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Actually MVP

In the startup world, there is a lot of talk about building Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). At this point, the concept has become so well-accepted that it has almost become a kind of unquestioned dogma. Yet there is a lot of disagreement about what MVP is exactly, and how to carry it out. Many people in the software industry assume that they know what MVP means, and claim to be using the process, but their production workflow tells a different story.

When it comes to building software, it is often tempting to take an approach akin to building a skyscraper: write the blueprints, obtain the necessary prequisites, then build it to spec. But software is a quickly shifting market. A businessperson may think she knows what the market wants, and plan and begin a project to meet that desire. But by the time the product is built, the needs of consumers have often morphed in a direction that she could never have foreseen.

In this post, we'll take explore some common misconceptions about MVP, some different ways to approach building one in software, and how to best use this tool if you're the CEO or CTO of a startup, a product manager for an established company, or a consultant.

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BDW’s Pitch Night

Yesterday, Quick Left was invited to participate in BDW's (formerly, Boulder Design Works) pitch night. If you're not familiar, BDW is a "...project-based and accredited learning initiative focused on developing today and tomorrow's digital leaders and entrepreneurs... developed by the University of Colorado at Boulder." Because I have experience consulting with startups on web/mobile based applications, I was asked to represent Quick Left with the expectation that I would provide technical and business-oriented feedback to the five groups that pitched.

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