john hex carter

Projecting: What's an MVP?

I'm starting a new code project and I'm at the point I love most on every project: PLANNING! In my life, I've ran several large music events, helped launch a monthly subscription service, launched two successful crowdfunding campaigns, self-published a novel, had a card game published, and so on. I do projects. I love doing projects. In fact I don't really have a specialty on the large scale projects I like to take on. I just like the new challenge of creating.

I love creating, but like many other creators, not every project I start gets seen to the end: there's about six board games that haven't yet (and might not ever) see the light of day, who knows how many half-started manuscripts, and more eclectic projects than I can remember. That's because after the exciting part of coming up with an idea and brainstorming implementation comes the toughest part: implementation.

It gets difficult because what sounds like the fun parts of an idea are often times where the difficulty lies. That originality of an idea sometimes means for untreated waters, having to figure out how to do "the thing" because no one else has done it yet. That's where the MVP of any project is an important concept. If you don't know, MVP refers to "minimum viable product." Sometimes it's just proof that the idea is viable, sometimes it's setting up the grunt work for the fun work, and sometimes it's just crossing the point of no return so you have to do "the thing" now.

For my novel, Alan, once I hit 25,000 words, I knew I had something; once I knew I had that much to say (and knew I had much more), I was able to give myself permission to keep writing. For the glassware project, Loaded Dice, it was getting the prototype of the product and realizing how the final product would look - a $20 prototype was able to push me and my business partner to launch the kickstarter that achieved $20,000. For this website, the MVP was being able to post, edit, view, and hide blogs. Once I could do that, I allowed myself to launch it. I could always add functionality later. Without worrying about commenting, social media sharing, or even user avatars, I saved myself about a month of work (between the day job) in order to just get this website out in the world. Sometimes being done is more important than done right.

The new project I'm working on is a website, so much like this one, I have to distill it to the basics. There's a lot of fun elements I'd like to add to it, including a mobile app, but if I wait until that's all ready, the site has a chance to fall into the cracks and be forgotten. It's sometimes more important to get something out into the world, even if it's not enough. You can always add more.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this, throw me some coin so I can buy more laserdisc:


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