Top 5 Mistakes Founders Make with an MVP

Posted February 10, 2017 by Dan Moore in Product Management, Startups

Imagine that you're finally getting things off the ground and developing your MVP. It's a rough version, which an MVP is supposed to be. You're aiming to it out quickly and on a small budget. As the project progresses, you may run into a few common pitfalls that unfortunately, risk putting your project at a stalemate. Our blog post on MVP tips for success is a great place to start if you haven't gotten to the point of making mistakes yet!

Don't let pitfalls deter progress for your MVP. We have made a list of the top 5 mistakes founders make when creating their Minimum Viable Product. The most surprising part of the list? It's that none of these mistakes stem from technical errors!

1. Not Delegating

Don't stress yourself out by trying to learn how to run a scalable buisiness and create an MVP. Delegate! Find people you enjoy working with who can fill in the gaps and learn how to balance your time appropriately. You don't have to do everything and you don't have to do it alone.

2. Rigid Solutions to Flexible Problems

One of the components of pre-work before MVP development as described in our eBook is creatinga single, focused hypothesis. In other words, this is the core assumption, idea, or theory that you will test in a financial-driven market.

It's the same process from when you learned about testing a hypothesis in grade school. Test your theory and get actionable feedback to determine if your concept is attainable. Remember your teachers explaining how rare it is for a hypothesis to be completely right the first time and how you have to test and test again? The same lesson applies here.

Be flexible to changing your solutions! Know what your core problem is and be passionate about solving it, but be ready to work on it for 5 - 10 more years.

3. More Isn't Always More

A part of testing your hypothesis in the MVP development process is getting plenty of feedback. The drawback is the wide variety of feedback you will receive. You're creating something and people will want to join or morph your value proposition idea into new avenues. Accept feedback with a smile, but minimize it down into common themes and remember that YOU are the leader and the decision maker.

4. Focusing on the "If"

There are only so many hours in a day, so stop worrying about what could happen and focus on the stuff that is happening right now or what should be happening. Things will go wrong, but you don't have to be prepared for every corner. Learn from your mistakes and don't repeat them. No need to prepare for them ahead of time or you'll be lost in the "what if" instead of focusing on the "what is"

5. Polishing Until it Shines

A perfectly shiny MVP is attractive but unattainable in the beginning. If you want to be moving fast then you need to learn how to be embarassed. If you're not embarassed then you've probably spent too much time polishing which is, statistically, a waste of time once the idea needs to be pivoted.

One month is our time limit for polishing your MVP. If your idea to customer takes longer than a month, you're losing valuable feedback. You can check if your MVP is minimum by reading out blog post here and by using our DefineMyMVP tool.


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