Finding Simple Solutions

Steve Blank has one of the best definitions of what is a startup:

“a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.”

To ensure that a business is scalable, the problem the startup builds a solution for should have a large addressable market.

An important aspect of it being a repeatable process is a function of how simple the solution is.

Thus the harder the problem and the simpler the solution, tends to make for businesses that achieve scale much faster. This does generalize other factors such as network efforts and available distribution platforms etc.

However at it’s crux I do believe simplifying your business to benchmarking how difficult the problem you are solving for is compared to the simplicity of the solution is a great way to quickly evaluate the viability of your startup.

I Do Not Know What I Want To Do?

My niece is on her way to college later this year and like most people her age, she has very little idea what she wants to do at or after college. Unfortunately this trend is a global issue and many parents and their college going kids think that college is some magic bullet that is going to help them realize their true calling. There are several pieces of advice I like to give when this conversation is brought up. Some of them contrary to the common worldview where everyone has a predetermined idea that they must follow. Some of them are:

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Minimal Viable Product Research

I was doing some research on creating a minimal viable product for a short talk I will be giving. Listed below is some of the helpful research material I found.

What is the minimum viable product? – Venturehacks

The Minimum Viable Product Dissected

What happens to user experience in a minimum viable product?

Perfection By Subtraction – The Minimum Feature Set

Can User Experience Designers be Lean?

Milestones to Startup Success

Minimum Desirable Product

Dropbox Lessons Learned

Dropbox is one of those products that I use on a daily basis. It has completely removed my need for USB sticks. This presentation goes over the starting stages of Dropbox, and then onto where they went from idea to execution. It provides a great roadmap for companies that are building products in categories that cause a fundamental shift in existing behavior.

As a side note, if you haven’t signed up for dropbox yet. Please check it out Dropbox.