The Minimum Viable Product is one key aspect of The Lean Startup which basically means that the best way to get to the market is by developing a product that is good enough as step one, then testing that product on a small number of early customers to learn and improve before exposing it to a wider audience.
So what you should do as an entrepreneur is to sit down with the client, learn what are the core values of your offering for the client. It is very important to get the average clients core values and the functionalities connected to those values. Don’t even bother defining your own priorities of functionality until you have heard from several potential clients.
”Don’t be in a rush to get big, be in a rush to have a great product.” is the topic of a Techcrunch article and also a quote from Eric Ries, the author of The Lean Startup. When you already have a lot of users and then they realize that the product is not good enough, that’s when you have a problem. By trying it out while still small, clients are more forgiving since they are early adopters and the potential damage is also smaller since the numbers are low.
A very good example of this is Dropbox, which was covered in another Techcrunch story today: How DropBox Started As A Minimal Viable Product. It is well worth reading.
If you do not take this you risk ending up with a product where 80 % of the product does not add any value for the client and where that development effort (time and money) should have been put in to the other 20 % that adds real value.
- Remove all unnecessary functions that are not 100 % essential for version 0.1 – this probably includes a lot more than you think
- Get your clients to add and vote on functionality for what to develop next and what is vital for the full-scale commercial launch