Erik Anderson

Super Lean MVP

This article is written by Mohammad Eslim, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.

Erik Anderson is an entrepreneur originally from Los Angeles but taking an extended “Jobbatical” in Europe: first in London with Techstars and since early 2014 with SWG. After headhunting top founders to join SWG in Tallinn, Erik is responsible for the sales curriculum and driving traction in English speaking markets. He was present at Startup Istanbul 2016 where he gave a speech.

For things to work out in your startup you have to focus specifically on what you do, who you are building a product for and doing it as efficiently as possible. And talking about that brings us to the term ‘Super Lean MVP’, which is basically means doing as little work as possible, while maximizing the reward. This is what we are all here about, making work as easy as possible and focusing on what we are doing.

I’m sure by now you have a brief knowledge about the customer development life cycle, it has four stages that shall be applied thoroughly before going into the market. Going through these stages without a rush, giving all phase its time leads you to understand the customers’ needs and how much are they willing to solve the problem you are selling your products to solve.

The four phases are as the following; customers discovery, customers validation, customers creation and finally comes the company building.

The first stage has three aspects to it but we are going to focus on the first two aspects which are the problem solution fit and the suggested MVP. Those are of the most important parts to focus on when building your product. Steve Blank has always said that if you have hypothesis plus experiment plus data you will gain insight. I think it is important for you to know how important experience is when you want to startup because you will capture insight of who the customer is and who is the user.

Before you build your product you have to brainstorm and think about the problem and solution, once you figure it out you have to focus on it and start talking to people, know what they think and suggest in order to get a feedback. Once you get a feedback you will get a huge database that will out you on your own way to startup your project.

All of this data have to be enough for you to start strategize, though your strategy has to have some point keys and the first and foremost, don’t be creepy about building this product for your type of customers. Second is to NOT do a pitch, let them come to you to find out what you are doing.

Once you are already on one-to-one base communication with them, you must be prepared for some questions to be asked, and it is ok to keep notes. Fourth key is to be observant enough to know what interest them more and what they care about the most.

These notes will help you in your future market as you will be able to understand the customers’ tendencies and directly be able to satisfy them with your products or services.

Building a successful startup is hard and so is to make a product that satisfies the customers you are targeting. The important thing is to build the product on the right bases and a correct data. If your MVP is build on real feedback from customers then your product will become something more successful in your future of startup and later-on in business.

─ April 14, 2019