Advice for Small Town Startups, 10/10 - Minimum Viable Products Are Still Products

The best way to find out if your idea is going to work, or how to make it work better, is to make a mockup really quickly and get it into people's brains. I find a lot of resistance to this from businesses in my city; maybe because I'm from a pretty pragmatic, conservative place, and people expect an idea to be complete before you try to sell it.

A huge reason for our company's success so far, despite doing about a million things terribly wrong is that we are really good at releasing MVPs. We have released and retracted so many software ideas we would have lost track if we didn't keep a separate website just to document them.

However, it is a really bad idea to build something inside a vacuum, and since your company is not in New York or Silicon Valley, you don't have the opportunity to generate buzz and interest by showing up at meetups and industry events with your concept, nor will you be able to attract significant press easily.

This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. The biggest and most obvious advantage is that you can keep things under the radar pretty easily. Chances are your disgruntled ex-employees and your current associates are not going to try to clone your idea. You can speak about it openly and get local feedback, and you can make some pretty horrible, broken things without it impacting your future success, because ultimately your city is not your target market.

Chances are your overhead is way less then it is in big cities too. This means you can and should take more risks, faster and more often.  Rock that sh*t.