onion startups

I've thought and talked a lot about startups—this shouldn't be that surprising giving my field.  In doing so, I've crafted a theory for making startups successful, though I have no practical experience in testing it.

We know that every startup has its core: the minimal viable product that can start getting the attention of investors or consumers.  But after this core, they need to grow, or add another layer of product that builds on the core.  And then they need another layer, and an onion.

The idea is that startups need a road map for progress.  The minimum viable product is essential, but they also need to know each stage of production.  As in, what comes immediately after the MVP?  And what about after that?  Do we waste time floundering around looking at our motley of ideas?  Does each developer work on a different improvement until one takes?

If your idea doesn't have multiple stages beyond the MVP, it might not have long-term value.  On the other hand, the final product should be substantial, but not bloated.  Make sure each layer depends on the previous one so that it's not a branching of random ideas.  We are not a broccoli.

In the end the goal should be to solve a single problem well, and each layer hones expands and generalizes the solution.  I think that people in the startup world already know this—it's the people who are toying with the idea of doing a startup for the first time that need this perspective.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe apple was a misnomer after all :)