If you have an app idea that you want to develop but aren’t sure where to start, we recommend you consider developing a Minimum Viable Product (also know as an MVP) before developing a fully functional application. The core MVP concept is derived from lean manufacturing, which promotes creating higher value products faster and more cost effectively by eliminating wasteful features or practices. As the late renowned scholar W. Edward Deming advocates, if you want to increase productivity and profitability, focus on quality and reduce waste as much as possible.
What is the ‘waste’ Deming refers to? In terms of developing an early stage app or software service, waste can be considered any feature or action that isn’t essential to the program’s core functionality. Thanks to the plethora of affordable resources available online, in print, and through programs such as the ATDC, more and more founders are appreciating the value of starting with a simplified version of an app idea, also known as a Minimum Viable Product. We feel so strongly about the importance of developing an MVP for your app or tech startup idea that we’ve even created a FREE resource on the subject: The Ultimate Guide to Building an Effective Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Further Recommended Minimum Viable Product Literature
While the goal of our free guide is to help provide a basic, yet practical introduction to the MVP process, you will undoubtedly find value in reading some of the primary sources who helped popularize the MVP concept. American Entrepreneur Eric Ries is largely considered the most renowned author on the subject with his breakthrough books The Lean Startup and The Startup Way. Eric’s insights into how the MVP approach was used to develop successful platforms like Dropbox, Zappos, and Groupon are helpful modern day examples of how in some cases just one or two people can take a very minimal idea to market, and get enough feedback and traction to build out more features.
After I first read The Lean Startup, I was able to see software development with a whole new lens. Previous errors or concerns such as “will people think it’s polished enough?” or “we can’t go live without having this feature and that feature!” went out the window. These days we work hard to strip everything down to a simple concept: what is the problem at hand, and how can technology solve the problem as easily and efficiently as possible. We value this approach because not only does it save clients time and money, but it also reduces wasted efforts for our development team as well.
As I continued to obsess over the idea of reducing wasteful endeavors, I went further back in time to research one of the foremost scholars on the subject, the late W. Edwards Deming. Deming was an engineer, statistician, economist, professor, and in my opinion, a terrific author on the subject of lean manufacturing, the importance of quality development standards, and increasing profitability by decreasing wasteful practices. His book Out Of The Crisis offers key strategies and insights into how to think and engage more efficiently, while improving quality and profitability along the way. Importantly, he also outlines what he calls the “14 Points of Management” for leaders to adhere to, and the “7 Deadly Diseases” that can be found in struggling companies. Deming’s Out Of The Crisis is a remarkable, no-nonsense work that can help you think about the MVP process in meaningful ways–if you’re up for the challenge!
If you enjoy Deming’s book and wish to learn more about how his concepts were combined with lean manufacturing ideas and the Japanese concept of Kaizen to revolutionize the auto industry in mid-twentieth century Japan, you might also enjoy reading one of the most notable books on the subject, The Toyota Way by Jeffery Liker.
Do you have an idea for an app, web app, website, or just business in general? You can contact Winnona Partners anytime to get started!