Perfection By Subtraction – The Minimum Feature Set

Steve Blank

By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist.”
Book of Five Rings

I was having coffee with a former student who was complained that my idea of building a first product release with a minimum feature set was a bad idea. (One of the principles of Customer Development is to get out of the building and understand the smallest feature-set customers will pay for in the first release.)

“Steve, you’re wrong. I can’t get more than one of ten potential customers to think that this is something they’d buy.”  I asked, “So what does the one who likes it say?”  “Well he didn’t like it either.” he replied, “but when I started talking about our entire vision, he couldn’t wait to help get our product into his company.”

The Minimum Feature Set is Not The Goal
This minimum feature set (sometimes called the…

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