Minimum viable success

Most people who get involved with startups have heard of the term ‘minimum viable product’.  The most basic product that startups should take to the market to receive feedback in order to achieve product market fit.

One of the questions I have been contemplating is, while there is so much discussion around the success of startups, we are also starting to hear a lot more about failures, or more correctly how do we embrace failures or redefine our understanding of failures.

These are all very relevant.

However, as much as we have talked about startups failure, many of them actually ‘move on’ and do other (perhaps better) things.  Because these days entrepreneurship is often built on choice, rather than necessity.  People have options.  And when there is option, there is the chance of giving up.  At least giving up on pursuing the entrepreneurship route.

But one of the topics that we have not asked enough is ‘what is the minimum viable success’ that startups are willing to endure?

If you think, isn’t that when you have enough cash to keep your startup afloat?  Well, that’s only addressing ‘minimum’.

If you think, isn’t it when you have market recognising your efforts? Well, that’s only addressing ‘viable’.

The key word is success.

Because when we think of success, in the startup world at least, we think of unicorns, we think of exits, we think of IPOs.

But what about minimum viable success?  What is the most basic success that will keep people going so that they believe it’s all worthwhile?

It is the purpose.  It is why people want to do what they do.

Perhaps that’s what entrepreneurs need to get them through the toughest times.

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