AboutWriting

Against Lean

One of the reason the Lean approach been so popular is because VCs in the valley wanna see the MVP and traction because they want to de-risk a "deal". In fact, most of them care more about who is you lead investor than the potential upside of the product.

I am an opponent of talking to users and building MVPs, and here’s why:

The "launch fast, fail fast way" is to optimize for the company and investor, not the customer

This approach will likely lead you to very incremental solutions or even make you run around in circles achieving nothing. It lowers the cost of failure (downside), but also the potential impact of success (upside). This approach determines your mindset as a product designer and destroys your potential product/business upside upfront.

Why would you test your product externally so early on and waste that opportunity? You only get one chance to make a “wow” impression for the user, which is important to create the word-of-mouth distribution.

Strong Vision = Strong PMF (Longterm)

Many think it’s like accidentally finding a pot of gold on a long winding journey.

Product-market fit isn't something you just happen upon through iteration. The vision of the entrepreneur is of utmost important since reaching PMF is path dependent.

A lot of people overgeneralize those “Lean” cases. Some founders bumped into PMF after 0 or 1 (inefficient) pivots, and were smart or lucky enough to recognize the potential doesn't mean it's repeatable. ****Most important, It means without a solid vision after the first PMF, the product might fail over time.

Don't Get Fooled by Users

Most failed companies made the wrong “awesome product” by choosing the wrong market and following the wrong direction "told by the user you talked to".

Most users get pitched "understandable ideas" because builders think they have to prove market fit before building product depth. If your business fits in a market design by someone else, you are “default dead” in a competition.

The most successful companies don't discover markets, they create them. Most visionaries forge the macro (10x) jump and then ask customers for the micro improvements. The meaningful, big-leap innovations are often not obvious from the start: If you're creating something that will be a great company 10 years from now, most people will probably not get it at first.