While I was struggling with my main line of research, I observed an interesting fact with students taking Lean Startup courses. Although they were in a course that focused on customer feedback and prototyping, they still concentrated on developing the best product. This seemed a contradiction to me.
In this period, I also first met Rafael Chanin, from PUCRS, who was doing his PhD on startup methodology education. We discussed this topic and he also had similar impressions from his experience with students. So, we decided to collect data and write a paper about that.
But, our original idea was to claim our results were applicable to software developers in general. After an initial rejection of the paper and the feedback received, we realized that we would not be able to generalize our results as we wanted. But, even constrained to students, it was an interesting result. After another rejection, we got our paper accepted to SIGCSE 2019.
In my opinion, the most important result of this paper is that students misunderstand the concept of MVP. Instead of an experiment to test a hypothesis, they see it as an initial version of the product with a limited set of features. After that, we saw that also in “real” startups, that is, not created by students. In the next post, I’ll talk more about that.