The Lean StartUp Method | Minimally Viable Products

There’s a great book that was written 2011 that really changed the conversation in respect to startups and the way they should go to market.

The book was written by Eric Ries and is called

“The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business,”

It’s a great book but kind of long so I am going to simplify it and give you a very quick summary.   The key take away is if you are launching a startup particularly if you are making a piece of technology such as software and your not really sure if the market wants what you are building. Obviously you think it is a great idea and that there will be a market for it.

Don’t spend 3 years behind closed doors making it perfect, giving it every bell and whistle you think it should have. No. What you need to do is go to market as quickly as possible.

What is MVP? Or Minimally Viable Product comes out of the lead startup. In other words, get the minimally viable product or the basic thing to into the market that can prove what you are offering can solve the customers problem or fulfill a need.

Hear what the customers have to say. Listen to Feedback. Iterate. Change. And then get the product back out. That’s the idea. A great idea. The sooner you can get market feedback and actual people using your product the better.

Thinking of an Idea for a New Startup: Focus on One Niche

There’s a great show on CNBC and it’s called “The Profit” Marcus Lemonis will go out and buy failing or struggling businesses and help turn them around. One of my favorite episodes is when he goes to a silk screen printing shop and the entrepreneur of this company has a huge facility which houses not only the printing company in there but he also owns and is trying to run a basketball court, batting cage, coffee shop, pizzeria all for the use of his customers.

In the entrepreneur’s mind he has this vision that once his customers come in for printing, they will want to have coffee or something to eat or bat a few balls or shoot some hoops. This is a recipe for disaster.

When you are thinking up ideas for a startup business you need to focus on one thing only. Focus on one business only. When you try to be all things to all people you run the danger of becoming nothing for anyone. Less is More could not be more true when it comes to being a successful business owner.

Some of the best business focus quotes come from Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs instilled in his company the need to stay focused on doing only what you do best. “It’s easy to add … it’s hard to stay focused,” he said. “And so the hardest decisions we make are all the things not to work on.”

Steve Jobs once said “People think focus means saying ‘yes’ to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying ‘no’ to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

You will find the most successful entrepreneurs start one business….maybe 2 at the most. This business focus strategy is followed by some of the most successful businesses in the world.