As I worked in startups I know the challenge to stay focused while being bombarded by featured requests, ideas and technical challenges way before the MVP has been properly set and evaluated.
As an engineer or technical person it is a common trap to immediately start solving a problem with the toolsets at your disposal. These common mistakes come to mind as dangerous in this phase:
- You a very biased to turn to the technical side of a problem too early (being an technical person). So think hard if a technical prototype is actually the real MVP!
- You are very likely to prioritize the wrong technical features and you might be tempted to implement Nice-To-Have features although there is no demand for them in that development-stage.
- You might use and choose an old habit toolset over a newer approach that would reduce development time out of pure convenience or even worse ignorance.
- You might be tempted to implement non essential parts of the idea opposed to outsourcing them. One needs to keep working on the MVP and not re-inventing the wheel. So make sure to always evaluate using common third-party-solutions rather then reimplementing basic building blocks.
- Keep things simple and add features only if essential to the MVP.
I found a great article outlining (my own experience) about the minimal viable product by Steve Blank @ Medium.
Minimum viable product
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future product development.A focus on releasing an MVP means that developers potentially avoid lengthy and (ultimately) unnecessary work. Instead, they iterate on working versions and respond to feedback, challenging and validating assumptions about a product's requirements. The term was coined and defined in 2001 by Frank Robinson and then popularized by Steve Blank and Eric Ries. It may also involve carrying out market analysis beforehand. The MVP is analogous to experimentation in the scientific method applied in the context of validating business hypotheses, it is utilised so that prospective entrepreneurs would know whether a given business idea would actually be viable and profitable by testing the assumptions behind a product or business idea. The concept can be used to validate a market need for a product and for incremental developments of an existing product. As it tests a potential business model to customers to see how the market would react, it is especially useful for new/startup companies who are more concerned with finding...
Definition from Wikipedia – Minimum viable product