Pragmatic Projects #1 The Minimum Viable Product

In your mind, you’re building something brilliant, something astounding
and you can see it very clearly. It’s going to be worth the effort you
put in. It’s going to work. But you’re also thinking that it looks a bit of
a bigger job than you first thought. Which leads you to those “other”
times. The times when you feel like the man in the picture and you
simultaneously think how the hell did I get all the way up here and
how the hell do I get down? That’s when a platform that you can
use a Minimum Viable Product strategy on is really useful. Ah, the Web!

The Minimum Viable Product is a strategy for delivering just those
features that allow you to test your product, usually in the hands of
a closed set of users. I’ve been using this strategy to deliver web
apps successfully for the past 10 years and I’ve also had great
results from it. It can be used as part of an iterative, agile start
rollout but the important aspect is its ability to give your project
early feedback, keep you on the right path and, as a result of
‘delivering’ something, it can really keep the energy high on the

So that’s the next task, take the overall game idea (that was pitched
last week to a few people and wasn’t totally derided!) and work out
what’s the minimum amount of things I need to do in order to deliver
something to test and play with. In theory I will be able to produce
several of these documents of increasing functionality. I’ll wait
until after the first one!

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