There will never be a perfect time!
Most aspiring entrepreneurs waste a lot of time engaging in white board innovations looking for a perfect formula that remains elusive. The only guaranteed thing an aspiring founder successfully has outside the marketplace at the onset of venture creation is a hypothesis. Regardless of how much behind the scene work one undertakes, everything remains a mere supposition i.e. just an idea waiting to be tested for either acceptance or rejection.
Trying to formulate a final product, service or business model outside the market is an illusory endeavor however there is a very delicate solution. It is called the “Minimum Viable Product”. An MVP is lean business approach that calls for aspiring founder’s to embrace a minimalist mindset. It can be a very costly affair to launch an untested brand having committed all your scarce resources only for the market to outright reject it; equally it is also fatal to continuously remain behind the scene at the drawing table as an aspiring founder hoping for that perfect time to launch your idea. That moment is never guaranteed! Market dynamics can tremendously shift around you rendering all your hard work obsolete because of delay. Modern businesses are susceptible to the trio forces of accelerated change, overwhelming complexities and global competition. Timing is extremely precious in the world of entrepreneurship.
What is a minimalist mindset? As a preliminary startup launch solution, it calls for the pursuit of doing the basic acceptable minimum. That might sound simple but it is a very delicate process. A minimalist strategy does not mean premature market entry or substandard startup positioning but simply adoption of a ‘pause and proceed with caution” approach. A successful minimalist will first make sure the overall big final picture, vision or description of the company in future is clearly articulated and then build a miniature version to allow preliminary market testing. Upon successful verification of all the key variables, other remaining critical pieces are finally rolled out incrementally into a functional business system.
There are three fundamental principles that must be honored for successful use of this approach:
- Big picture vision of the ultimate future promise must always be very clear in the mind of the aspiring founder. This is necessary to prevent future compromise on the original strategic intent.
- The miniature brand launched must incorporate sufficient features to satisfy innovators and early adopters buyers. The value proposed should be satisfactory enough to elicit sensible market response and never sub standard.
- There must be a clearly defined future iteration implementation strategy guided by actual feedback garnered from the marketplace. This is to allow continuous reengineering of the startup brand into a competitive system.
As an aspiring entrepreneur who is currently thinking of launching your business, a good place to start is developing an MVP and committing to progressive iteration your idea until the final/desired product, service, brand or model is realized. The market is the only place that can offer you real litmus test of your business idea. Continuous backend modification and obscurity will only delay in testing its validity and viability.
The whole intention of embracing MVP approach is to leverage on “Innovators/Opinion leaders” and “Early Adopters” buyers to gather sufficient real-time feedback about your value proposition before attempting a full brand launch and scaling. MVP allows you as a founder make rational decisions that are market-driven at the preliminary stage of market entry. This greatly lowers your chances of startup failure.