfect or almost perfect product ready. They taught that companies do better when they were able to get people to use their products and receive feedback, paid or free. You started to promote your minimum viable product (MVP). Getting the feedback from users is critical, especially negative feedback. Through this process you can quickly find out if your product is something people will want as is, with changes or a complete waste of your time.
Some of the startup founders during the program decided to change their product altogether and do something else. This is referred to as a pivot. Don't be too proud to admit that your product is just not what people want. Keep working until one fits a market group. Many successful companies have gone through this process. Think about how many times Facebook has tried different functions (products) then got rid of them. This is not unusual.
Our initial digital apps included 3D puzzles. We initially planned to focus on getting our products to occupational and speech therapists that work a lot with patients with cognitive impairment. We were able to do a presentation at a local hospital. While going through the program we decided to present what we had. We did a presentation to speech therapists at a local hospital. From their invaluable input we saw that what we had could work for those with very mild impairment or no impairment but would be way too difficult for those with more several cognitive impairment. We decided to create new 2D puzzles. We're also working with a neuroscientist, Dr. Amy Price
, who has done a lot of research at Oxford University. At her suggestion we added apps with different types of 3D games. We also decided to reach out to educational institutions, particularly to schools doing research along with public and private schools with special education programs. These puzzles and games are also a lot of fun to play for anyone that likes a challenge.