MVP or “Only one chance to make a 1st impression”?

MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a topic that won’t die down in 21stC Biz Dev. I covered it – and its weaknesses earlier, but had a practical personal example this week when I launched my London FinTech Podcast

London FinTech PodcastOne summary of MVP theory is “you should be embarrassed by your first version” – the whole point of that methodology being to get something out there and iterate fast.

However there is a very interesting and very relevant principle in Taoism here … yin:yang. It’s more interesting than commonly understood as the common understanding is too narrow, Lets take a practical example from a Taoist art – Zhan Zhuang.  This is, in essence the art of standing still. And perhaps bizarrely to the western mind it is incredibly powerful for health, vitality and is the secret of the so-called “internal” martial arts [which are far harder to learn but superior to the better known “external” martial arts].

To the point.  One person might be leaning to the left, the other to the right. So they will need apparently contradictory instructions.  This situationality/relativity of what is necessary is a principal at the core of applying the Tao and contrasts completely with the Western Platonic idea of The Right Answer.  It is this latter “Right Answer”-ism – which is so deeply programmed into the western psyche – that leads to so many wasted arguments about “this or that”. And in a business context it leads to advice which is never situational, which is “one side of the coin” only.

So if “get something out there” is one side of the coin what is the other?

“Get it right first time”. “You only have one chance to make a first impression”.

Now the Tao is the water way so again there is really no concept of “right” – everything is flowing and on a journey. The same with my podcast. Episode 001 – “Fintech – the 30,000 feet overview” is done and out there. It’s not “perfect” or “right” [that is Platonic thinking, school exam thinking – doesn’t apply in life…].  However it was very well received – I had plenty of flattering praise.

Now I say this not to big myself up here but rather as I put a lot of hard work into it.  My feeling is that in 21stC BizDev one of the secrets is having a really good product. You don’t get that without putting the horsepower in.

Interestingly almost all the advice I had beforehand was (in effect) “MVP” – save money on the microphones, just put some small thing out, don’t bother with music, podcast artwork, the first one doesn’t really matter etc etc.

But everything is yin:yang, situational, or just two sides to the coin.  In this case I only had one chance to make a first impression.  If that first impression impresses [no pun intended but it’s highly relevant…] you are off to a flying start. Everything is a communication. Every communication sends a message and my message here needed to be one of commitment and quality – podcasts take a lot of listeners time – and I wanted the subliminal message to be “I value you listeners as shown by how much I put into this”.

Can you see times when your next project should launch as an MVP and times when you only have one chance to make the first impression?

Do you tend in business to always apply advice which is one side of the coin only?  If you do then you may well see inconsistent results.

Let me know your thoughts!



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