The importance of minimum viable products and user focus
Michael Jurewitz, former developer tools evangelist at Apple, has been blogging up a storm this week, with two great pieces on two important subjects for developers. First is the idea of minimal viable products, or how much you need to build in order to be able to start selling your current work, and supporting your future work. Jury says:
The second, not unrelated topic is user focus, or understanding how your product will provide a delightful user experience before you type character one on code. Jury again:
Back in a past life, when I was working in product marketing, I used to think of roadmaps like season arcs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I'd seen how Joss Whedon would graph out major character moments and beats on a white board, and I wanted that same sense of story, of major plot points, and of epic final releases that he brought to television.
In entertainment, you have to grab the audience. In software, you have to grab the user. Each major point release has to have something interesting in it, and it all has to build to the next major version number.
You can't and shouldn't blow the whole story in the first episode, and you can't and shouldn't blow all your features in a 1.0 release. You should create interest and get the job done, absolutely, but you should also leave people wanting more. And you should know how your next act, your 2.0 is going to premiere, and build towards it. (That's also how you attract and maintain press attention for your products, of course, because we're simply an extension of audience.)
Go read Jury's articles, then go make some more great stuff.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.