The central point of minimum viable product is the word 'viable'. It is not a new approach - Toyota developed lean manufacturing, on which lean start-up is based - but it is radical. Too many companies with spend fortunes developing something to 'perfection' only to find nobody wants it, or someone else has beaten them to market. If a product doesn't please any customers, surely it's best to get feedback quickly and to refine, redevelop or change direction as needed?
The problem with this bootstrapping method is that some entrepreneurs release a product that is so far from finished that it doesn't manage to please any customers and soon fails before it is given another chance. Some people might even think they fell for a scam product due to the bad build. Bootstrapping is good to manage costs but you have to set a certain standard before release.
Jeanette - http://www.lyonessscamreview.com
The biggest problem with this strategy is that too many companies use it as license to sell horribly buggy products. "It's okay, because it's only version 0.5", we'll upgrade it later. Of course, it's not only start-ups that follow this strategy.
I think there's no perfect rule to this. First, we can think of trying to find the equilibrium point. Not too fast, not to slow. Time to market and quality perhaps are in the opposites side of the balance and you must not be too late to release the product and must not deliver a product with such a bad quality that customers will throw it to your face. Also, cost increases with the longer investment in work and development of the product.
Perhaps the right sentence here would be something like "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing well, but hurry up!".
It is OK to introduce an unfinished product in the market if you have a definite road map as to how it is going to be refined, not just based upon the market feedback but your own knowledge about in what areas the product needs improvement. This will hep you to steer the product in the right direction and not play in the hands of the investors.
Not how I remember it at all, Presidente. The link below is to an article that describes this bit of GM history exactly as I saw it, at the time, by reading the automotive press.
if you have forever to enter the market, or can deal with a sluggish growth rate, bootstrapping is fine. For a technology entry, where markets can go fickle within three years, bootstrapping is a recipe for disaster.
Um...no. The Fiero became a threat to the high margin Corvette and got canned due to internal GM politics. The instant Pontiac engineers showed off their twin turbo V6 Fiero prototype, the model got the axe. It was a great little commuter car, got fantastic gas mileage, and had rustproof body panels. The C5 Corvette caught up to this a decade later - for three times the money.
There are two approaches epitomized by two different sayings.
"If it's worth doing it's worth doing well."
In a business or product case this implies checking, refining and polishing something until is close to perfect and then putting it out there -- but at the risk that will have been beaten to market by someone else.
The alternative phrase is:
"If it's worth doing it's worth doing badly"
This implies get the product/service out there even if it is a rough round the edges.
It relies on the belief that there is no better feedback than customer feedback and being first to engage with a customer is worth far more than coming along second or fifth with the supposedly "perfect" product/service that has not been refined in the heat of the marketplace.
Of course, it is not a case of one or the other. But applying intelligence to avoid the extremes of each.
Honestly, most of the time I don't get how some books get their cult status. And this is definitely one of those times.
How is the idea of putting out a product as soon as possible, and then refining it over time, remotely innovative? For a startup, it's a no-brainer. But certainly this also applies to established companies. If there's a market for a new product, what self-respecting company would not want to get it out there? And then refine it over time, if successful?
Examples of this are practically infinite, since I can't think of a single product that emerged fully refined. But for sure, on this forum, people know that the original Microsoft DOS product developed for IBM was hardly like Windows 8, yes?
Doesn't this apply to any industry? Even new restaurants operate this way, expanding their menu as they get experience.
From my perspective, GM, especially in the past, was notorious for putting out subpar automobiles, and then letting the customers provide the necessary testing. So they actually took these ideas to the extreme, to their detriment.
Two legendary examples being the Chevy Corvair and the Pontiac Fiero. By the time these cars were developed into something quite good, and getting favorable reviews in the automotive, they had garnered such a bad reputation that production had to cease.
I don't think this ideas is new.