I’ve been involved in helping founders build MVPs for 10 years now.
Over the course of this time, I have continuously seen how many founders fall into the trap of wanting to build and launch the complete and ultimate product… as a first version.
The general rule of thumb should always be “the less you know, the less you should spend”. This makes logical sense, as it flies directly in the face of building something massive with the hope of people loving, and potentially using it.
Having said the above, there seems to be a human tendency for founders to always want to launch the perfect, and fully functional product at the first attempt. To prevent yourself from wasting tons of money, time, and energy, here are my suggestions.
1. Don’t fall in love with your own product
Fall and stay in love with the problem that you are solving. In fact, I would say get married to that problem.
Avoid the trap of becoming your own biggest tech and product fan. The tech is a means to an end, and lives to solve a user’s problem. If you don’t do this, you will be tempted to become everything to everyone.
2. Listen to your users!
Your users determine your next step, their collective voice directs you to your product’s true north. Listen to them, and make decisions based on data secured from objective sources. They are the ones who dictate what goes into your roadmap.
3. Know the difference between vitamins and painkillers
You can have a really cool idea… but if it’s only a vitamin and not a painkiller, unfortunately, it’s not likely to scale.
How do you work this out? Make sure you’re testing your idea with potential users to help establish whether it is a “need to have'' or a “nice to have” product. Accept the truth, and avoid being overly loyal to what you think might be a painkiller, when in fact it’s only a vitamin. Just because you can build something doesn’t mean people will use it.