Sunday, July 19, 2015

Minimum Viable Product: Get Something Out There

I was having a conversation with my father a few weeks ago. We were talking about my website and how it was not online yet. (That was part of the conversation, at least.) When I gave him my reasons, his said to me, "Those are just excuses. In software we have something called a 'minimum viable product' it means you need to get something out there. You can improve it as time goes on."

Now, there is more to "minimum viable product" than what he said, and what I paraphrased from him. (Officially its the core features of the product with nothing else.) But he had a point. Its better to have an 'OK' project out in the public and update it later, rather than nothing in the public and an eternal work in progress.

Think of it this way, have you ever seen a bad Kickstarter campaign? They usually consist of one, or a few people sitting in front of a camera telling you about their idea. They don't show you anything, and just tell you about it.

It does not make you interested in it, does it? At a minim, you want to at least get an idea of what they are working on. If they are building a game, you want to see some character designs, or better yet, actual game play footage.

In the context of my site, it meant I had to get it online now. Most of the work for my website was done, as I had told him, but I was waiting on graphics. The thing is, graphics are not needed for a website. Yes, they help make the site interesting and less flat. But its not a core feature.

So, how does this apply to music? Well, its quite simple really. Just get it out there.

It is easy to get caught into the mindset of "I need to perfect my music before I push it out there". I have been there. In some ways, I am still struggling with that mentality. But if you never release anything, then you will never get anywhere.

Its far better to have a consistent public presence, even if your work is rough around the edges. It gives you more time to make connections and grow and audience. And if people complain about the flaws of your work, then its just more feedback for you.

This applies to many other areas. Lets say you want to start a YouTube channel. You could spend months saving money for the right camera mic and video software. Or you could turn on your webcam and start recording from that. No, the videos will not be great, but you will be out in the public longer and have more time to improve. Plus, if you find that you hate making videos, then you wont end up wasting your money.

As for my website. As of this writing, it is online. It doesn't have cool graphics and is pretty dull. But I at least have somewhere to point when I am showing someone my work.

See you soon,

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