Events Add an event Speakers Talks Collections
 
Startup School Winter 2020
January 20, 2020, Online, USA
Startup School Winter 2020
Request Q&A
Startup School Winter 2020
From the conference
Startup School Winter 2020
Request Q&A
Video
Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Add to favorites
373.37 K
I like 0
I dislike 0
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
  • Description
  • Transcript
  • Discussion

About the talk

YC CEO and Partner Michael Seibel shares his approach to building an MVP and getting your first users as a pre-launch startup. Startup School is YC's free online program for founders.

Transcript and lecture slides here: https://www.ycombinator.com/library/6f-how-to-plan-an-mvp

This lecture is part of YC's Startup School, a free online program and global community of founders. Register and join the community at https://www.startupschool.org/

Timestamps

0:00 Introduction

0:41 First, talk to users

1:40 Goal: launch quickly

2:40 After launching, get feedback

4:30 Lean MVP

5:37 Real-world examples

8:21 Heavy MVPs

9:33 Launches aren't special

11:22 Hacks for building an MVP quickly

12:57 Don't fall in love with your MVP

00:00 Intro

00:41 First, talk to users

01:40 Goal: launch quickly

02:40 After launching, get feedback

04:30 Lean MVP

05:37 Real-world examples

08:21 Heavy MVPs

09:33 Launches aren't special

11:22 Hacks for building an MVP quickly

12:57 Don't fall in love with your MVP

About speaker

Michael Seibel
CEO at Y Combinator

Michael Seibel works at Y Combinator as a full-time partner and CEO of the YC accelerator program. Previously, Michael Seibel was the co-founder and CEO of Justin.tv and Socialcam. Socialcam sold to Autodesk in 2012 and under the leadership of Emmett Shear, Justin.tv became Twitch.tv and sold to Amazon in 2014. Before getting into startups, he spent a year as the finance director for a US Senate campaign and in 2005, Michael graduated from Yale University with a BA in political science.

View the profile
Share

What is Michael, McCary y combinator, i help run the accelerator before then. I did two. I see startups, once 2007 and 1012. And today. I'm a talk to you about minimum viable product to MVP. We always yell at Founders to not use jargon. Yet. We have this whole set of stupid startup. Jargon, and MVP is one of them. When you think about them, if you still got something ridiculously simple, this is the first thing you can give to the very first set of users. You want to Target in order to see if you can deliver any

value at all to them. That's all it is. It's extremely simple. I know you guys had a talk last week about how to come up with ideas, how to come up with problems. You want to solve, when I will tell you is that it is helpful to talk to some users before we decide to build your own BP. It doesn't mean you have to go into a three-year kind of research situation or you have to work in industry for 10 years, but some conversations are helpful. It's even more helpful if you are your own user, so you can tell whether your products working for you. I always get this strange question of, how do

I get my first users? Which always kind of confuses me because theoretical you decide to solve a problem that, you know, someone has. So the way you get your first user is you talk to that person that, you know, as problem. And if it's you it's even easier. So I'm if you are building a product for a mysterious set of users that you have no idea who they are. Question. Slightly very slightly. Okay. So the goal of a pre-launch startup is extremely simple. Step, 1 launch quickly. This is something that's been

part of the YC, ethos, from the very beginning. And it's been great advice for 10 years and continue to be great advice. If you can walk away from one thing from this presentation, its launch something God quickly. That's it. Like literally the rest of what I'm going to say is based going to be weary summarized versions of that same thing. The second thing that I was to do is get some initial customers, get anyone using your product. You don't have to have a vision of how you get everyone using it, but just anyone interacting and seeing if they get value of the product, you'd be surprised at how

many Founders Journeys. And before a single user has actually interacted with a product and created. I'm, it's very, very common. So please get past the step. It's extremely important. The next one is talk to users any of them. After you've launched to send BP and get feedback on. This is one. That's also extremely common mistake because most Founders and their heads have any idea of what they want to built. And so they kind of have this weird feeling that if I haven't built the full thing yet. Getting feedback on the shity initial thing is kind of

useless. Of course, it's not going to work. It's not the full thing of all things and take three years, 10 million dollars a whole team. So feedback on the little thing is useless. The reality is that In some ways, the full thing is, it's really awesome idea in your head that you should keep in your head, but it should be very, very flexible because it might turn out the full thing that you want to build, isn't what your customers want at all. So I have the same. Hold the problem. You're solving tightly, hold the customer. Tightly hold the solution. Your building loosely.

What's most important irate? And I like to cut a distinguished reiterating and pivoting a lot of Founders, once they figured out how to build something fall in love with it. And so if it doesn't work for a certain set of users, they start thinking, I wonder what other problems this thing you can solve. Well, you know, the screwdriver is not actually good at screwing in anyting but I wonder what other problems that could solve and then maybe you can use it to cook. Maybe you can use it to clean and it's like no. Like the problem was, I need to screw something in the user was like I

mechanic. And if your screwdriver doesn't help, the mechanic solve the problem, keep the mechanic, keep the problem. I need to do something in fix the fucking screwdriver. I like that's the thing that's broken forehead. The broken thing is not the mechanic and it's not the fact that they need to do something yet. So either 8 continue improving on your solution until it actually solve the problem. In most cases, most people should be building a very lean MVP by that. We mean you should be able to build it fast in weeks, not months on

this. Can you do involve software or honestly, we see startups. Just start with a landing page and a spreadsheet, but most startups can start very, very fast. The second extremely limited functionality. You need to condense down what your user needs, what your initial user needs to a very simple set of things. A lot of times found was one of address all of their users problems and all of their potential users. When in reality, they should just focus on a small set of initial users and their highest order problems and then ignore the rest until later. You should have a

vision of everyone. You should have an MVP, very small. All this isn't a base to enter a from that's it. It's just a starting point. It doesn't it's not special in any way you just have to start. And so please make sure you don't feel like you have Ups 2 special. Here is a classic example. This is one of airbnb's first landing pages in 2008. I believe one of the things that you might be interested in about and are babies first product, is that there were no payments when you found a place to stay on

Airbnb, you have to exchange money with the host in person used to say that was a pretty fucking big problem. But they started without payments, no, map view. You know how when you search Airbnb, you can see where that house is in the city. You don't have that, sorry, and the person reading all the code Nate was working part-time. Okay, is everyone tells these kind of magical stories about how everything was perfect for the beginning. Airbnb. Not perfect. From the beginning. Next one, which this was what, which looks like day one. Not very familiar with

maybe a little familiar. There's some video there and there's some shot there. Other than that, nothing else to which launched as Justin TV, which was a online reality TV show. There was only one channel Justin you to follow his life. If you didn't like his life, you have to leave the website. That's all there was. The video was extremely low resolution. It was funny. I found her. Ask me back in the day like, oh, like wasn't a weird. You guys have video in your apartment with all these, like secret documents and Things that like people be able to see it was like, you could barely recognize

our faces, let alone documents that we had. And most importantly there were no video games. No video games except if we decide to play video games in our apartment, like that's the only time you two games, over. And so new say you can do that quickly when you think about which it's much more complex now last strike which wasn't stripe. It was called /, dad slash payments cuz we're not like let's make a name. That's really easy to remember. This was striped day one. No big deals, I won't tell you exactly how they process payments, but

it was in a very start up, you weigh almost no features and even cooler. If you wanted to use stripe, the stripe Founders would come to your office and integrate it for you. How nice is that half? Because they were just desperate to get anyone to use it and half because his great way to find bugs before the users found bucks, you cut yourself. So, these are just three examples of extremely simple, extremely fast to build MVPs. All of these are $10 companies and they all started with something that most people would say is pretty. Shity

in very few cases. You have to build a heavy MVP. I just invented that term. Have you MVP? When I made this presentation 2 days ago. So maybe becomes a thing. If you were in an industry with significant regulation like insurance or banking sometimes Jones, although sometimes not it's hard to launch. It's harder to watch. You have to pass through a bunch of regulatory bodies. First. If you're doing a heart attack, if you are building Rockets, it's hard to build a rocket in a couple weeks biotech. It is hard to invent a cancer drug in a couple weeks. Moonshots will a

filling all the other blanks. It's hard to bored tunnels in the earth and have shroomy fast. Vehicles are Play Scars in a couple weeks. So if you're in that situation, please remember that your MVP can start with a simple simple website. That explains what you do. It's helpful. When you talk to people interact with people that they can refer back to something to that can be your start and you candle that simple website in days not weeks. Maybe you're a heavy MVPs are faster than your lien & B hits and some weird strange way for a second, because

a lot of Founders have this misconception about launching. They see big companies launched off in the startups to impact, AC companies. They've kind of think about, like startups. They have Facebook not really start up anymore, but they see them getting a lot of price and getting a lot of fun, having their head. That's what a successful company looks like when they launched. Let me ask you this question. I'm how many here remember the day that Google launched? Know, how about Facebook? Okay, how about Twitter? No

great. So turns out that launches aren't that special at all? Okay. So if you have this magical idea of your magical launch, when I do throw it away, it's not that special. The number one thing that's really important is to get some customers. So to make people feel better. Let's use different terms. How about launch is when you get any customers and how about like fresh launch press launch? Really impressive is when like people right about things and it's all exciting and get all this Buzz. Let's push the Press launch off and let's push the get any customers launch really,

really soon. That's our goal here. It's a lot harder to learn from your customers. When they don't have a product, they can play with. You can talk your customer all day, but you have no idea what the thing you want to build to solve their problem. You put the thing in front of them. It doesn't solve your problem, you know, right away. And so all the research in the world is good. But until you can put something in front of people. You have no friggin idea, whether it's going to work to spending all that time. On a pitch deck is not as valuable as spending your time, building it

anything that you can give to a customer. Finally, some hacks for building and MVP extremely quickly. First time box, your specs, you respect as a list of stuff. You need to build before you launch time. Boxing say, okay, what happens if I want to launch in three weeks? Okay. Well, the only things that could be on my Spectre things. I can build in three weeks that makes your life a lot simpler. It allows you to remove all the features. You can't build in 3 weeks. Second right, your spec this seems really straightforward. But most people fuck this one up. Its really easy

to change what you're working on before you ever launched it because you never write it down. You start working on something, you talk to user. They say, oh, I would never use that or God forbid, you talk to an investor and they say, also that can never be a company, cuz investors know everything. And so you decide to change what you're working on it because you never wrote it down, you know, you really realize you're changing it. And so you're through with plans, friends into a three month plan. If you write shut down, at least, you can be honest with yourself that. You're changing respect

all the time. The next one is cut your spec a week into your kind of three weeks Prince. You probably realize that you added too many things to respect and you are not going to make your deadline. That's okay. Just cut the stuff that clearly isn't important. And if there's no not important, things start cutting important things. Most of the goal here is just to get anything out in the world. Once you get anything out in the world, the momentum to keep anything going is extremely strong. Once you have anything, once you go, if you don't have anything on the world, it's very easy to

just delay, delay, delay delay, and then last don't fall in love with you. And be so many people fall in love with the vision in their head and none of the products. I showed you before was the initial Vision, but it ended up being So, please don't fall in love with your MVP. It's just step one in a journey. You wouldn't fall in love with a paper. You wrote in the first grade and like that's like the level of impact off in your MVP pass. Love you so much.

Cackle comments for the website

Buy this talk

Access to the talk “Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP”
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free

Ticket

Get access to all videos “Startup School Winter 2020”
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Ticket

Similar talks

Adora Cheung
Partner at Y Combinator
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Adora Cheung
Partner at Y Combinator
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Kevin Hale
Partner at Y Combinator
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free

Buy this video

Video
Access to the talk “Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP”
Available
In cart
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free

Conference Cast

With ConferenceCast.tv, you get access to our library of the world's best conference talks.

Conference Cast
873 conferences
35612 speakers
13585 hours of content