Why you’re probably wrong about your MVP

Does the title sounds hyperbolic? Maybe, but think about it. When was the last time something turned out exactly the way you wanted? You’ve got best laid plans but something comes along and gives your plan a little shove and you’re on another path, whether that path is good or bad is up to you to decide. Last week I posted about my experience at AccelerateOTT, here’s the follow up video where I discuss how all the different roles in my career that have helped me become better at building product. Whether it was my time at Airborne, my time building Pornhub and Youporn mobile (don’t expect a link!) Or my current role at Breather. All these experiences helped me hone my product development style.

Where you start isn’t where you’re going to end, and as someone who’s been building product day in and out I’ve come to realize that products, like people, need change and evolution. Users can’t handle products that are bloated with a bunch of different and unnecessary features…but why? The answer is actually simple: feeling overwhelmed. You have a few seconds to sell your product to a user. They’ll download your app and if your signup process is difficult, if your UI isn’t intuitive, you will lose that user – plain and simple. So, how should your product evolve? What features are necessary? That all depends on what you’re building, but I’ll share the method we employ at Breather.

Before you start building, figure out the one metric that’s important to your business and every feature you bake into your product should be focused on growing that metric.


Now, when you and your team are planning, before you say “oh we need this feature!” Think about it, do you really? Do you need another image filter, a fancy carousel or a notification for every event in your app? Probably not. Look at “Yo” and “Secret.” You can’t do too much in these apps. You can send a “Yo” or share a “Secret” with a cool background image. That’s it. It’s easy to understand, dumbed down and straight to the point.

At Breather our goal is to get people into our spaces. Our ethos while building product is:

How do we reduce friction and make it easier to get people into our spaces?

Every feature we develop and build into the product is based on this! It comes up all the time and is the lens for making decisions. There are a million different ways to think about this, but the KISS Principle is my fav.

That’s it! Until next time – keep it simple, stupid!

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