If Your Startup Wants to Build a Great Product, Launch It Before It’s Ready
It could mean the difference between building a good product and a potentially great product
If you’ve ever used a new product that seemed like it wasn’t finished, that probably wasn’t an accident.
One of the sneaky lessons I’ve learned in 20-plus years as an entrepreneur is that there are good reasons to release a product that’s not quite ready for prime time. What you learn can end up being the difference between building a good product and a potentially great product.
A minimum viable product isn’t just a theoretical idea. The truth is that every new product launches as a minimum viable product — some are just more viable while others are just more minimum.
The secret for going from good to great is that the market will not only validate your idea, it will tell you what to build, what not to build, how you should sell it, and how much you should sell it for.
If, that is, you launch your product with the right amount of minimum and the right amount of viable.
Why Minimum Viable Products fail
There are basically three reasons why MVPs crash and burn:
The first — and here’s another secret — is that they were never meant to succeed.
- Despite the conventional mythology of startup, we don’t live in a world where you can walk outside, spot a market inefficiency, and fill it before anyone else does.
- If you want to invent a great product, you’ve not only got to dream up a unique and elegant solution to a big problem, you’ve got to solve that problem first, you’ve got to solve it right, and once your solution gets traction, you can’t turn back.
- Thus, some MVPs are just practice runs to test assumptions around the problem, the solution, and the market.
- Sometimes you get lucky and get it all right the first time. But most of the time, you fail. That’s the trick with startup: Fail early, fail often, and go back to the drawing board.
So yeah, sometimes entrepreneurs fail on purpose. Well, not on purpose, but we swing without…