Startup tip #6 – Launch a scaled-back version

The lean startup movement talks about starting with a minimum viable product: the product with just the necessary features to get money and feedback from early adopters.

Although  typically applied to tech businesses, it can work for other businesses too. What is the simplest product you can get out there to test customer demand?

The advantage of this approach is that you can find out early whether people will buy your product or service and what features they want. Then you can use this information to build a more fully featured product as your next version. It also can save you time and money in proving your business idea is viable.

This approach doesn’t work for every business but it will for many. How can you apply it to yours?


  1. Great article Susan. As Mark Zukerberg has said ‘done is better than perfect”. For me, at Contract Boutique, it was about identifying which legal forms and contract templates I believed small businesses most wanted, and making those available on my website first, knowing that I would continue to built the offering. One way I’ve done this is give my website visitors the ability to “request a template”. So, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, they can ask me to create it for them. This is really powerful in terms of understanding what my customers need.

    • Thanks Larissa. That is a great example of how businesses can start with a smaller offering and grow it as they get to know what their customers want. Love your strategy of giving customers the option to request a template. That works for them and is excellent market research for you.

  2. This is a valuable approach for sure. Start-ups (and turnaround companies alike) who are launching something new need to balance the insider’s view of “what’s enough” with the user’s perspective of “what I expect.” This is to say, the customer’s attention span and patience is finite, so launch lean but launch well. I also covered this in a post on my site entitled, “Spare A Thought For The Almighty Proof Of Concept” ( which covers how a proof of concept is often the best investment a team can make. Put in a little more effort to make it nice and you have a MVP launch. Thanks for this post!


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Introspect Design. Introspect Design said: #6 Launch a scaled-back version […]

  2. […] launched a minimum viable product – and got it out there as soon as he […]

  3. […] bad  but keep going anyway. “You need to accept that there will be problems with your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and your goal should be to get a basic idea across of what you are trying to do.”  John […]

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