So, yesterday, I finally launched something that basically did nothing. Finally. It took me two or three months to get here. I wasn’t even counting! Ladies and gentlemen: BattleMuch.com (snowboarding / breakdance / basketball / dance / etc)
I told you it basically does nothing (it’s actually LESS than our MVP). Yes, we used pretty pictures. Yes, it’s not clear AT ALL what we are doing. Yes, we should support Facebook as well as Twitter. But now I know… Oh, and yes, I will add you to the beta invite list, thanks for asking. I mean, we don’t get that response very often but when we do, it’s exciting.
I’ve finally come to understand that with your MVP: You are selling your vision, not your product. But I’ve been spending so much time talking about all of the cool stuff I was building, I forgot to just shut up, get out of the building and start listening to everyone.
Now, I am always reading and thinking about what it means to run a “Lean Startup”. I subscribe to all the right blogs on Customer Development, Viral Loops, Venture Capital, you name it. I have all of the books that “matter”. I’m going to make people both FUCK AND KILL. I can figure out ways to bring the names Steve Blank, Sean Ellis, and Seth Godin into a daily conversation. 37 Signals. There was no reason for that but I did it anyways. I went through the incredible TechStars program and was (supposedly) included in the new book: “Do More Faster” #plug. I’ve got all of the right resources but I still managed to turn something so easy and straightforward into something that took over 2 months just get it in front of someone!
With my first company HaveMyShift, we were able to launch the site in two weeks! And that was before we ever heard of “Lean Startups” and before we even taught ourselves how to program! All we had was a really simple idea with a really simple solution that was easy enough to learn how to build — and we built it. The technical hurdles were so massive, we really had no other choice but to leave things out. Actually, we didn’t even know what we were “leaving out”, since we were so new to programming and entrepreneurship. It was pathetic! It was perfect.
Now that i’m a zillion-bajillion times better at programming(!) I can do everything. Omg uploading those files via AJAX with double the lazer beams is totally super easy. I’ll just add that to “Tracker” and “estimate” my current “velocity”.
“You dummy!”, I tell myself, “It would be like you to get STUPIDER after you learn something new”. But in all seriousness, sometimes, having a process to do all of these things is what causes some projects not to launch. I think the massive number of theories that are currently flying around entrepreneurship circles can sometimes confuse or intimidate new entrepreneurs. And even if its not confusing or intimidating, they all make sense in theory but sometimes you just won’t get it until you actually get the hell out of the building.