I’ve been struggling lately. I’ve discovered that others are struggling with the same problem too, so I needed to write about it, for me, and for those whom I’ve discussed this with.
I’ve been reading, discussing, and learning the Lean Startup Methodology for the last 3 years now. When most people hear the concept of Lean Startup, they think bootstrap startup, ya know lean on funding. While this isn’t always true it’s surprisingly still prevalent thinking. Perhaps Eric Ries should have done an MVP of the movement’s name and received some user feedback on it before writing the book.
The basics of the lean startup philosophy are to get user feedback, do user testing, and discover if people are willing to use (and pay for) the product you are creating both before and throughout the creation process. It’s called lean not due to lack of funding but due to efficiencies inherent in the process. It’ll cost well over $60,000 to build anything of value (app or physical product). Most often, ideators (co-founders) will donate their time to the development which brings down the hard costs, but does not effect the cost of those hours given. Lean Startup philosophy asks: What if you found out that people didn’t want this product after only spending $500 versus spending $60,000 (in time and money). That’s where the lean (efficient) comes in.
So the theory of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is born. We all understand what Product means, and Minimum makes sense: what is the bare essentials that you can get away with?