What’s the best way to create your MVP?

Jake Knapp (Partner at GV, author of ‘Sprint’)
How to Come Up With Your Next Product Hit in 5 Days | Inc.com

1: Agree on the goal. The first day’s focus isn’t on solving the problem, but defining it. 2: Come up with multiple solutions. Knapp doesn’t like brainstorming. Instead, Knapp prefers what he refers to as parallel individual work. 3: Choose the best option and create a plan of attack. 4: Build a prototype. 5: Test it. Research shows that five is the perfect number of customers on which to test your product–beyond that returns are low, since the … (read more)

What’s the best way to create your MVP?

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Long Roadmaps – AVC

But the mistake most entrepreneurs make is the try to ship most or all of their vision in their first product. And that’s a terrible idea. The best companies start with a very narrow product that nails something pretty simple but powerful. And then they go from there. This is true in both enterprise and consumer applications.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Three elements to go beyond hourly freelancing

Start by focusing on three things (and a bonus): 1. An audience (organizations or individuals) that has money to invest in having you solve their problem. 2. An audience that realizes it has a problem that needs to be solved. 3. A skill, a service, a story, a resource or a technology that only you can provide. 4. (A bonus): An outcome that your customers will choose to tell other people about.

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek. (p. 110)

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to … – Eric Ries – Google Books

The two most important assumptions entrepreneurs make are what I call the value hypothesis and the growth hypothesis. The value hypothesis tests whether a product or service really delivers value to customers once they are using it.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Decoding “who is it for?”

Most inventors and marketers start with what they have (the stuff) and try to work backward to the ‘who is it for’ question. It makes a lot more sense to go the other direction. Identify a set of fears, dreams and attitudes and then figure out what sort of story fits that lock in a way that delights the consumer. Then go build that.

Mike Maples Jr (Managing Partner @ FLOODGATE)
Ron Conway, Mike Maples Jr. – Angel Investing Revealed by Stanford eCorner | Free Listening on SoundCloud

Low burn experimentation, done a lot. Find out the winning answers. Discard the losing answers. But don’t scale until you know it works. Discover the business before you scale the business

Jake Knapp (Partner at GV, author of ‘Sprint’)
How to Come Up With Your Next Product Hit in 5 Days | Inc.com

1: Agree on the goal. The first day’s focus isn’t on solving the problem, but defining it. 2: Come up with multiple solutions. Knapp doesn’t like brainstorming. Instead, Knapp prefers what he refers to as parallel individual work. 3: Choose the best option and create a plan of attack. 4: Build a prototype. 5: Test it. Research shows that five is the perfect number of customers on which to test your product–beyond that returns are low, since the … (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
How to Make Wealth

You’re not just trying to solve problems. You’re trying to solve problems that users care about.

David Aycan (Lead, Creative Competitiveness Products / Senior Portfolio Director / D4C Studio @ IDEO)
Don’t Let the Minimum Win Over the Viable

Sketching or mocking up experiential prototypes and then testing them with consumers or potential partners, while also explicitly jotting down your operating and business assumptions and using them to discuss the business with industry experts, allows you both to pick a promising route to invest in the development sprint and to pivot with confidence. For example, by prototyping multiple consumer experiences and business models before investing in… (read more)

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The first step is to enter the Build phase as quickly as possible with a minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP is that version of the product that enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time. The minimum viable product lacks many features that may prove essential later on. However, in some ways, creating a MVP requires extra work: we must be able to measure its impac… (read more)

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

When one is choosing among the many assumptions in a business plan, it makes sense to test the riskiest assumptions first (p.118)

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

…when an entrepreneur has an unclear hypothesis, it’s almost impossible to experience complete failure, and without failure there is usually no impetus to embark on the radical change a pivot requires. As I mentioned earlier, the failure of the “launch it and see what happens” approach should now be evident: you will always succeed—in seeing what happens. Except in rare cases, the early results will be ambiguous, and you won’t know whether to p… (read more)

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Feature Friday: What’s The Atomic Unit Of Your Product/Service? – AVC

When you think about an MVP, it’s really important to identify the atomic unit and make sure you focus the product crisply and cleanly on that object. If you think you have three or four atomic units, you are going to end up with a clunky and bloated experience and that is what you want to avoid at all costs with your MVP (particularly if you are mobile first).

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
MVP or insufficiently viable product? | A Founder’s Notebook

The risks of an insufficiently viable product are more serious in environments where early users rate your product. For example, mobile apps.

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The products a startup builds are really experiments; the learning about how to build a sustainable business is the outcome of those experiments. (p.75)

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

The first challenge for an entrepreneur is to build an organization that can test these assumptions systematically. The second challenge, as in all entrepreneurial situations, is to perform that rigorous testing without losing sight of the company’s overall vision

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: The difference between confidence and arrogance

The difference between confidence and arrogance Confidence is arrogance if the market doesn’t believe the story. When we show up with something great, something generous, well-executed and new, some people will be suspicious. “Is this everything it’s cracked up to be?” The skeptic wonders if we have the standing to back it up. You’re not going to be able to persuade those skeptics. In fact, when you try, you end up dressing up your confident pres… (read more)

Paul Graham (Co-Founder & Partner at Y Combinator)
Do Things that Don’t Scale

You can and should give users an insanely great experience with an early, incomplete, buggy product, if you make up the difference with attentiveness.

Graeham Douglas (Co-founded Runnr.me )
About | Graeham’s Rambling Thoughts

Prototyping is cheaper and easier than ever. In my opinion, a prototype for many Kickstarter-ready design projects could be made for $1000 in parts and materials, some for even $100. Like software development, the larger investment is in time put in by the designers. Of course, several (or sometimes many) stages of prototypes are needed to arrive at a final design. Good user feedback is essential, and this feedback should guide making the next… (read more)

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

…the right way to think about the product development process in a Lean Startup is that it is responding to …experiments that need to be run. As soon as we formulate a hypothesis that we want to test, the product development team should be engineered to design and run this experiment as quickly as possible, using the smallest batch size that will get the job done…our planning really works in the reverse order: we figure out what we need to … (read more)

Eric Ries (Author, The Lean Startup)
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to … – Eric Ries – Google Books

If the fundamental goal of entrepreneurship is to engage in organization building under conditions of extreme uncertainty, its most vital function is learning.