Build Your MVP And Start To Market, says Startup Founder

This blog is based on an episode of our podcast, The PathCast. The PathCast is an interview series with tech and business experts, discussing the good, the bad and the ugly of business while providing actionable steps for you to implement from the ground up. You can listen to this episode here.

Did you know that 93% of couples don’t remember the speech their partner said during a marriage proposal?

That’s what Guy Procter found when he conducted a small survey of around 200 couples. These findings reinforced Procter’s existing thoughts – there’s a gap in the market for a product to capture those personal moments.

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Queue, engagement cam. A proposal-recording device

Sure, photos are great. They capture the moment. But you also lose some intimacy, having a photographer lingering around a corner, waiting. They also don’t allow you to capture that all-important speech.

Procter came across the problem when on the hunt for something to document his own proposal. And when the solution didn’t exist? He built it.

Engagement Cam is a specialist engagement box for that all-important ring. Embedded within it is a small camera, allowing you to record both video and audio without an extra pair of hands.

‘There really isn’t anyone innovating here’

Pretty much every industry has been revolutionized by the fourth industrial revolution, and yet jewelers seem not to have innovated at all. In fact, Procter says “there isn’t really anyone” innovating in the space as big jewelers are stuck in their old ways.

“It’s grinding. I’m pushing a new concept that most people don’t know is even an idea – but once they do, the majority love it. It does feel like a battlefield most of the time. This is more about mentality and vision for me, understanding my end goal is what keeps me going."

One of the biggest challenges in tech and business is its fast-paced nature

While Procter may be feeling resistance in his own niche, he is aware of how fast things move when developing a technical product.

He said: “We’ve seen it time and time again where if products, apps, and software can’t adapt to new demands or unforeseen uses they flop. With newer generations wanting things faster, easier and cheaper, ensuring any tech business' growth becomes a hard balancing act.”

It is this balancing act Procter is enduring at the moment. When asked about his biggest obstacle so far, he said: “If self-belief could be counted, that would be my option.

“It took a few months of convincing myself to go all-in with my life savings to start the business, supported by my partner and friends.

"Next, I’d have to say the R&D, doing the research – blood out of stone comes to mind – building the product resourcing the parts the redesigns took their toll.”

But self-belief, investment, and relentlessness, paired with comprehensive and thorough research, is vital to any success.

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Marketing your product well is vital

And that’s not the only thing that took its toll. As a solo founder, Procter also said he’s “having a lonely moment” while Engagement Cam pulls together.

“The R&D is finished, now it's all about the marketing and changing the stigma around marriage proposals,” he said.

"Lots of people I know are trying to launch ideas but they end up being a twisted version of another idea that's already there. My first gut instinct on that is, unless you market better than theirs, you are never going to beat them."

So how does someone start from absolute scratch and launch their own product? For early-stage and new founders, Guy Procter has a wealth of advice. Well, listen to the PathCast to find out.

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