minimal valuable product and Middle East - MEA
What is your advice for founders looking to turn an MVP into a startup in the middle of a world wide economical crisis? Anyone targeting middle east or launching a startup in the middle east?
Go slow and choose your first customers wisely. The simple reason being that a lot of companies are facing economic crisis and those first few customers decide the fate of your startup if you are not funded and have piles of cash laying around to get you through those first set of bad customers.let me know if you need to discuss further.
Hi Rami, good question!
I believe all good things start off as a response to something. Take Air BnB for example, which was launched after the global recession nearly 12 years go and it went on to become one of the biggest and most succesful startups in the world.
I agree that times are difficult, but this is a very good opportunity for new startups to experiment and get creative. if your idea serves a need that is yet to be tapped, you should definitely validate it and move ahead.
let me know if you'd like to discuss this further
Hi Rami, the middle east is tremendously growing very fast in terms of startups and funding, examples are there like SWVL, Careem, Vezeeta, Halan, InstaShop, Nana, Foodics, HungerStation, many more.
As Omair stated above, they started in response to something, so you need to narrow down your target audience, interview some people, secure early adoptors, and definitely test, test, and test.
Startups are surely high risk, but also it's a high gain!
Please feel free to reach out.
Hi Rami. The points above have definitely covered your first part of the question. Although I'm quite cynical about the state of Beirut (if that's where you're first planning on launching your product). I just left Lebanon to pursue my masters in the UK, and will be launching my startup here! I would consider starting something in Lebanon, but it would be more of a social entrepreneurial venture rather than a profit-making one.
As mentioned by the guys above, ideas can flourish regardless of the economic situation or even because of it, when it serves a need/gap in the market.
In The middle east, we have a growing appetite for entrepreneurial ideas, which has its pros and cons, that being said, you can help build the ecosystem and shape the region, with a possibility of walking in the dark as well. Additionally, in the region we have a unique customer behavior, for instance, in some parts of world we can see people being cautious with their money to survive the pandemic, however, some Arabs would want to survive it by entertaining themselves.
If you believe your idea can be used/desired, maybe you can try it out on a small scale and test the water further.
Best of luck!