Tag Archives: MVP

How To build an MVP in 60 days

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James-photo

After a failed attempt at starting a carpool company between 2011 and 2013 in Beijing, I found myself back in the States job searching for startup gigs in the Greater Seattle Area.

Having graduated from the University of Washington with a non-computer science degree, many technical positions were often out of reach.

So during my job search, I started working on a side project to brush up on my technical skills; and I decided that if I was going to build something, it had to fit the following criteria:

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3 Lean Startup Tips for Building Your Business

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Eric Ries's lean startup book

Image courtesy of Betsy Weber via Flickr

“If you build it, he will come,” is the famous line from the film Field of Dreams, in which those mysteriously whispered words convince a farmer to replace his cornfield with a baseball diamond to draw people to use it. But while that may have worked in the film, it’s not necessarily the case when it comes to new apps, products, and services. How can you make sure you don’t invest your life savings in a business idea that users don’t want? That’s where the lean startup philosophy comes in.

If Eric Ries, blogger, entrepreneur, and author of The Lean Startup, were in charge of the cornfield, he would have tried something less drastic — like taking out an ad or building a web page — to find out if there was a need for a new stadium.

Reis’ philosophy is that instead of creating elaborate business plans and bringing fully fleshed-out products to market, it’s best to follow (and repeat) a three-step process — build, measure, and learn — to test and validate ideas prior to a major investment of time and resources.

The following three strategies will get your business on board with the lean philosophy in no time.

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5 Successful Businesses That Got Huge By Starting Small

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Will this idea germinate into a success?

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.

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Get Behind the Buzz: What’s an MVP?

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How to build a scalable business imageA 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.”

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