Hangout and the Minimum Viable Product
Henrik Kniberg wrote this enlightening article titled "Making sense of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) – and why I prefer Earliest Testable/Usable/Lovable" back in 2016. The link is here: https://blog.crisp.se/2016/01/25/henrikkniberg/making-sense-of-mvp.
The post is centered around this image showing the development of a car as an analogy for the development of a startup.
In essence, because the top part of the image does not solve the consumer issue, the customer is unhappy and feels unconnected to the journey. However, on the bottom, each step of the process is aimed at solving a little bit more of the issue, and by allowing for small steps of growth, a business learns about the customers needs and the customer learns about the business, creating a relationship.
This is the MVP - the minimum viable product needed to solve the consumer issue. Now obviously the customer is not going to be happy with the first product, but as they feel that you're working to solve the problem, they will be happier to support your journey. This article gave validation to the ideas that we had come up with when thinking about Hangout. We all thought, "Okay, maybe we are doing something right."
We are all college students, and honestly don't really know what were doing or where this project is going to take us. We have ideas, we have motivation and passion, but we don't really have any experience in running a business. However, I am a firm believer that you learn best by doing, and we're all really good at doing.
We just put out our first attempt at a skateboard and are receiving so much feedback on it. Our app is nowhere close to solving the consumer issue, but it does allow for critiques and improvements. If you spend all your time developing a perfect product, it will never solve the consumer issue. Instead, we need to focus on putting small steps out there to be open for feedback and allow for a dialogue between customer and business.
If you spend all your time developing a perfect product, it will never solve the consumer issue.
I have recently been exploring this topic, and learning a lot about myself. Sometimes, I am too afraid to start something for fear of failure. I have to remind myself over and over again that by not starting, I'm already failing, and the best thing to do is to try.
Right now, we're all not really sure what our car is going to look like, or even or bicycle. We're doing a lot of brainstorming and trying to understand the underlying issues the best we can in order to make the best product. We have recently decided to make the app mainly functional for RIT students so we can better understand a niche market before we move on to talking bigger things.
Is this the right step? Who knows? But whats important is that we try and do and learn. As long as we're moving, we're progressing.