Start-up and Minimal viable product launch as learning tool

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  • “Entrepreneurship in a lean startup is really a series of Minimum Viable Product’s” – Eric Ries
  • A minimum viable product (MVP) helps entrepreneurs start the process of learning as quickly as possible by launching the product as quickly as possible unless your product is not a pacemaker. It is not necessarily the smallest product imaginable, though; it is simply the fastest way to start learning how to build a sustainable business with the Minimum amount of effort.

  • While in traditional product development usually involves a long incubation period and look for product perfection, the goal of the MVP is to begin the process of learning, not end it. Unlike a prototype or concept test, an MVP is designed not just to answer product design or technical questions. Its goal is to test fundamental business hypotheses.

  • The lesson of the MVP is that any additional work beyond what was required to start learning is waste, no matter how important it might have seemed at the time.
  • The success story of Dropbox is inspiring in this regard.Dropbox, MVP was to make extremely easy-to-use file-sharing tool which can be accessed using web browser. By installing the dropbox client, a Dropbox folder appears on computer desktop. Anything user drag into that folder is uploaded automatically to the Dropbox service and then instantly replicated across all the computers and devices of user.
  • Seamless user experience across variety of computer platforms and operating systems: Windows, Macintosh, iPhone, Android, and so on was one of the competitive edge for Dropbox MVP over their competitors.
  • To avoid the risk of waking up after years of development with a product nobody wanted. What Dropbox did was that they made a video to explain about the product which overcome significant technical hurdles; it also had an online service component that required high reliability and availability. It helped the early adopters to understand the product and result is that no. of beta testers list went up from 5000 to 75000 in about 24 hours and more than 10000 Diggs of the video.
  • Most IT based scalable start-up take less than 3 months from conception to launch of beta version of MVP. Examples are Zaarly, Linkedin, Groupon, etc.
  • A minimum viable product is simply the smallest batch that will teach you something. What can you release in one day? so work in small batches.
  • “The first version of Gmail was literally written in a day.” – Paul Buchheit
  • “Its always better to launch and learn than learn and launch” – Prof. Ted Zoller (University of North Carolina)
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