Focus your MVP right

Thanks to Anthill for this wonderful footage of Bruce Lee playing ping pong with nun chucks! Yes you heard that right, nun chucks no less. Shot in the 1960s and reused in a desperate attempt by Nokia to boost sales for their N96 phone, this short film shows what can be achieved with a life time of dedication and focus.

So what I wanted to talk about today was how to focus your own efforts effectively when selecting which features to introduce in your Minimum Viable Product. Here are some of my own thoughts, having read and digested this wonderful article on the ABCs of an MVP by KissMetrics:

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What about the Competition?

Whatever happened to building strategic competitive advantage? With all the talk of business model generation, lean startups and customer development you might be forgiven for having thought that competitive advantage was all a bit last season. If you spent good money on a business degree that taught you otherwise, never fear. All is not forgotten.

Alex Osterwalder, author of Business Model Generation, has had some interesting thoughts on competition. His view is that competition is part of the environment or operating context for a business model, and is not part of the business model itself. Many of the comments think otherwise, debating the pro’s and cons of designating competitive advantage as being in or out of the business model. Does it matter so long as you are able to change your business model to respond to competitive forces? Let’s take a closer look.

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Business Model Innovation

Note: This article was originally posted here, on InnovationExcellence. I thought I would repost it here.

Nine out of ten business start-ups, and one in six business transformations will confirm it. If you want to be part of the one in ten who succeeds, you’ll need to search for the answers first. By innovating our business model before we start executing, we can improve our chances of success and reduce the high risk and high cost of failure in an uncertain environment.

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Business Plans Don’t Work

Note: I first published this article here, on Innovation Excellence. It got a bit of discussion on the site and through linkedin so I thought I’d report it here.

Business plans don’t work. Nine out of ten business start-ups, and one in six business transformations will confirm it. Learning from the failures of the past, it becomes clear that we have been missing a key step in the execution of our business plans. That key step is the discovery of what works. In this three part series, I’ll look at the way in which business plans lead to failure, the way in which business model innovation can help, and the mindset that is needed to succeed in discovering a new path towards business success.

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Using Design Thinking for Customer Development

Design Thinking starts with the end in mind, and focuses on the consumer and not the producer. This is very different from a problem led approach. By moving us firmly away from the perspective of product development, this approach is much better suited to actually finding out who your customers are and what they will pay for.

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