How I went from hating to loving the MVP

So this week at Escape the City we have been working on our MVPs, the basic principle being “Get something out there and learn something from it.” Having worked for so long in tech and content roles, where the term MVP is the buzzword du jour but so often results in weeks-long conversations about what really constitutes a Minimum Viable Product, and what features should be included, and should we really aim for a Minimum Lovable Product, it was a relief to hear that in this case we were taking the term absolutely literally. Suggested MVPs included a basic landing page, an explainer video, a meet up of some kind, a newsletter... Basically lots of ideas but all staying true to the concept that you should just put something out there that really is the minimum effort, time and cost.

Check out one of my landing pages here. This took approximately 4 minutes to build, I think…

This felt really exciting. It brought home to me, again, all the reasons I stopped working for a large organisation, where the fear of damaging the brand or publicly making a bad decision or product often led to paralysis, as we searched for more data, more research, more validation that the thing we wanted to do was good. Escape’s view is rather the opposite — you’ll only know if it’s good if you put it out there and get some feedback.

This is heady, inspiring, liberating, and somewhat terrifying — but so energizing. In our group accountability session we came up with a side hustle (watch this space for more) and by the time I got home I had drafted half a dozen landing pages for us to launch from and the idea is really keeping up its momentum. I can’t help thinking that many people trying to do this in their day jobs would have seen the idea killed by bureaucracy by now.

So, my rallying cry to wannabe entrepreneurs. Build a landing page (we are all loving https://www.carrd.co for giving you something which looks credible in matter of minutes. Design a logo. Write a newsletter. Do it as a side hustle, spend twenty minutes on it, and launch it onto an unsuspecting world. You never know, you might just learn something . . .