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Prioritizing MVP Features -- are you boiling the ocean or a cup?

· 2 min read
Vince Fulco


As a solo or small-team startup, it's easy to fall in to the trap of overbuilding. We are surrounded by extraordinarily designed products and services from well-funded companies with hundreds of developers, product managers, and designers. It's a bit overwhelming and yet we still aspire to bring a differentiator to B2B clients' lives.

One of the techniques to keep me on track with short and long term goals--ya need to hit the short term ones if you have any chance at the big picture ones--is to ask the question, "are you boiling the ocean"?

This great phrase came from YCombinator ( luminary, partner and all-around grounded startup guru Dalton Caldwell in a YT video. As an aside, be sure to check out all the video series for invaluable, consistent reality checks.

Whenever I am considering a shiny new feature which "will definitely cement" my MVP's place in the hearts of clients and prospects, I ask myself the question above. I try to ask a few times a week, but when I am especially creative but likely off-track on what's the immediate next right thing to work on, I ask a few times a day.

It's a great tool for near continual course correction back to one's true path. What are your best tips and tricks?

Sidenote-- / is an emerging startup narrowly focused on delivering tools and services. We have an internal road map with a series of enhancements to make the hiring practices of SMBs and startups much easier and successful.

What's with the blog post images? We are big fans of innovation and trying to bring the world solutions which have never existed before. So we have reached back in history to find examples of the efforts of others. Besides finding enough images for posts is tough!