Local, Management, Managing people

The five speed bumps that threaten to derail your MVP project

Kye White /

Shufflebrain co-founder Amy Jo Kim was practising lean startup methodology before there was a name for it.

 

Now she’s launched MVP Design Hacks, a program aimed at startups and entrepreneurs who need to quickly clarify, test and validate product ideas with early customers.

 

“We created this program, to get our powerful time-saving tools and process into the hands of startups worldwide,” she says.

 

“We’re passionate about helping entrepreneurs work smarter and faster, and we know from experience that the process and tolls we’ve developed will do exactly that.”

 

Kim says there are a number of “speed bumps” that can easily slow down or derail an MVP project:

 

1. Focusing early on high-quality graphics and UX

 

“Product-oriented entrepreneurs can easily get distracted by fiddling with the graphics and UX early in product development. Visual quality is important later in development – if you focus on it too early, you will dramatically slow down your iteration cycle, and risk missing important clues in your customer research.”

 

2. Skewing the data to confirm your hypothesis

 

“It’s important to think and act like a scientist when you’re testing your product ideas and value prop. Passionate founders will be tempted to ask leading questions during interviews and focus on results that confirm their conclusions. It’s hard but necessary to listen dispassionately and gather honest feedback from your research session.”

 

3. Over-reliance on quantitative data and research

A common misconception is that you need A/B testing and thousands of data points to do actionable research. That’s a great technique for optimizing an existing product, but a total FAIL for bringing something new and innovative to life. For that, you need structured qualitative research with carefully selected early adopters – and you.”

 

4. Targeting mass market before nailing early adopters

 

Startup teams that stumble often go broad FIRST, and skip over finding and delighting their early adopters. It’s so tempting, because it looks like a shortcut, but it’s usually lethal for an innovative new product, because of the well-established technology adoption cycle for innovative diffusion.”

 

5. Slow decision-making AKA “analysis paralysis”

 

“The hallmark of a successful, high-performing lean team is fast, iterative decision-making. If your team is burdened by layers of management approval or fearful, CYA (cover your arse) decision-making, your progress and rate of learning will slow to a crawl.”

 

StartupSmart is giving two readers a chance to sign up to the eight week program, which begins next week, for 75% off. Simply email [email protected] before 2pm on Friday October 2 and explain in 25 words or less why you’d like to participate.

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Kye White

Kye began his career at a Fairfax daily on the North-West Coast of Tasmania. He has since taken his belongings, and keen interest in technology, to Melbourne. He has a bachelor of Arts majoring in Political Science from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from RMIT University.

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