A lot has been said about why startups should adopt lean approach, why it’s better to launch a MVP rather than waiting for that right time till your product achieves the perfection, etc. I’m a big advocate of lean methodology for startups and believe that it increases the chances of success of a startup. But then it’s not easy to make the ‘choice’ of going lean, esp. for the first time founders. First time founders plunged in to entrepreneurship with a lot of hopes and endless passion – a hope to create something meaningful that can has the potential to be the next big thing. They start building the product and avoid launching that crappy version because they don’t want their friends and family to say, “Are you sure you left your job to build this? Is this what you have been doing since 6 months?” I think that’s the biggest mistake of an entrepreneur. Being a first-time founder, I can vouch for the fact that it’s a tough decision to launch that buggy version of your product. But I believe that’s a decision we ought to take.
When you quickly launch your product, no matter even if it’s small and not up to the mark, you stand a good chance to test your assumptions – assumptions about the customer, his behavior, distribution channel and several other market mechanisms. You can know whether you were right or wrong with your assumptions within a minimum possible time, costs and other resources. Let me give you an example for that. I’m sure you would have somewhere at some point of time noticed this – When painters who paint homes want to create a new shade, they will try it out in very small small batches. They will take a very small amount of each of the colors, blend them in the required proportion to get a new shade and then test it out on the actual wall. So what did they do? They simply went small, tested the hypothesis of the shade they had in their mind and checked out whether it will actually look good or not. Had they blended full buckets of paint colors and painted the whole wall to see whether the shade looks or not, their money as well as time would have gone down the drain. They would then have been also required to remove that paint from the wall so that the new paint can be applied.
Similarly, always make sure that you work in small modules/batches and quickly test your hypothesis to avoid waste of resources. The idea is to learn quickly with minimum possible expenses.