You’re not going to discover the truth by talking—you’ll find it by doing. So stop worrying about the ideal set of product features and make your best guess with the information you have and get an MVP—however you define it—into the hands of customers. It’s the only way to keep the discovery process going.
—Kevin Dewalt, CEO of soHelpful.me and former Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the National Science Foundation
So I asked, “Would it be cheaper to rent a camera and plane or helicopter and fly over the farmer’s field, hand-process the data, and see if that’s the information farmers would pay for? Couldn’t you do that in a day or two, for a tenth of the money you’re looking for?”
They thought about it for a while and laughed and said, “We’re engineers and we wanted to test all the cool technology, but you want us to test whether we first have a product that customers care about and whether it’s a business. We can do that.”
So far in this book, we’ve focused on validating your initial hypotheses and assumptions, rather than validating the solutions that come next, the minimum viable product (MVP) that you will build.
I’ve done this deliberately because many companies are so eager to start building their MVP that they miss multiple opportunities to reduce risk and identify mistakes. It’s far faster and cheaper to catch your errors while you’re still in the thinking stage. Once you’ve built a prototype or product, ...