CC Image Courtesy of Ritesh Man Tamrakar on Flickr
Susan Feldman, cofounder of shopping site One Kings Lane, attributes the company’s success to not aiming to build the next big thing — she recommends “that if you have an idea and you want to do something, starting small is okay.”
Feldman’s advice mirrors the wisdom many companies follow when introducing their product or service to the market: begin by testing interest and enthusiasm with an MVP, or minimum viable product. This “barebones” product has just the necessary features to receive money and feedback from early adopters. Not only will this provide you with constructive criticism from your core audience, but a strong user reception validates moving forward with a product. Look to these five success stories to see how companies have used their MVPs to float their product to the marketplace.
A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a bare-bones test of user interest in a product. The commonly accepted definition comes from Eric Reis, who popularized the term in his book The Lean Startup: “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
CC Image Courtesy of Nat Welch on Flickr
Is coding a job requirement for product managers? That’s a concrete question with a simple answer: No. It’s certainly possible for a product manager to capably bring a production from idea to market, guiding and managing engineers and designers along the process, and ensuring that the product is both loved and profitable, without writing a single line of code. When the question shifts to should product managers learn to code, the answer becomes a bit more subtle.