Market demand, Product

Mashup

Assemble a product by piecing together third-party products

Illustration of Mashup

Also called: Piecemeal MVP

See also: Wizard of Oz

Difficulty: Intermediate

Strength of evidence
75

Relevant metrics: Acquisition, Activation, Cycle time, Customer Feedback, Cost

Validates: Feasibility, Viability, Desirability

How: Construct an early product rapidly using existing products, platforms, services, frameworks, and libraries. Piece them together with the help of scripting or scripting services like Zapier or IFTTT.

Why: By using third-party products to speed up development time, you can avoid facing classical developer problems like cross-browser compatibility, responsive design, and code optimizations because they are already taken care of. Focus on building your MVP rather than the design and development meant to support it.

This card is part of the Validation Patterns printed card deck

A collection of 60 product experiments that will validate your idea in a matter of days, not months. They are regularly used by product builders at companies like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and Amazon.

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Before the experiment

The first thing to do when planning any kind of test or experiment, is to figure out what you want to test. To make critical assumptions explicit, fill out an experiment sheet as you prepare your test. We created a sample sheet for you to get started. Download the Experiment Sheet.

Piecing together existing products

APIs, PaaS, and SaaSes are so plentiful that you can literally build your minimum testable product by piecing together different existing products. In most cases, it is possible to build your first testable product without writing a single line of code: A “No-code MVP”. It might not scale to thousands of users, but it will help you figure out if it makes sense to spend more effort, time, and resources to further realize the idea.

After the experiment

To make sure you move forward, it is a good idea to systematically record your the insights you learned and what actions or decisions follow. We created a sample Learning Sheet, that will help you capture insights in the process of turning your product ideas successful. Download the Learning Sheet.

Popular tools

The tools below will help you with the Mashup play.

  • Zapier

    Connect your apps by moving information between them automatically.

  • Stripe

    Start accepting payments on your website, today

  • Carrd

    Quick and simple landing-page builder

  • AirTable

    Part spreadsheet, part database, entirely flexible – connects with other services as well.

Examples

Groupon

In its early stages, Groupon, then called ‘The point’, was a combination of WordPress, Apple Mail, and an AppleScript that generated order PDFs manually as they were received from the website.

Source: How Groupon Was Founded

Related plays

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Idea Validation playbooks