It's All About the MVP, Obey Gall's Law

It's All About the MVP, Obey Gall's Law

Awhile back, I was browsing the net and I came across an article called Top 10 Programming Lessons in 10 Years. All 10 11 lessons are something that every software developer should practice. The one lesson that entrepreneurs should take note of is Gall’s Law. The author writes:

When coding a project, take the shortest path to a simple system that works, even if it’s only a fractional subset of the total project requirements. Then incrementally add functionality, testing as you go, until the project is completed.

This probably sounds familiar to most software developers as this is the fundamental principle of Agile Software Development. Entrepreneurs should know this concept as developing the minimum viable product (MVP). Take note, that most of this advice is primarily applicable to the SaaS industry only.

You want to get to market right? Well, you can’t develop a grandiose plan for a revolutionary product that will change the world. You must focus on getting to market as soon as possible. Doing so will validate your product and allow you to receive instant feedback. This is exactly what software developers do when practicing an Agile Methodology. The software is delivered in iterations - at the end of each iteration, a fully tested, usable product is delivered to the customer. That’s what entrepreneurs need to be doing and hence obey Gall’s Law.

Consider Lateef Johnson’s company, Deckerton. Lateef quickly built a MVP. I saw the very first version, it sucked. However, Lateef knew that that didn’t matter. He knew that he needed a public prototype fast. He knew that he needed to sign-up customers. He knew that once he had customers it would be much easier to raise money. Lateef has done all of this in a matter of just a couple of months. His current product is still in a crude state, but little by little he is iterating and delivering based upon customer feedback. Customers are what matter.

What have we learned? If you obey Gall’s Law you get customers faster, which in turn means that you get revenue faster, which means that you profit faster. Thus, obeying Gall’s Law helps you make money faster.

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-JP Richardson

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