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The Problem with Perfect: The Minimally Viable Product


Minimally Viable: The minimal execution required to serve a market

Premier: The leading product/service on the market

Jason Fried, founder of software companies 37Signals & Basecamp talks about the dangers of waiting until a product or service is "perfect" before getting it to market. If you have a "minimally viable product (or service)", an MVP, don't spend precious time working toward becoming the Premier Product/Service before you release it. The time it takes far too precious to move from Minimally Viable (acceptable) to Premier (the market leader) in a laboratory situation and the opportunity cost is market share and product feedback.

It's virtually impossible to get to "perfection" without client feedback and understanding the real world client experience! So even if you decide to invest the time in creating a premier product while off-market, odds are it's going to need to be changed to meet real world application anyway. Essentially, you cannot be perfect pre-release.

Done is better than Perfect.

Until you begin to work with clients, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW. You can't become the Primer Service/Product because you can't solve problems you didn't know existed. Same is true in Marketing!


We see that marketing is much like product engineering. You have foundational principles, however your actual results will often not meet your expected results. The key is to learn and adjust according. It's an iterative process!

Let's take a Facebook Ad for example. We often use A/B testing (or split testing) in our Facebook ad campaigns. This means we have two ads running concurrently with the same budget, but with one or two key differences. It can be:

-A different market segment

-A different offer (instead of buy one get one, it might be 50% off the first)

-A different copy (text in ad)

-A different graphic/visual/video

-A different run schedule (run on nights only vs run on day only)

In this "bake-off" we use small budgets (like $50/ each ad) to see which one is executing better and then apply the full ad budget to the winning ad. Surprisingly, it's not always the one you put a ton of time into which really reinforces the MVP mantra!

We don't believe in throwing crappy products/services into the market, that doesn't meet the MVP code. However, we recommend spending your time LEARNING FROM THE MARKET, and not feeling the pressure to launch with the premier solution.

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