The Fastest You'll Ever Get Lean

Project 1: Understanding MVPs · Lesson 2 · 5 minutes

MVPs work off of the Lean Startup Framework. If you don't know what that is, Evan's about to tell you.

So how do startups actually develop their products and grow into successful companies? Mostly, they work off of the lean framework, based on the book The Lean Startup, by Eric Reiss. In it, Reiss stresses the importance of testing your business ideas as quickly and cheaply as possible so that: 

  1. You are not spending a lot of time and money on an idea that won't work.  
  2. You're able to refine and shape your idea to take advantage of its market. 

Sounds simple, right?

It is and it isn't. The premise that Reiss accepts, and that you should too, is most ideas are terrible. The only way to know if your idea will work is to put it through testing and objectively prove its not-terrible-ness. This is called validated learning, which is basically a fancy way of saying that you can prove your conclusions about your idea because you've tested them. 

The best way to get validated learning on an idea or project is to build out an MVP - A Minimum Viable Product. Don't focus too hard on the "product." You're not building a Version 1 of your idea, but an experiment to test whether your idea is even worth building out. MVPs happen quickly, minimizing the time, resources, and effort it takes to validate any given idea. They also have concrete stages at which you can adjust, or iterate, the version of your product you're testing based on the feedback you receive. The goal is, quite simply, to stop yourself from building something nobody wants.  

Ready? Steady? Let's go.