Category: Act! Tips
Written by Ken Quigley
May 23 2023
I remember the first time I heard the term "Minimum Viable Product" used to describe a pre-launch software product, I admit I scoffed. How could the meaning of MVP be so casually flipped on its head?
However, over the years, I've come to understand the wisdom of the term. The fact is "perfectionists" would not fare well in the software world, and probably suffer for it in business, as well. The software world has taught me a few lessons that can be generalized for most industries.
- There is no perfect product. All products evolve with customer feedback, technology, and competition, regardless of your industry. Bugs get identified, and new features are requested. Count on it. If a perfect product could be built, it wouldn't be by testing it in a sandbox. Most bugs will only be discovered in production; accept it.
- Never let perfection become the enemy of the good. Whether building a product, hiring an employee, or launching a marketing campaign, prepare and act as best you can. Delaying action in pursuit of perfection often leads to inaction and missed opportunities. Act, test & measure, keep what works, and dispose of what doesn't.
- There is no finish line. Regardless of your industry, there is seldom a point where you can spike the ball and declare victory. Your journey in business will likely involve countless little victories along the way, but no final moment where everyone hoists you on their shoulders and marches you around the field in celebration. Your competition will never give up and concede the market to you, and thank goodness for that. Competition drives us to improve constantly and teaches us never to take customer loyalty for granted.
The point of this reflection is never to stop, or fail to start. As in life, business is a journey, and no songs were ever written of heroes in the batter's box. Take the bat off your shoulder and swing for it. Not all cuts will be pretty or fondly remembered, but persistence, more often than not, pays off in the short and long term.