Welcome to the seventh article of our Entrepreneurial Wednesdays series. In this series, I share my thoughts on lean entrepreneurship as I take my first steps in my journey. I will be sharing my lessons learned with you.
Now that you know what MVP is, you know what it brings to the table. MVP (apart from other useful info) will help you to shape your customer in a very useful way. Using the MVP by customers will uncover their preferences, pains, and problems and features they feel they need. All of this is contained in the archetype of the customer. The archetype will help you understand your potential customers in areas which are crucial to the success of the product. It will simply and clearly define the behavior of your customer but most importantly (!), based on the archetype of the customer you can decide what approach you need towards them.
As you move further and make decisions, it is likely to happen that your potential customer group will change. There are many factors which have an effect on this. Experimenting and validation are only two but have a severe impact. This means that archetype of the customer undergoes various changes and that is fine. The question is when will the wheel stop?! The answer can be tricky. Ideal customer group can provide the business environment continues growth and stable business.
Is it worth waiting for?
Apart from what I have mentioned above. Time can also influence the outcome of your work. But you will be surprised how! The methodology of the lean startup tries to do everything in fast motion. And changes on the MVP or changes in the archetype of your customer can sometimes take more time than expected. You would think how this can have a negative impact on the impatient and stubborn customers, but no. To them, it doesn’t matter how much time they will have to wait. It’s important to make sure your product is worth the waiting. This is when the value of your product kicks in again. Even though your MVP won’t show the quality of your final product, aim for it, try to show the potential of the final version and its uniqueness. Take the time you really need and then release the MVP. It takes a lot of courage to test the product in the real world of business, but it definitely is worth it.
I will steal your idea!
When I first heard about Startup Weekends and how does it work I thought: ”Why would I share my ideas, so that someone can steal them?” I must admit, I feel ashamed thinking about it now. But thankfully, Eric Ries dealt with this topic and I am left to agree. It is not so easy to steal an idea. The truth is that almost everyone has got a good idea. Have you ever thought why they never make it happen? Because it can’t be done secretly. Without people, the ones you need in order to get the business working, knowing about it. And secondly, because they don’t believe they can go through the process of creating-validating-learning fast enough. In order to be partly successful in creating a company you have to understand that business is risk taking. When you lack the confidence it is almost impossible to achieve your goals. More so, when you release your product, making it wide open to criticism can destroy what is left of your confidence completely.
Level of Commitment
Before you actually release your MVP. You have to make a commitment. Without knowing what the feedback based on the MVP will be, you will not lose hope but make changes and adapt in order to be successful. This is how you make sure that your hope and determination are bulletproof. Also, this is the right way to build trust with your colleagues or investors. It seems like a cliche but running a business can and will be painful. Are you strong-willed enough?