How to demo an app to an executive
In the digital era, we are frequently making demos of apps to executives. Technologies like Python and the MEAN stack, with an enabling ecosystem provided by the company, means virtually anyone with creativity and zest can build apps that automate their work. Further, more and more people are likely to do this, if the popularity of informal and semi-formal online communities built around Python, R and other open-source stacks is anything to go by. What to keep in mind when presenting an app to an executive? Here are a few pointers.
First. have a few “lead users” who are excited about your app. It is tempting to think of acquiring a large number of users very quickly. However, experience shows it is far better to have a small number of lead users who are excited to try out an app and give feedback. Note that lead users are different from early adopters in that they are the “engaged dissatisfied” people who want to work with developers to shape the app and iron out kinks.
Second, get feedback early. Facebook has popularized the logic, “Done is better than perfect.” Know the short-comings of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Be open about them and come prepared to discuss them in light of the product road-map.
Third, tell the story from the vantage point of the user. It is easy to fall into the trap of taking features over benefits. What problem has your app solved for the user? We all fall into the trap of describing eloquently the “what?” and the “how?” and giving the “why?” short shrift. When the “why?” is compelling, the “what?” and “how?” can be debated more constructively.
Building a app that solves an important problem for the company is uber-cool! Use these tips and your demo to executives shall leave an impression!