What Crazy Things Can Derail Your MVP?

...If you're not careful

There are the obvious things like your team and execution that you should absolutely focus on when you are developing your MVP. But are there some non-obvious things you should focus on too?

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I'll tell you the story of what stopped us from announcing our MVP in today's short video. I never would have guessed in a million years that this would happen, but it did.


Read The Video Transcript Below:


So what are the crazy problems that you might encounter when you're developing your MVP? Well, let me tell you, the obvious ones are execution problems, right? That your team just isn't working well together. That maybe the specs are moving. There's no schedule. You're behind. Blah, blah, blah.

Those are the logical ones. But let me tell you one that may get you thinking about things that you really need to think about when you're developing your products. Here's what happened to us.

Our first product was a fairly simple product. It was an amplifier that our VP of engineering was expert in. He had developed many of these in the past and his confidence rate of getting what's called in the semiconductor business, "first, silicon success", was very high.

In fact, he said he'd never had a product that didn't succeed. First time, ever. So we excitedly, we get our product back, we get what are called the wafers back and we probed the wafers, which means that we're going to look at them. And Jeroen, our VP of engineering and my co founder, and I went into the lab. We're super excited. We go the lab and we set it up.

We get the oscilloscope set up so that we can look at it and what happens? It's a dead short. Just like this flat. Put a voltage in, waveform, flat. What's going on?

Jeroen was surprised. I figured it was nothing at the time. I figured, "Ah, just the set up's wrong. We'll figure it out." Well. No. It turned out to be something totally different. You know what it turned out to be? So Jeroen tells me, "Look, I got to go look at this. It maybe a while.

He comes back into my office later and he tells me, "Brett, I think there's something wrong with the wafers." That was what he said.

And it turned out, after a few weeks of investigation on our part, that our fabrication facility had inverted a mask layer which means that essentially, if you can imagine what was positive was negative, essentially is the way to look at that.

So everything was all screwed up, but the product was working and he showed me how was working, but it just was all screwed up because of this one mask layer. And then eventually the fabrication facility, which is very well known, highly respected, tells us that they screwed up.

So what does this mean to you? Now, obviously this probably isn't gonna happen to you. Most people don't do semiconductors these days, but what does this tell you?

It tells you that your vendors are really important. Your vendors can screw up. And you have to remember that because you don't know where the screw ups are going to be.

They come from all sorts of crazy places. And you know what happens is you lose time and time is the most precious resource you have when you're starting a company.

So that's my MVP story of something that happened to us which we weren't expecting. Who knows will happen to you, but all sorts of crazy things can happen. I'm Brett at www.brettjfox.com Have a great, great day.

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