While assembling a prototype to assess market demand is dramatically cheaper than 10 years old, there’s still a serious gap between minimum viable product and robust product. Software, like any product, can always be improved. Unlike many physical products, the complexity of a software product is not always understood even after a fair amount of usage.
Here are a few thoughts on the gap between prototype and robust product:
- All software has bugs, but over time the frequency of new known bugs will decrease (assuming minimal new functionality introduced)
- Some software is inherently more complicated resulting in more time and effort required to achieve a robust state
- One gauge to assess product robustness is to get it to the point where there aren’t any known blocker bugs and to have configured 10-25 new customers without any issues (bugs are always going to be present but the severity isn’t always going to be high)
- Product robustness and product/market fit aren’t correlated as the product can be solid without market fit
Prototypes aren’t the same as robust products but they are very important. Entrepreneurs need to budget for continued product development and pay attention to issues.
What else? What are some other thoughts on the gap between prototype and robust product?