MVP Stacking is a framework for layering technical investment.
Engineers often fall into the trap of building an entire solution before showing any prototype to a single potential customer. They will tell countless friends, family and other engineers about the project, who will generally be supportive and nice, but...
When you work for weeks, months on a single MVP iteration before pitching a real customer, you lose.
There is your own dark cave where programming happens and you should not dive into there to build endlessly without validating the market. Also acknowledge that your initial conception of your solution will change as you explore it.
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late” - Reid Hoffman
What is MVP Stacking? We start with the simplest possible website you can build, a static HTML page. Your full tech stack journey can be: static HTML → consume an API → → Distributed machine learning models served to every device, but we start simple, with some words and a thesis.
Along the way, we solidify our real life value, market and product thesis.
Step 0: Write your thesis on a piece of paper
What do you care about? What does anyone care about?
What would someone care A LOT about, and why? What can actually change someones life, relationship, job, productivity, job relationships, pain-points, vacation, mental health, well-being? What empowers a new ability to do something novel, to connect, to laugh, to earn?
Return on Energy
As a business, you optimize for returns on invested capital. But "capital" can be anything you have to give - money, time, effort, energy. Let's talk about energy.
Energy can be dissipated.
Consider how you would STOP a person. There are proven ways to stop people. You can tell them they will never make it, and they become discouraged. You can withhold any reward or encouragement, and they become burned out, disinterested or disillusioned. You can cause a huge termite problem in their house and they simply become too distracted.
Energy can be replenished.
First off, get rid of all the energy killers from above. Next focus on what gives you energy in return for the energy you put in. If it's celebrating wins, having a your best friend tell you they believe in you, playing music on full blast, streaking, finding community or building in public. Find ways to build sustained momentum and schedule these in so you can come at this with full force. Remember, in the beginning, and in the end, you are the asset.