Minimum Viable Product for Startups

Steve Blank teaches a concept called MVP; Minimum Viable Product. One way to define this concept is to start by creating a product with enough features to make it deployable and nothing more.

In a nutshell, it involves creating a basic product that works well enough to ship and not worrying about the bells and whistles. Waiting to have the perfect product has prevented many ideas from coming to life. The following steps will help you get your products market-ready.

1. Define the product or service.

Make sure you understand your idea and search out the facts necessary to start it. Read material on people who are in the same industry and find out how the market leader got to his current position.

2. Plan.

Create a step-by-step execution of your plan with the facts you currently have. Break the idea into little chunks that you can execute as soon as possible. It does not have to be overly elaborate, but a plan will serve as the target that you will aim for. Failing to plan is planning to fail.

3. Set a time-frame for the execution of the plan.

Give yourself deadlines for every step in the plan. This will help you to avoid spending time on things that don’t matter. I’ve seen people obsess over website development when their product has not even been properly developed.

4. Start implementing.

Create the minimum viable product or start the service. Do it now. Perhaps you don’t have enough to start your school, but you can rent a room and start with a summer program. Starting will help you gain traction.

There is another extreme category of people who don’t believe in planning at all. They therefore go ahead and make mistakes that could have been avoided if they had taken the time to write down their plans. This is one reason why research is so important. With adequate knowledge and planning, many successful businesses today could have gotten to their goals in at least half the time it took them to get there.

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