In case you didn’t get the memo, we’re in the middle of a government shutdown. It has now been going on for over a week which means there are roughly 870,000 people that need some way to replace the income they were making. Enter 1776 an innovative startup incubator in Washington DC who created a Google Doc that’s gone viral – Unfurlough.us.
The idea all started with a simple Google Docs spreadsheet where employers could post part time job offers. As the traffic quickly grew they revamped the site adding a more robust back-end and easier interface for anyone to post or apply for jobs.
It really reminds me a lot of Craigslist in the early days, start with something simple and seeing people actually use it, then building from there. Really no better way to validate that your idea has legs than to just get it out there in it’s simplest form (often called an MVP) and let real users start playing with it.
Sure it can be scary, it’s not perfect, the user experience is not exactly what you’d like, but in the beginning if you can prove people will use a very basic version of what you plan to offer, then you have a nice base to build on top of. Hats off to Unfurlough.us for thinking outside of the box and putting a nice .US name to work, and more Americans to work at the same time!