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“Intermediate” MVPs

At Eric Ries' fantastic Lean Startup Conference last Friday, I had the privilege of working the Customer Development panel.  While the translation to video is a bit tough due to awkward dead air while questions were being asked (Sean Ellis thankfully repeats the questions), I'm proud we closed the day off with a full session's worth of questions from the attendees.   After all, that's who the conference was for. Perhaps more of these can be sprinkled throughout the day in the future and even include a means for remote viewers to ask questions.  What do you think?

I liked one question in particular, because it concerns something I've been thinking about recently.  Erin Turner asked about landing pages as Minimum Viable Products (@23:05 in video).  I didn't opine, though I would have enjoyed challenging my friend David Binetti with an alternative take, and since the subject is covered in my new book, The Entrepreneur's Guide to Customer Development, I missed an opportunity for shameless self-promotion.   One that I will now partially remedy.  ; ) Continue reading ““Intermediate” MVPs” »

Your Business “Driving Force”

In Andrew Chen’s recent post, “Does every startup need a Steve Jobs?”, he discusses IDEO’s “product framework for Desirability, Feasibility, and Viability.” Chen’s descriptions of business-, engineering-, and design-focused product perspectives reminded me of the work on companies’ “driving force” popularized by Michel Robert in his series of business strategy books. Understanding your “driving force” is critical to understanding what products to build and who to build them for. The driving force helps shape technology choices, importance of design, market segment, and business model as well as company culture, growth plan and exit strategy.

The basic point, is that while all companies employ technology, sell products or services, employ technology, market to specific segments and use certain distribution methods, one factor dominates (or should dominate) the others in terms of business strategy.

one component of the business is the driving force of the strategy — the company’s so-called DNA. This driving force, in turn, greatly determines the array of products, customers, industry segments, and geographic markets that management chooses to emphasize more or emphasize less

Here is a subset of driving forces Robert discusses:

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