How to Rock an ‘MVP Attitude’ in Life

Minimum Viable Products are not just for ‘products’

A Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort

As a wannabe entrepreneur (not that I like to identify as such), I am always reading articles on entrepreneurship, tech and startups.

Minimum Viable Product was one of those terms that I was instantly nodding my head to. ‘Yeah, that’s the way you launch, quickly, and with room for improvement later!’.

But then I thought, ‘ I don’t actually live like that’.

I take forever to complete my projects. I took two years planning my revamped blog, meanwhile not publishing a single word. I took two months to design a new year planner, which I didn’t even use for long.

You might find it weird to use a business term for life. But really, life is all about finding patterns! An MVP can save your time, help you use the minimal resources and avoid loading unnecessary features.

Similarly, in case of life, an MVP Attitude means that you are:

  1. Doing the least amount of research needed, thus avoiding analysis paralysis
  2. To do whatever you aim to do
  3. Without overthinking and overplanning
  4. While committing to the task at hand instead of imagining ‘what if it doesn’t work’ scenarios
  5. Or getting carried away by perfection

Why would you want such an attitude? Possibly for the same reasons as me:

There are three words in my life, that have begun to mean more or less the same thing:

  1. Overthinking
  2. Perfection
  3. and Procrastination
It’s like, you keep overthinking things: Is it perfect? Is it the best possible way to do it? Are you really ready? Is it even worth it? Are you willing to put so much effort in it? Will you make it?

All this overthinking invariably leads to HUUUGEEEE delays. In other words, procrastination.

Now, there’s a tiny chance that maybe you’re overthinking, additional research, and dabbling will help you make the ‘perfect’ decision. More often than not though, it won’t.

And even in the off chance that it does, do you really want to spend two years planning, like I did?

Still need convincing? How about this 3 word summary: Life. Is. Short.

Convinced? Good. Let’s move on to the real thing which is:

HOW TO DEVELOP AN MVP ATTITUDE?

Here’s a One Minute Primer (I *could* make it longer, but we’re talking MVP here):

  1. Write down something that you’ve been wanting to do since forever. Your pet project, your life’s dream — whatever it is, write it down. If you have more than one (like me!), make a list, and decide on one thing to achieve right now.
  2. Zero in on what’s absolutely essential in order to achieve your goal. If you are not sure, ask yourself, ‘What do I need to create the most basic version of what I’m doing?’
  3. The answer to that question will be your own personal Minimum Viable Product. Keep it in mind.
  4. Do some basic research and planning. Understand what you’ll need to learn, and gather any resources, tools, or contacts you’ll need.
  5. DO IT. Don’t overthink things. Don’t aim for perfection. Don’t go down rabbit holes chasing shiny new ideas.
  6. Whenever you come across something you’d like to try, ask, ‘Will not doing this stall my progress in any way?’. If not, note the idea for later, and keep going. Remember, you’ll do everything you want to — but later.
  7. If something looks really important, but is too difficult or time consuming, ask, ‘How can I keep going without this?’. Figure out quicker or simpler alternatives, wherever possible.
  8. Of course, you’ll still need to analyze your progress and do new research. To avoid getting carried away, try a different sort of 80/20 rule: You’ll spend 80% time doing things, and 20% time researching and analyzing.
  9. Keep this up until you’ve reached that most basic version of your dream, your first milestone — your MVP.
  10. Guess what?! You’ve truly made something great now. You are also free to chase whatever ideas you ignored before. Or you can just get started with your next MVP!

Conclusion:

Life is too short to get caught up in unnecessary details. An MVP Attitude involves asking ‘What’s most important?’ and ‘What can be skipped?’ at every step of the way. It gets you that sense of completion and achievement that you’ve been craving for SO long.

Giving quick claps is a kind of MVP for showing appreciation. Try it! 👏👏👏


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