You have a Minimum Viable Product and you’re wondering what should happen next. I presume you also have at least one customer—because if you don’t, all you have is a prototype.
There are few things more destructive to a startup than falling pray to the “build it and they will come” mentality. Here’s my advice.
Put metrics in place.
Start by setting up a spreadsheet with a column for each week. In that column, type in the number of customers that you have on the last day of that week.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be the number of customers. You may find monthly active users or revenue more relevant to the core of your business. Ideally, it should be something correlated strongly with the value that you’re creating for your users.
Measure and repeat.
Create a simple formula that will tell you how quickly that number is growing.
Update your spreadsheet every week, then look at the numbers of customers. Typically, you should be growing the value between 5–10% per week.
This obviously depends on the type of business that you’re in. If you have enough data, drawing a graph might help you visualise your metrics and spot trends more easily.
Focus on the north star.
Once you have your MVP, from that point on, the only thing that you should be focusing on is making the number go up. Every Monday, sit down with your team and think what is that you can do this week to grow the number of customers (or whatever is the north star metric that you have).
Once you’ve built the MVP, change your mindset: you just do whatever it takes to make that number go up.