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Thank you for this 'not so short' write-up. Really appreciate the efforts you have put into. Great for my ongoing research!
Excellent insights, thanks for sharing!
Thanks @anujadhiya, these are great related/supporting resources.
Haven't had the pleasure of seeing Ashley speak but @ginafrombrazil was one of the standouts at #GHConf17 so I can only imagine how good this roundtable must have been. Of course, also found myself nodding along to this article all the way through.
This post is a great addition to the awesome content on growth teams already on GH: https://growthhackers.com/tags/team
A few selections from that category that I think make for great related reading (in no particular order):
https://growthhackers.com/articles/building-a-growth-team-from-zero-to-fifty by @bbalfour
https://growthhackers.com/articles/how-to-build-a-high-performing-growth-team by @iamalexbirkett
https://growthhackers.com/articles/an-inside-look-at-web-profits-growth-team-structure by @sujanpatel
https://growthhackers.com/articles/how-to-run-a-high-performing-growth-marketing-team-reporting-management-structure by @alanorourke
https://growthhackers.com/articles/start-growth-team/ by @jschwarz9
https://growthhackers.com/articles/how-do-you-choose-the-best-growth-team-model/ by @amcinnes
Really enjoyed reading this. A great example of how to validate the need for your product and putting in the work needed to test your way towards sustainable growth
Also related: https://growthhackers.com/articles/how-to-unlock-growth-when-your-product-is-invisible/
I think the key is to not bite off more than you can chew when you're about to build your MVP. Say you've estimated your MVP at 100 hours, don't try to squeeze in 100 hours of functionality - instead figure out what your core product is, and strip out any unnecessary features until you have a solid MVP with a core proposition that you can market, and get done in under 100 hours.
I'm part of a development shop where we routinely remove functionality that shouldn't be part of an MVP and sometimes face a backlash. As soon as you launch, you're going to discover that you'll want to build up a different set of functionality based on what your initial customers are asking for.
Your best approach is to probably run your MVP by a seasoned developer and understand exactly what the core functionality is, then postpone any non-MVP related tasks until you start getting customers. You should NEVER be cutting corners on your core proposition. If you sense that you're cutting corners, it's a signal that you've taken on too much functionality for an MVP.
Building an MVP does not mean cutting down on excellence at all! Steve Blank wrote a wonderful piece recently to demonstrate the true significance of an MVP: https://www.forbes.com/sites/steveblank/2013/07/22/an-mvp-is-not-a-cheaper-product-its-about-smart-learning/#6956f1886f0c
In it, he mentions how a startup looking to build a product for flying drones over fields to help farmers cultivate their fields in a smarter and efficient way got their hypothesis right but the execution wrong. They wanted to test that intelligent data on agriculture and the corresponding practices would be of value to farmers, but to do so they did not have to actually fly drones and invest in equipment up front. By sharing already available satellite data with farmers and seeing how valuable that was in agriculture, the startup could gauge the success of their idea.
The main point is the you're building an MVP to learn more and validate rather than sell straight away. As to what is the best way to create and test your MVP, I think you should check out this article on the connection between visual feedback and minimum viable products: https://blog.zipboard.co/building-better-mvps-with-visual-feedback-ed9d8a4c3f67
Based on the extended description you provided, I think you need to separate 2 concepts in your mind:
a. What the purpose of an MVP is
b. What it means to launch
The purpose of an MVP is to Identify your riskiest assumption, find the smallest possible experiment to test that assumption, and use the results of the experiment to course correct.
Good reading around this topic:
https://growthhackers.com/articles/an-mvp-is-not-a-cheaper-product-its-about-smart-learning/ by @sblank
https://growthhackers.com/articles/minimum-desirable-product by @andrewchen
I'm bringing this up because you specifically brought up that Reid Hoffman quote
Can't say it better than this post by @ericries: https://growthhackers.com/articles/dont-launch/
I think you're distorting the concept of MVP by thinking of it as the end of the process. If you're doing it right, you still strive for as close to perfection as you can get. You just don't try to do it in a single step. You iterate your way there. The MVP is just the first phase. One the idea is validated, you can always incorporate improvements and add new bells and whistles down the road. In fact, you should always be working on improvements. Great products are never "finished."
You are also only looking at it from just the product developer's narrow angle. Just because you spend months or years on bells and whistles you are proud of to create a "perfect" product doesn't mean potential customers will feel the same way. And their opinions count more, since they are the one's who pay for it. Personally, if I learn that I need to pivot, I'd rather do it earlier in the process.
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