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The Minimum Viable Product

I can’t count how many times I’ve said or heard, “You know what would be awesome?  If our product did this, this, and that!?”  As a developer and entrepreneur, it’s easy to get caught up in the bleeding edge features for your products, especially if those features present technical challenges.

It’s also easy to assume that “more is better” because of our inherent human behaviors.  This oftentimes leads to dizzyingly heavy products with obscure value propositions.

Next time you find yourself talking about features, think about the following counter examples:

Steve Blank.  Well known author and cultivator of ideas such as Lean Startup, and Customer Development, provides a very needed explanation of the minimum viable product here….  something any entrepreneur and/or product manager should read and understand.

Steve Jobs.  Well, no need to explain.  But you can see the minimalism everywhere (what?  still no buttons?).

37 Signals. Thought leaders in the space of minimum feature set, creators of the development framework Ruby on Rails, and authors of the new book Rework which encourages lean, fast, out the door decision making with minimum feature set releases and multitudes of customer feedback.

None of these people should keep you from dreaming up the next hottest feature or high-fiveing a great 2am coding sess, just be cognizant of the overall impact before adding all of these into the next release cycle.

Chad

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Foursquare worth $80M

That’s right… I said it.  80… million… dollars.  And they’re purported to be raising $10M from the top VC firms.

That is so awesome.  Talk about a statement.  Foursquare is really going for it raising that kind of serious money.  Is this the beginning of a new “mobile” bubble?  Will investors really be able to get a strong return on investment?

http://techcrunch.com/2010/03/25/four-vc-firms-battle-for-foursquare-valuation-goes-stratospheric/

Good luck FS!

Chad

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