Technology companies and start-ups in general often launch what is called a “minimum viable product” or MVP. An MVP is designed to be the most basic version possible of the end-product they envision for the market. The idea is to get something built quickly so that you can begin testing the market with it as soon as you can.
The goal of the MVP is to learn as much about what your target audience wants before you bet three years of development and all of your funding on a product. For example, Groupon, the daily deal website that took the internet by storm a few years ago, actually began as a daily flyer distributed by hand and grew into a web application when the founders saw what—and why—their audience reacted to.
This is a really scrappy way to approach business that I think advisors can appreciate. We may not be building mobile apps or enterprise software, but we remember what it was like starting out. When we were at the beginning of our careers, we were bold and willing to take risks. We may not have embraced discomfort, but we endured it.
(Related: Want change? Fire yourself)
At the time, we didn’t have a choice. We were the new kids on the block and being scrappy was the only advantage we had against our larger, more established competitors. Where they weren’t willing to cold call prospects to get new business, we were. Where they rested on their laurels and delivered the same old products, we sought out new and innovative options.
We sometimes stumbled and fell down, but we always fell forward, so even if our nose was a little bloodied we were at the very least farther down the road to success than when we had started.