10:41:25 -- Matt: the original vision of heroku was to enable business users to write code...they got a lot of traction, but made no money, so they switched to efficient coding for coders...i think there is an opportunity in enabling business users to write code that eventually a coder can take over
10:45:22 -- Amol: there are lots of whitelabled site generators out there, but anything custom would need some coding/configuration chops.. and it is upto the app framework to make it easy or difficult.. say a joomla or workpress based site can take a non-coder quite some ways (using plugins), but much harder if the site is rails or .net
10:47:43 -- Matt: yeah - wordpress for rails is what I am thinking...not the fully functional blog, but that some kind of framework that allows the user to do a lot from the web interface, figure out your business model by going in and editing the home page text and the price and the offer, running additional SEM campaigns, and hiring a developer to periodically extend the functionality
10:48:24 -- Matt: startups should start as a blog and then morph into an app as the founder figures out the market
10:48:55 -- Amol: why not use hosted wordpress, drupal, phpfox, socialengine?
10:49:13 -- Amol: those are already robust ecosystems
10:52:50 -- Matt: the blog is not the endstate (nobody makes money blogging, as far as I can tell), they are the initial step. They are the bait to get people to try out your functionality. The blog should be super basic, just enough to get content out the door and convince visitors that you know what you are talking about so that they feel comfortable joining and eventually buying your product. You cannot really integrate Wordpress into a rails site, and having a blog that is separate from your rails site does not work (I have found it to confuse people...they think you are doing a blog, not understanding that your blog is a support system for your product). Check out http://seomoz.com...that is the kind of business I want to enable with http://mvpkit.com
11:00:43 -- Amol: well.. aren't you assuming that rails is going to be the right technology for the business? maybe the business needs to be a CMS or a social network so the right choice is a whitelabled CMS/social network.. maybe the business is an e-commerce venture that should use one of the shopping cart solutions. Technology selection call has to be made when the business wants to become 'real'.. but for initial testing, if all the business needs is a blog-like app, I'd go with wordpress. Platforms like wordpress can actually build fairly complex and custom apps too if needed. I don't see a gap. Maybe a workpress plugin that gives the basic blog+payment solution would work perfectly for mvpkit?
11:10:01 -- Matt: You could be right, but I think Wordpress is great if want to be a blogger. If you want to build an MVP, rails is better (assuming your MVP is going to do something that WordPress does not...which I think it better or else you are just a broke blogger). Here is the model that I think works: content (eg-blog) > attract customer (small set ~10-20) > engage customer (eg-call them) > understand needs > mvp (eg-functionality that addresses the needs). The value is in the MVP, not the blog (the blog is just something to start the conversation), and WordPress gets founders spending too much time on the blog side of things and not enough on the MVP. This could just be my own observation bias, but I have seen a lot of "founders" start acting like "bloggers" (myself included) when blogging is just something that should be used to support your mvp (IMHO:))
11:15:22 -- Amol: I think you are a bit mistaken to think that wordpress is a blogging platform... It has evolved quite a bit in recent years. Now you can build fully functional complex sites using it. For example, http://pro.gigaom.com/ is built on wordpress. Same goes for Drupal -- starts out as a CMS, but can be extended into a completely custom site.
11:19:12 -- Matt: i am not thinking that they cannot be modified, I am saying that rails is better for custom functionality than wordpress or drupal...it just needs a little bitty blog to bootstrap the MVP...if your site is mostly content, go CMS, if your site is just using content to bootstrap an MVP, go rails (and sidecar a blog)
12:21:01 -- Amol: It would be much harder (impossible?) for pure business person to tweak a rails site to add any functionality, so there is a treadoff. More custom = more flexible = more complex = harder to change -- just the nature of things, IMHO.
11:26:14 -- Matt: Agreed - I guess it is time for me to stop talking and start doing! Let's see how this www.febak.com MVP goes, and see what we think is needed beyond the MVPkit to call it an MVP...proof can be in the pudding.
11:26:52 -- Amol: Yes!
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