Your minimum viable product needs to be the minimum required to produce a fully functional product, but not more. Keep it simple.
Tribute Media didn't invent the phrase "done is better than perfect," but we sure like it. This concept is at the heart of our website optimization approach to web design and web marketing. First, let's establish what that DOES NOT mean:
Sloppy is better than perfect
Broken is better than perfect
Incomplete is better than perfect
Your Website’s Bear/Bare Necessities
So you’ve probably seen that 1960s animated film The Jungle Book. If you haven’t, you really should (but wait until after you’ve read this blog). If you have, you must remember the song that Baloo the bear sings, “The Bare Necessities.” (Actually, now that we’ve mentioned it, it might be stuck in your head right now. Sorry about that.)
Anyway, Baloo was right—it’s good to focus on the stuff you really need in life and not sweat everything else. That’s good advice when it comes to your website too.
In his book Do It Right: A CEO’s Guide to Web Strategy, Tribute Media’s founder Corey Smith talks about the early days of Disneyland. When the theme park first opened in 1955, it had plenty of the attractions that everyone knows and loves today—Tomorrowland, the Jungle Cruise, Sleeping Beauty's Castle, stuff like that.
It didn’t have everything ready, though. It’s a Small World, for instance, didn’t open until 1956. Instead of waiting to get all the attractions done, Walt Disney opened the park when it looked good and had enough constructed to give people their money’s worth. If Disney had waited until every single attraction was finished, Disneyland would never have opened.
To put it another way, Disneyland opened when it had a minimum viable product or MVP. When it comes to your company’s online presence, you should take a similar approach.
Needs First, Wants Later - The Website Optimization Approach
Far too often, businesses let their marketing efforts gather dust while they fuss over bells and whistles on their website. This is like keeping Disneyland closed for 64 years so you can finish the new Star Wars-themed “land” (coming in 2019--yay!).
Instead of trying to make your site absolutely perfect, focus on getting your MVP done. Build the things you absolutely need first and start a wish list of all the extra stuff that can be tackled later. This idea lies at the heart of an innovative approach to web development and marketing we like to call "Website Optimization"--other adopters of this philosophy will also refer to this approach as Growth-Driven Design.
Ben joined the Tribute team in 2014. He holds a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara. In addition to writing content for Tribute Media, he is a regular freelance contributor to *Boise Weekly’s* music section.