VINEBOX: An MVP to know when to build an MVP

Who doesn’t love a good glass of wine? Even a room full of coders will be known every once in a while to put down the PBR and pick up a nice Malbec. However, how do you know what to buy? Sometimes Trader Joe’s “2 buck chuck” just doesn’t cover it.

That’s where VINEBOX comes in.

Matt Dukes was in graduate school when he came upon a genius idea. Instead of a wine of the month club, how about a glass of wine of the month club? People in graduate school (and programmers for that matter) can’t really afford to drop a ton of money on a bottle of wine to impress their significant other without knowing a critical answer: “is this stuff even any good?”

VINEBOX curates the wine selections and using a radical, super secret technique, extracts single glasses of wine from a bottle and inserts them into stylish, airtight tubes. 3 of these selections show up at your door each month for you to sample. Think Birchbox, but for wine. If you really like something, go back to the site and purchase a bottle (or 6).

What really drew Standard Code to this project is how Matt decided to pursue it. When most entrepreneurs get a swell idea, they plunge endless time and money into it without really knowing whether it’s a good idea or not. This is where the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) kicks in. Build something cheap, small, and simple that validates your assumptions before plunging the aforementioned heap of time and money into the idea.

Ok, cool, right? LET’S BUILD AN MVP! But wait, how do you test a monthly wine-by-the-glass club?

Matt tested that by actually manufacturing 30 really slick boxes, buying 90 stylish tubes from a French supplier, and then setting up a table on the campus quad to see if anyone would buy into his idea.

It took him less than 20 minutes to sell 30 boxes at $30 each. If there ever was an example of market demand, this would appear to be it, right?

Standard Code is helping Matt launch VINEBOX into private beta. If you’re interested, let us know your name and email and we’ll keep you posted on its roll out in 2015

Dec. 11 2014