So you have an idea. Do you start with Product or PoC? [Aardvark Story]

We are in love with Aardvark (read our review of Vark) and the company, acquired by Google has interesting story to tell.

To give you an idea about Aardvark, it is a social search engine that uses ‘your’ knowledge to help people find answer to their queries.

You post a question to aardvark. It will then mediate between you and the people answering your question, thus leading you to real-time answers answered by real people.

Social Search @aardvark
Social Search @aardvark

Essentially, company uses your expertise to help people in finding the right answers [the social angle to search]. The simplicity of the process (questions are asked over IM or Email) adds tremendous value in the user experience.

Interesting part is that the company when started actually did not use any technology to enable this mediation.

Aardvark employees would get the questions from beta test users and route them to users who were online and would have the answer to the question. This was done to test out the concept before the company spent the time and money to build it, said Damon Horowitz, co-founder of Aardvark.
“If people like this in super crappy form, then this is worth building, because they’ll like it even more” – source [tip]

Basically, they were using a ‘fake’ product to test waters, before starting with the full blown product.

How many entrepreneurs believe in conducting a small PoC [Proof of Concept] before starting to build the bulky and meaty product?

Related Question : What feature goes in a PoC? Proof of Concept?

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