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Posts Tagged ‘Dharmesh Shah’

Does it Matter if your Product is Minimally Viable or Maximally Buyable?

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

I was reading this article by Dharmesh Shah on the OnStartups blog where he indicates that a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) is “a product that has the minimum set of features needed to learn what the market wants” and conversely he defines that Maximally Buyable Product (MBP) as “the set of features needed to capture the maximum potential opportunity in a market.”  Dharmesh then goes on to give 5 features of the Maximally Buyable Product.

I think the interesting point that is made in this article is not with the MBP but instead the Minimally Viable Product (MVP).  How does a company know when they have completed building their MVP?  When is an MVP “finished” enough in order to increase online sales and not result in abandoned carts of potential customers at checkout?  I know that when we were putting our finishing touches on our MVP one year ago for our KikScore trust seal product that it was very difficult for us to know when it was more important to get the product to market and when to add that one last feature that our customers would love.

My point here is that I think that building the MVP is not the most difficult thing most of the time.  Usually the entrepreneurial spirit inside of the people that are involved with MVPs is such that dreaming up and building the MVP is not the difficult part.  The difficult part may sometimes lie in the area of limiting the scope and defining the lines of exactly what the first iteration of the ultimate product is going to look like.  Initially, the MVP may be just a shell of what the founders of the company initially dreamed up but the team needs to decide as a whole when it is close enough to “learn what the market wants.”

How did your company define your MVP and how is your MVP different from your MBP?

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Posts Tagged ‘Dharmesh Shah’

Thoughts on 'Startup Advice in Exactly Three Words'

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I recently stumbled upon this post by Dharmesh Shah on the OnStartups.com blog that got me thinking about the time that we have spent working on KikScore.  In this post Dharmesh comes up with 47 different 3 word phrases that offer advice to others while trying to start-up a new company.  After already having worked on our start-up company for the past 3 years, these pieces of advice triggered a few memories that enforced Dharmesh’s advice for me through these experiences.  Below I picked out a few of the phrases that rang true for me the most and I explain why I feel strongly about these.

Support customers maniacally – This could not be more true for the customers we currently have on our application.  Any customer issue that we receive immediately goes to the top of the priority list in order to address it immediately.  I think that this is a no-brainer for any business but especially for companies just starting out.

Persist through downturns – About 6 months after we started working on KikScore we entered into the recession that we have just now begun to dig out of.  While this definitely wasn’t ideal, I think that it made us focus more on our product and customers and will make us a better company in the long run.  I think that a lot of companies that make it through this recession will be better for it and it will help them learn a lot of lessons that they otherwise may not have.

Improve product daily – We are constantly looking for ways to improve our product and prioritizing these enhancements for release.  I think that it is very important for start-up companies to be regularly adding functionality to their products in order to make current and potential customers happy.

Use your product – Just about everyone on the KikScore team has either used the product themselves on a site they own or worked closely with a friend or family member to use it on their site.  I think that this has allowed us to get a unique perspective on our product and helped us improve it more efficiently for other customers to use.  I think this is important because sometimes the very companies that make great products don’t always use them and over time they become outdated because they don’t have that “real world” experience.

Do any of these items above, or the other 43 pieces of advice that Dharmesh offers, remind you of a decision you made while working on your business? 

(By the way, I must admit that I re-used the picture of the puppies on this post from Dharmesh’s post on the OnStartups.com blog.)

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