The Minimum Virtuous Product: Is the Move Fast & Break Things Era Behind Us?

Minimum Virtuous ProductIf you’re moving fast and breaking things, at what point in time do you realize things are broken?

When there is public uproar against your product? Such as the Amazon case in 2019 involving job listings for the role of “union buster” (someone who reports on fellow employees seeking fair labor practices).

Or, when regulators come down on you like a ton of bricks? As was (and continues to be) experienced by Airbnb whose platform has been home to grotesque racial discrimination.

Allow me to introduce the topic of this blog post: The minimum virtuous product (MVP).

It seems the concept behind the traditional minimal viable product (MVP) which prioritizes quick launches and basic feature sets has been replaced by something a little more virtuous. The new MVP, minimum virtuous product, encourages companies to focus on diversity and transparency by building morally sound design principles, from the start.

This post will take a look at what this change in acronym has to do with the way companies grow and scale; along with an eight-question framework that will help start-ups assess the social impact of their products; and finally, it will cover what moving with virtue could mean for future startups.

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Default to Action & Overcome the Toolbox Fallacy

toolbox-fallacy

“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.” – George Patton

“Once I have X, I can do Y.”

This phrase is the defining characteristic of the toolbox fallacy: thinking you can’t do something until you have the right tool.

The toolbox fallacy is self-deception disguised as excuses or a lack of “tools”. The issue with these tools is that you believe that you need them and thus, can’t (or won’t) start a project without them.

“As soon as my Apple Watch arrives, I’ll start training for the 5K.”

The problem is when X arrives, do you crack on and get started with the Y? Often times, it’s too easy to continue down the slippery slope of toolbox logic.

“My Apple Watch arrived, but now I need a coaching app – which I am yet to have downloaded.”

So, how do you overcome the toolbox fallacy? Simple: You default to action. In other words, you get the ball rolling – whether you have all the tools you think you need or not.

The solution, in a sense, is to be more agile.

In this post I’ll be looking at how to overcome the toolbox fallacy by putting the systems in place to move fast, and with virtue. I’ll try to address:

  • How do you plan and structure clear action items, so you can move fast and be sure you’re making the right decisions?
  • How will you move fast without breaking things (by things I mean humans)?

And, to sum things up I’ll take a look at how we at Process Street use OKRs to decide when it is we should be moving fast vs when we should be slowing down.

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Let’s start by unpacking the toolbox fallacy in more depth! 🛠
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How to Build an MVP App Without Writing Code

mvp app how to build an mvp app without writing codeWhen you have a great idea for a startup or a service the first thing you desire to do is create it, talk about it, and see what people think.

In creating a minimum viable product, entrepreneurs choose between experiments that can validate or invalidate their assumptions about a business model. – N. Taylor Thompson

These experiments could be anything from interviews with potential customers, trying to build a client base on the promise of a future product, or building a basic version of your idea and testing it in the market.

That last one is what we’re going to focus on. How can you create software to make a product a reality?

For some people, this means sitting down and writing code. Line after line slowly pieces together the idea and shapes details until a version which works exists.

This is how we make software. It’s how we’ve always made software.

However, you wouldn’t think you needed years of coding experience to create a blog. You could just start a Medium account or a Tumblr, or whichever platform is trendy right now.

Because you’re not the only person who wanted to build a blog, other people with greater technical skill developed tools to help you build blogs without needing to code.

This makes it easier and faster for everyone. But it’s not just blogs which you can build without coding.

In this article, we’ll look at a number of different tools you can use to build a whole range of products by pointing and clicking and dragging and dropping.

If you want to make your product a reality, rapidly building a first working iteration is a very useful option to get started!

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