Minimally Viable

Minimally Viable

Here’s a concept I use with my clients when we are planning ways to accomplish their goals. It falls into the category of useful jargon, so remember my advice on the topic of jargon. 

Minimally Viable is a term borrowed from software development. The idea is that each phase of development will deliver at least some of the functions required. For example, let’s consider a car analogy. Your goal is to get from point A to point B. The ideal solution should be faster than walking, get you there without breaking a sweat, keep you sheltered from the elements, and have zero emissions.  

You might be thinking “I need a Tesla”. It does meet the criteria, but if you can’t go out and get one immediately, ask yourself a few questions to find a minimally viable way forward.

When do I need this?  Can I afford it? Is it available?  Let’s say in this case your budget is keeping you from buying a Tesla right now. Can you wait a while until you have the money for a Tesla? No? Then, decide how you will invest your resources. If you have $150 max to spend each month, which feature is your priority? Speed? Comfort? Impact on the environment?

Which feature could you initially live without? 

Consider alternatives that meet your priorities. Some options could be a skateboard or a bus pass or several Uber rides. These options are all minimal and viable. A tire or floor mats from Tesla may work for your budget but will they be useful? They provide none of the features you need so they are not viable.

So back to your priorities…

Will Zero emissions and speed make your life better? Then, get out there and start riding your skateboard! You get some of the features plus you can start saving money in the next month for the next solution.

Keep validating your needs because they will change over time. It is easy to focus on your ideal solution and lose sight of meaningful ways you could build momentum sooner. The wisest way to build a business is to invest your resources into valuable growth that you can learn from and build upon.

What are you going to do today to improve your business?