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How to Build an Online Business by Bernadette Schwerdt

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2Minimum viable product (MVP)How to create an MVP to launch your startup

Most people think Uber arrived in Australia fully formed and ready to rock. That’s not the case. Take the quiz to see if you know how Uber really got started in Australia. Did they:

  • A. launch a crowdfunding campaign?

    B. get a profile piece featured in Taxi Weekly?

    C. create a flier and stick it under taxi drivers’ windscreens?

The answer? C. Yes, the billion-dollar startup’s minimum viable product (MVP) was a single-sided, A4 flier. From little things, big things grow.

David Rohrsheim, General Manager of Uber Australia and New Zealand, shared with me the inside story behind Uber’s start in Australia.

At the start, Uber was just me and two colleagues. We drove down to the parking lot at Sydney Airport, where all the limo drivers would wait between jobs. We put a flier under their windscreen wipers. The flier was an ‘expression of interest’ asking them to get in touch if they were interested in trying a new way to work. We’d hoped that some drivers would see it as an opportunity to grow their business and we’d get a pool of drivers to test out our new app.

It worked. They got enough drivers to create an MVP and they rolled it out in a small test launch that led to the Uber juggernaut we’ve come to know and love. Even the most disruptive of the disruptive get started with the most basic of MVPs.

Having an MVP is key to testing the validity of your business idea. But how do you come up with an idea in the ...

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