Reducing Product Risk, Removing the MVP Mindset, and Staying Motivated: A Guide to Success

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Sep 15, 2023

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Reducing Product Risk, Removing the MVP Mindset, and Staying Motivated: A Guide to Success

Building a successful product involves navigating various challenges, from reducing product risk to staying motivated when progress seems slow. In this article, we will explore strategies to overcome these obstacles and achieve success in your endeavors.

One crucial aspect of reducing product risk is understanding the different approaches required for different types of customers. Initial releases rarely have all the features teams desire, but continuous iteration can help address this issue. The key is to provide value to users as new features become available. While it is essential to engage with users and understand their problems, it is equally important to recognize that they may not always have the best solutions in mind. As the famous Henry Ford quote goes, "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." Therefore, it is up to us as product thinkers to infer solutions and create innovative offerings.

To de-risk a project effectively, we can leverage Cody's design quality framework, which emphasizes the level of investment required before a solution reaches the customer. The more confident we are in understanding the problem and the viability of our solution, the higher the investment should be. This framework allows us to focus on building features that address specific customer needs, ultimately moving us closer to our desired outcomes.

The concept of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) and Minimum Viable Features (MVF) plays a significant role in proving the effectiveness of our ideas. MVPs and MVFs serve as a testing ground to validate whether our solutions solve the intended problem. Once we establish this proof of concept, it is necessary to invest more resources to fully realize the potential of the product or feature. Releasing regularly enables us to de-risk our vision technically as well. By observing how our creation scales or breaks incrementally, we can make necessary adjustments along the way and avoid potential catastrophic failures.

Now, let's shift gears and discuss how to stay motivated even when progress seems slow. Trusting the process is paramount in maintaining motivation. It is essential to believe that every step forward, no matter how small, contributes to the overall progress. Finding an anchor point, such as where you started, can be a powerful way to measure your growth. By comparing your current position to the initial starting point, you can witness the progress you have made, even if it feels insignificant at times.

Additionally, finding joy in the journey is crucial for sustained motivation. It is easy to become fixated on the desired outcome, but this mindset often leads to failure. Instead, focus on enjoying the process itself. This idea aligns with the concept of Ikigai, a Japanese philosophy that emphasizes the importance of finding purpose in what you do. Remember the words of Zhuangzi, who believed that just being present in the moment is enough. Embrace each step of the journey and find fulfillment in the process itself.

Lastly, never give up. Persistence is the ultimate key to success. It is natural to face challenges and experience setbacks along the way, but the surefire way to achieve your goals is to keep going. Break down your objectives into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate each milestone achieved. As the saying goes, "The small steps of giant leaps." Acknowledge the progress you make, no matter how small, and use it as fuel to propel yourself forward.

In conclusion, reducing product risk and staying motivated are essential components of achieving success. By understanding the unique needs of different customer segments, investing appropriately in solutions, and releasing regularly, we can de-risk our projects and move closer to our desired outcomes. Moreover, by trusting the process, finding joy in the journey, and maintaining persistence, we can stay motivated even when progress seems slow. Remember that success is not solely defined by the end result but by the growth and progress we experience along the way. Embrace the challenges, celebrate the small victories, and keep pushing forward towards your goals.

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