STEP 5: Change or Die! Tips on Iteration

(This is the 5th post in the series 6 Steps to Startup Launch. You can find the introductory post here, and the previous post here.)

After getting feedback from your customers about your MVP, it’s a simple matter of following the feedback, right? Of course, there is always more than meet the eye (ugh). Let’s go through some product iteration guidelines!

1) Don’t just blindly follow the feedback, reflect

You need to take a step back, reflect carefully about the feedback, and determine how you want to use it in changing your MVP.

No, there isn’t a formula as to how this can be done. It all depends on your particular product, market, and feedback results. This is why it’s always a good idea to have domain experts on your founding team – it would be the perfect time to ask them what they think of the customer reaction.

Actually, the challenge here sometimes is finding the time to reflect, as startups often prove to be hectic creatures, where the entrepreneur manages everything.

Force yourself to take that step back.

2) The more, the merrier

So when you collect the data and manage to iterate your product accordingly, isn’t it time to launch?

Well you’re in better state than you were pre-iteration. Still, you mitigate even more risk if you  gather more customer feedback about your newly minted MVP 2.0 and do even more cycles.

Lean Startup author Eric Ries says that “Startups that succeed are those that manage to iterate enough times before running out of resources.”

Iterate then as many times as you can, as often as your time and resources will allow you.

3) Be conscious about time

During the iteration process, be very conscious of the time. Knowing that you are burning through resources as you are iterating, there needs to be a conscious effort to iterate and transform things as fast as possible. As a prime mover in your startup, you have to be extra conscious on developing a culture of speed in your workplace. Work hard, work fast.

4) Delay everything which doesn’t validate your product vision

Remember that at this point in the process, the purpose of the iteration is to validate assumptions, not to create the most complete product ever. Consequently, you should focus less on feedback about complementary add-ons – and instead focus more on feedback which talks about your core product assumptions.

Customer wanting delivery services? Ignore first.

Customer who wants to use your product on his I-phone (your MVP is on Android)? Ignore first. (When Google Chrome was first released, it had no Mac compatibility)

5) Don’t forget about price iteration

The price is part of your product. This part of the business can be extremely tricky, and you do not want to flip-flop on your pricing post-launch. Remember to evaluate your pricing model carefully as part of the iterative process.

Now let’s launch this baby!

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