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Opt for Scope Rather Than Quality

Given deadlines, budgets, and other limitations, entrepreneurs should opt to trim the scope of a product/ feature list over sacrificing quality. Of course, if entrepreneurs are truly building an MVP, there won’t be too much room to trim.

In cases I’ve alluded to in my previous posts, many startups and wantrepreneurs make the mistake of jam-packing version 1.0 with several features without giving much attention to quality.

Having started a development shop recently with a couple previous partners, we must manage expectations. Many clients ask for feature-filled products from the get-go. We’ll provide them our thoughts on a more lean approach, but also give them what they asked for. Unsurprisingly, many companies and wantrepreneurs are sticker-shocked… some naivety to the technology and development world, many believe coding/ programming is simple and can be done cheaply.

With a budget half of our estimate, many still ask to fit all the features in believing they can sacrifice some level of quality in favor of more features. However, we push back – trimming scope rather than quality knowing that delivering all of the features would likely leave the product susceptible to quality issues.

In many markets, and indeed relationships, customers are less-forgiving regarding crashes and bugs vs. believing “in the vision” of what a product could be. That is, if customers are trialing a product, a feature-filled product with several bugs can be hard to use. Any feedback received will likely be around the bugs themselves.

Instead, the advisable route would be obtaining feedback regarding user experience and desired features – a well-built product with limited scope. User feedback would then lean towards “asking for new features” – the market pulls the startup in a direction with demand and products aren’t over-developed.

How could you argue features could be valued over quality? How else could stringent facets like timelines, budget, and the like be mitigated? What conditions would customers be more forgiving regarding quality of a new product or service?

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