I’m a huge fan of Eric Ries of The Lean Startup. I think every startup ninja needs to implement the concepts found in this book into their everyday lives. What that means is if someone is about to embark on a new project they should break it down into 3 clear goals and those three goals should result in the minimum viable product the MVP.
At this point it should be clear whether it’s worthwhile to chart out the next phase of MVP. The first phase might be getting X users to embrace the product and the next phase may entail monetizing this batch of users.
Founders should have these concepts drilled into their DNA otherwise its very easy to get lost in developing full-scale projects only to realize there’s either no consumer demand or built incorrectly.
A good example of mine is www.Autoinq.com, an auto shopping portal geared towards women. More details on this another time, but relevant to MVP was having to build a full service portal similar to cars.com having multiple tools, multiple search functionality multiple angles financing options all the bells and whistles when of what was only needed was a simple search path with a unique angle.c.
If MVP thinking was deployed, it could have resulted in building out a marketing funnel/path based on intuitive car matching for a women buyers such as needs + personality present = results (see:http://www.autoinq.com/personality.html) .
Live and learn. Until next time.