Product growth: Lost in perfection

Congrats! You have released your app / site. Traffic is starting to come to it, paid customers are starting to use your product, you have proven your market fit. Now you (and probably the investors you are already talking to) want to accelerate the growth.

Forward we go

To do so, you identified multiple avenues, like re-designing the funnel, or creating a member get member product within your product. You have prioritized those developments. They have to fit in an already very busy development schedule, so other things will have to wait a little bit longer. But that’s OK, it is time to grow.

But don’t forget the basics

I had a client call this week that reminded me of something very critical: The MVPs. MVP is the minimum viable product. Basically it means the smallest possible product, with the minimum technical complications, that will solve the problem that you are trying to solve.People today are usually pretty comfortable with this term, and are using this concept when doing the first release of their baby. Test the waters. See if it floats.But the MVP concept often gets forgotten once the product is starting to roll and make money. You are worried about your current customers, and want to give them the best experience possible.

Beware of wasting important developer time

Let’s say you want to try a new approach to your monetization, or do a re-design of the UI: It could not work. Even if you think it will be much better, you could be wrong. So why spend too much time doing something perfect ? Why not doing a MVP of that modification to prove the concept before making it look good ? If it works, you know you can easily make it much better, if it bombs, well at least you didn’t spend too much time working on it. Growth is about making assumptions (i.e. This new funnel will perform better), and then testing them fast. The fail fast approach, if well implemented, forces you to first understand what is the MVP you need to build to test your assumption. That way, if your assumption is wrong, you don’t waste a ton of engineering time running after an idea that doesn’t work.