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No MVP without a Customer

I've been around agilist and SW devs that are using the term MVP quite a lot these days.  And when we get deeper into the conversation I learn that the thing there are referring to is not at all an MVP.

Perhaps we need a better term.  Perhaps we should define the terms we are using.  Perhaps we should just use the tools we have to find the better term.   Or I could just tell you - the better term is MBI - Minimum Business Increment.

Why does MVP not suffice?  Because to have a product one needs a customer that has paid for said product.  And the purpose of the MVP was to learn for actual customers about how they liked our product and if we should change it in any way.  It was also a test of our current business model, and an opportunity to learn about our business model (was it efficient, could we optimize it in some way, etc.).

Most MVPs I've discussed with people have no customers - there is no exchange of value.  Therefore there cannot be a product.

What we have is much bet…
Recent posts

Because thinking is hard: we have cognitive bias

I've been attracted to people that are self-aware of their own cognitive bias.  And I will have to admit that I'm not as self-aware.  Yet, I now have a wonderful mental model of human cognitive bias.  A tool to understand and categorize the many, many biases and the questions to inquire into my own preferences and biases.

The article on Medium by author Buster Benson tells the story of his research and learning and the collaboration with graphic artist John Manoogian III - I suggest you read it.


Cognitive bias cheat sheet - Better Humans

Wikipedia's list of Cognitive Biases

Buy the Cognitive Bias Codex poster

Door Security Protocol

This is a test...

How long will it take you to work this out...

Quite a while is my guess.  And only a few will actually try to figure it out.  Most will give up, a few will search online, and a few will have already seen the sequence recognize it and either remember the answer (the next number in the sequence) or derive it with the sparse knowledge they remember about the sequence.

Spoiler Alert!  Let me give you the background knowledge.

You know what a Prime Number is - do you recognize that all the numbers in the list are prime?

Do you know what a Happy Number is?  Or it's inverse an Unhappy Number?  Well, this is a bit more obscure in the general knowledge.  So here is a spoiler...  all those numbers are happy!  They are Happy Primes!

A number is happy when the repeated practice of replacing the number by the sum of the squares of its digits eventually arrives at one.  Example:  13 >> (1^2) + (3^2) = 1 + 9 = 10;  10 >> (1^2) + (0^2) = 1!  Therefore, 13 is Happy.…

Try Recess Kit for great Retros

I've found yet another tool for improving teams.  This is a subscription service that monthly sends you and your team a fun and engaging way to reflect upon your work and discover areas to improve.  Take a look at their site and offering and give it a try like I did.

I will update this post as I get to experience Recess Kit and their monthly box of yummy with my team.

See Also:

Retromat - A well planned Retro

Retrospectives trump Planning

Collaboration Tools List

Craftsman - is not the gender neutral term we men believe it to be

Pondering... why are gender "neutral" words such as craftsman are not as gender neutral as we men seem to think they are?
I've been personally trying to break myself from a bad habit... one that I've thought was not such a big  deal...  I use the term "guys" in mixed company to describe a group of people ... not yet a team.  In mentoring groups toward becoming a team, I reserve that term for groups that truly behave like a real team.  I was giving a presentation at a local special interest group and afterwards a person gave me some useful feedback... my usage of the term "guys" was distracting and verging on "off-putting" in the room of mostly females.  I needed to read the audience and the room - and choosing the proper term would help them to engage... what I truly desired.

I remember in the 1970s (yes this should date me) teachers in school told us that some words were considered gender neutral - I believe that "guys" was on…

When do we begin Colonoscopy on Code?

At what age should we be inspecting all this code full of colons?  Sometime in 1970's the software world had a lot of colons evolving - 1973 for the popular C Language and its family...

That tells us that in 2023 at age 50 the C Language should begin Colonoscopy procedures, yearly.  It's not a pleasant thought but it is the recommendation.
Now some of the more modern (non-legacy) code may not need this extreme level of screening... but how would one know - unless one probes around in all those semicolons.

Now, many Proctologist have worked to make this procedure less stressful, what have we done in the software community to improve patient outcomes, and satisfaction with our inspection and visualizations?

Shall we work on that?

A Beloved Community Fixture

Does your Agile community have a local hub, a place where you are 80% sure you will run into almost everyone in the local universe if you attend enough events, meet ups, and bar tabs?

Mine does, ... let's test this out...  I will tell you my locations - and if you know much about it, let's see if you can ... guess, ... no, not guess,  predict, no... forecast - can you forecast the name of our local hub of Agile community?

I'm in Grapevine, TX ... let me broaden that for you...  Dallas / Fort Worth.

Now if you have any experience with the DFW area ... been to user groups in the area or perhaps software development oriented conferences.... you may know the place where... like Cheers - where everybody knows your name.  Who is it?

Spoilers .... hi sweetie ... I will put the answer a bit further down the page.
I just read this article in INC. - Here's the Secret Sauce for Turning Your Business Into a Beloved Community FixtureBy Leigh Buchanan Editor-at-large, Inc. magazine.