10 years after the publication of Eric Ries’ seminal “The Lean Startup”, the idea seems to have become an orthodoxy in startup- and tech circles. Research suggests that >80% + of all Silicon Valley startups more or less follow the concept.
Talking about MVPs is now also commonplace in many of the enterprise organisations we work with. Even the behemoth of agile frameworks, SAFe, that’s employed mostly by large corporates, has meanwhile added Lean Startup concepts to its toolbox.
So do launching an MVP to the public and then applying “Validated Learning” as well as “Innovation Accounting” reign supreme and bestow increasingly awesome products on us? Well – maybe not always.
It would seem that some of the world’s most successful Tech companies work differently. They iterate their concepts (a lot!) internally before deciding to launch anything. Maybe not to the extreme of building out alternative production prototypes that Apple’s secretive Apple New Product Process (ANPP) would appear to suggest – mind you it has probably changed a bit some since my days there. Rumor has it though, that Amazon refined Amazon Web Services’ PR/FAQ documents for multiple quarters before finally deciding to launch. Animation superstar Pixar follows a similar approach in their iterative reviews of movie concepts by what is known there as the “Braintrust”.
The links below provide some deeper insights. Personally, I believe that combining the core of Facebook’s “Three Questions” with Amazon’s “PR/FAQ”, plus Pixar’s candor in an iterative-incremental scheme, would make an awesome ideation flow to “…push towards excellence, and root out mediocrity.” (Ed Catmull, Pixar’s ex-CEO). Just a thought for the weekend…
Facebook’s ‘three questions’
How Facebook puts the user at the center of every new project. By Roberto Pesce (based on a talk by Facebook’s Julie Zhuo – link in the post)
Have a great rest of the weekend!
PS There are more links on Pixar’s way of building on collective creativity instead of individual ideas in a “Weekend Reading” post I wrote last June!