Don’t over complicate things – learning from our intern

There is a certain irony in the title of this post, which probably should have read ‘make things simple’ – I decided to leave it as it helps to make the point about learning

Last week we had a new person join our team, Ryan Paredez, who came on as an intern a few hours a week. Bringing new people into a venture is always interesting, especially at such an early stage. You really get a feel for how good your story is when you have to explain it someone who is not coming out of the business/technology world… and to be honest, in some respects, I struggled.


With the addition of examples, diagrams and the mockups of the software (we started development this week too!, but more on that later) progress was made and Ryan got a good handle on what it was we were doing. So I then asked him to explain it back to me, as much to demonstrate he ‘got it’ but also to hear it explained in someone elses words.


When I asked him the core customer problem we were addressing at mifii, barely hesitating Ryan broke it down to one simple 10 word statement..

“people not knowing what they think they’re getting themselves into”

It’s pretty much perfect. It identifies the 4 key aspects on which any solution is based

Who – people looking for mortgages (which I take as implied in the context)

What – mortgages

Problem – not knowing

Action – the act of getting into a mortgage


We were then able to much more easily relate the why and how back to the 4 aspects above and on the second time round both of our understanding of what we were doing .. but more importantly our ability to communicate what were doing improved remarkably.


If you’re starting a new venture.. with new ideas and perhaps looking for how best to ‘break it down’ .. try asking people who’ve not yet had their thinking complicated by countless blogs, features, articles, books, buzzwords or research papers


p.s. awesome start Ryan


This post is a copy of a post made at


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