#49: 'An MVP Isn't a Product, It's a Process'
Updated: Aug 16
YCombinator has one of the most valuable libraries of free resources around product design, development, growth, start-ups etc. An example being an insightful article about building products + committing to the idea of an "MVP" as a process vs an output by Jim Brinkman, that inspired this essay.
"42% start-ups fail because there isn't a market need"
"In a post-mortem of more than 100 startups, CB Insights found that the number one cause of startup failure (42% of the time) was 'no market need.'"
MVP-as-a-Process is all about building a product incrementally
Building a product incrementally by focusing on 2 questions - "What's my riskiest assumption?" + "What is the smallest experiment I can do to test this assumption?".
Mitigating risk and maximizing probability of success by investing incrementally behind the high-value data acquired by continuously answering these 2 questions.
Again and again and again.
"An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage." - Jack Welch
Whether you're a start-up, a Fortune 1000 company or anywhere in between, the speed with which you can learn, action your findings and build product incrementally is an approach rooted in proven business fundamentals.
Known Unknowns vs Unknown Unknowns
One of the biggest benefits to building incrementally is the risks it helps mitigate.
The ones you're aware of going in and equally as important if not more so, the ones you weren't aware of aka “the stuff you didn't know that you didn't know”, that surfaces as a result of committing to the process.
What people say vs what they do aka ask for the order
It's always exciting when someone provides positive feedback that includes, "Yes. I have that challenge / opportunity and I would be very interested in solving for it."
But nothing compares to having an opportunity to present them with a working product and ask for the order.
What they do next is the kind of data we all crave.
March 16, 2021 (Tweet Link)