About MVPs, starting a start-up and having a strong learning culture

In my time with ThinkLazy, it’s been interesting to see some methods become “hot”, but the focus is on the detailed steps rather than “why”. Take agile – there are four core values* but too often the focus is on frameworks such as Scrum. What this means people get hung up on the methodology rather than the outcomes.

Focusing on methodology is a safe place, but when you’re creating a startup, sometimes you need to take risks.

You might know Winedab, ThinkLazy’s first start-up venture. Hamish was sending emails out about it not long ago. If you missed it, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter.

Back to Winedab. Winedab is our wine subscription service that delivers wine that you will love to your door without the anxiety of have to choosing it. Isn’t it cool? Winedab’s mission is to stop wine anxiety! It’s a concept that Hamish, our founder, has had for the last 2 years. But we have been so busy with our clients that it was hard to make time for this idea.

Until he realised that he didn’t want to miss the bus (get it?). So we got a team together and started working on our MVP.

We worked on Winedab for 4 months until we launched the first version.

Did I mention that we are on version 8? Winedab is only 2 months old and we are CONSTANTLY changing it.

I know, it sounds insane if you are not a millennial. In most businesses, you just don’t change the direction every week right?

“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” — Reid Hoffman

We launched early to get real customer feedback.

The thing is, we breathe, eat and sleep the “build, measure and learn” mantra. We literally created the MINIMUM viable product so we could get customers. Or find out that people didn’t care about what we were offering. Our team launched even before Hamish wanted because “if we don’t have paying customers we don’t have a product”. Because the team was eager to learn about this crazy idea of stopping wine anxiety, and find out whether it resonated.

I bet you don’t see many teams fighting with the start-up founder about wanting to launch earlier and winning the argument.

The result was great. We learned so much. We learn every week.

We actually look at our data, we see what is stopping people being our customers, what stops customers getting their wine and we change things. We make it better, we A/B test and learn.

Monday to Friday is like a month for us. Sometimes by Wednesday, we have enough data to make another call. Go in another direction.

This is how we work with clients, and with Winedab we are eating our own dogfood.

Yes, it is a very fast-paced place. We do love it. But why is that important?

Because we are growing. Oh yeah, we are growing and we are only month 2.

So if you are working on a project, start-up, whatever, grab your vision and mission, bring it closer to you and Build, Measure, Learn.

Learn more about Winedab here.

Interested in how we work? We are still working with business and helping them to build a strong learning culture.

Talk to us.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back to the vino.


Maria Abercrombie has been working with Hamish since he started ThinkLazy nearly 4 years ago. After much telling Hamish what to write, he thought it was time for her to start writing our blogs. But let’s face it, he is lazy and just wants to drink wine.

*Agile Values :

  • individuals and interactions over processes and tools;
  • working software over comprehensive documentation;
  • customer collaboration over contract negotiation; and
  • responding to change over following a plan