Female entrepreneurs share their top advice for launching smarter.
By the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC)
What is one important piece of advice you’d give a fellow entrepreneur about to launch their MVP?
Embrace Your Market’s Feedback
Embrace your market’s feedback as you pursue your MVP. Consider your target market as an extension of your research and development team. Try your best to operationalize your development cycles in such a way that you can respond to market feedback quickly. Never consider your product completed; view it as a constant work in progress.
– Mary Ray, MyHealthTeams
Rejection Is Part of the Game
It’s easy to pour your entire being into a new project. Know that you’re going to face rejection and judgment from the beginning, but remember that you can use this feedback to make your product or service better. When you take negative feedback personally, it’s easy to get distracted from your goals.
– Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems
Expect to Be Surprised
Every time we launch a product, I am inevitably surprised by how user feedback and behavior differ from my assumptions. I struggled initially to let go of my expectations and listen to our customers, and that slowed our product evolution. Now, I work to cultivate openness in myself and our team so we can learn from those surprises and create something better than what we first imagined.
– Martina Welke, Zealyst
Don’t Tell Dream Clients About It
When Enplug launched our MVP, we did not share it with anyone except a very closed group of people. We also did not share it with any press because we didn’t want people to see V1 of our product. We want people to experience V3 or V4. Until we built a product that we felt comfortable charging people to use, we kept our MVP launch as quiet as possible.
– Nanxi Liu, Enplug
Get Ready to Track Metrics
An MVP is great for getting your product in market in its most fundamental form. Now, get ready to collect lots of feedback about your MVP once it’s out to customers and users. It is important to have an in-depth understanding of which metrics and insights you want to track so you can properly steer the next phase of product development.
– Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Manage Expectations With Your Team
Product launches never go as smoothly as you hope. If your team hasn’t been through an MVP launch before, make sure to talk clearly and openly about your expectations for the launch. You don’t want your team to feel like it has failed if the launch doesn’t go as planned. Launches can feel like a rough draft, and that can demoralize a team.
– Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent
Create a “Minimum Delightful Product” Instead
A minimum viable product isn’t going to wow anyone unless it’s an out of this world innovation. It’s better then to come up with an MVP plus one thing that’ll make it delightful for the user; this could be interesting design or a feature. You want to leave the user feeling that something is different about this product and this company.
– Divya Dhar, Seratis
View It as a Work in Progress
Your product will inevitably have flaws right out of the gate. Insisting on perfection will stop momentum in its tracks, so do the best you can, and then pull the trigger. The key is to pay attention and leverage your learnings to improve the offering over time.
– Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work
Put Effort Into Each Step
You’ve done the work to create your MVP, but that’s just the beginning! Put just as much energy into identifying potential customers, doing outreach and getting it in front of them as you did in putting the MVP together.
– Leah Neaderthal, Start Somewhere
Know the Value of Failing
Running an MVP that “fails” is just as valuable — perhaps even more so — than running one that is is a success. Success just means you tested something you already knew. Failing gives you the opportunity to learn something entirely new, and it points out where you need to pivot and provides extraordinary opportunity.
– Alexis Wolfer, The Beauty Bean
Define Success Before You Start
It’s easy to decide what to do if your new MVP doesn’t sell at all or if you have people begging for you to make it more widely available. But what do you do if your results fall somewhere in the middle? Rather than deciding on the fly, figure out what results you need to see from your MVP to keep moving forward before you launch. Your goals don’t have to be huge, but they do have to be clear.
– Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting
Done Is Better Than Perfect
It’s easy to push the release back week after week to get in one more feature or cosmetic tweak. If you do that, though, you’re likely going to waste time and money building in the wrong direction. Get your first iteration out there, listen to people criticize it, and bite your tongue. Remember that people love to be co-creators, so just by listening to users’ advice, you’re creating advocates.
– Heidi Allstop, Spill