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At a minimum, a simple Ad Words smoke test would have revealed how utterly bad the concept was.” – Eric Ries Unfortunately, there are no black and white rules on how long it should take to create a minimum viable product (MVP), and it differs with each product and vertical.

But, in general, an MVP is an iteration that has only the features needed to allow you to ship it to early adopters.

For more advice on the topic, I highly recommend Giff Constable’s book, .

This book is chock full of lessons on how to gain early customer feedback even before you have a product. Your gut is great at coming up with ideas and assumptions based on your prior experience, but it’s almost always wrong. You must always be able to validate these hypotheses with hard data.

When we put ourselves out there, we’re potentially subjecting ourselves to rejection by unenthusiastic, uninterested, or overly critical people, which can be a bit scary.

But, it’s this type of scrappy validation that can put you on an early path to building something people actually want to use.

Vanity metrics can paint a false picture of your company’s progress and lead to an erroneous decision (like focusing on pageviews or traffic and not revenue).

In this way, vanity metrics can be extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.

Otherwise, they’ll be left in the dust of smaller, more agile teams.

Intuit, for example, has adopted lean startup techniques internally, allowing them to be more flexible and iterate faster than a typical company of their size.


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