I like this thought from Seth Godin on the problem with minimum viable product:
There’s a burst of energy and attention and effort that accompanies a launch, even a minimally viable one. If there’s a delay in pick up from the community, though (see #1) it’s easy to move on to the next thing, the next launch, the next hoopla, as opposed to doing the insanely hard work of sticking with that thing you already launched.
I have a bunch of issues with the conversation around lean and minimum viable product (probably the biggest of which is any ideology that people get religious about seems a bit scary). The biggest issue I have, though, is that it seems inherently about building products, not companies. There’s nothing wrong with that if you’re building a little something on the side, but if you’re building a company you have a whole bunch of other things you need to also be thinking about, not the least of which is whether you’re building a product you’re excited about and a company you actually want to work at. I’ve never heard anyone mention either of these as part of the product development conversation and it makes me sad.
Via Ian Sohn
The gist of the argument here is that asking your users to do a bunch of organizing is a bad idea (see: Twitter Lists and Google+). I completely agree when it comes to G+ and completely disagree when it comes to Twitter Lists. Let’s start with the latter: For most people lists have no use. But that’s okay, Twitter doesn’t ask you to make them and doesn’t seem to be bothered if you never even know what a list is (which I assume is the camp most users are in). For a very small group of power users, lists are incredibly important (I’m not one) and in return Twitter gets enough data to organize millions of users into useful categories. Power users products have value to those users (and in this case the company). On the G+ side, building an entire product around making users work to put people into lists seems silly (and I agree is shit work). I still contend that G+ is a perfect strategy and a terrible product. Everyone has said at some point that social networks should behave more like their “real-world” equivalents, allowing you to sort and filter friends. But then you quickly realize that people do all that sorting without thinking and if they had to spend a bunch of time thinking about it they probably just wouldn’t bother. It’s a perfectly logical thesis except that it ignores the real way humans behave. Then again, maybe I don’t know anything … They seem to have a lot of users.