Why It’s Good to Get Punched in the Face

What Reality Loves to Do to Plans

Reality loves to punch everyone and everything in the face. Especially plans. Huge plans, grandiose plans, top-down designs, pages of words, charts, diagrams, jargon, tables, mountains of data–all that no one will ever read.

These sorts of plans are doomed before they even start. Why? These plans founded on assumptions that no one has validated (yet). So no one knows whether these plans are fragile or robust.

Breaking Bad (Plans)

Fast feedback is a necessity. The whole idea around the minimum viable product (MVP) is to get fast feedback and adjust course accordingly. It’s far better to break a quick MVP than to find out your five-year project was fragile all along.

People playing a board game with index cards

An MVP can be simple as a deck of cards, a pen, and paper.

Building an MVP isn’t always easy. However, a bit of creativity can go a long way. Instead of spending months perfecting a 3-D model, my team built a prototype out of PVC pipe in a matter of hours.

For software projects, an MVP may be a hacky prototype of a new feature. Your million-dollar idea could start out as post-it notes that simulate a user interface. Other times, it could take the form of a single button that, when clicked, reveals the text “Coming Soon.”

In the early stages, fast feedback is more important than perfecting your product. Next time you want to refine your plan before showing anyone, consider building an MVP and seeing how it reacts to Reality (capitals intentional) punching it in the face.

What’s creative MVPs have you seen?

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6 Responses to Why It’s Good to Get Punched in the Face

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