Get All Access for $5/mo

Book a One-on-One Mentor Session With Nextdoor Co-Founder Sarah Leary The digital specialist can teach you how to get your product in customers' hands fast so you can figure out what they really want.

By Brad Klune Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Steve Jennings | Getty Images

Don't spend six months building your minimum viable product (MVP). You really want to launch something fast (in weeks, not months) in order get feedback from real customers and iterate before you are too far down the road on a concept that isn't quite right. So says Sarah Leary, founder of Nextdoor, Partner of Unusual Ventures, and product guru. Here she shared her tips for building your MVP. If you want to dig in deeper, Sarah has made herself available for one-on-one mentor sessions that you can book now.

1. Do the bare minimum

"People are constantly thinking about how to scale before figuring out the right offering and product," says Leary. Identify your long-shot assumptions and figure out the fastest and smallest experiment to validate against this assumption. To solve this problem, your MVP should include the bare minimum set of features to solve this problem.

2. Visualize your user journey

Visualize your user journey and identify any potential issues before you start building. Roughly sketch out a prototype or wireframe of your concept in order to check its validity of it. That way, you can determine whether your assumption will stand up against reality and see if it's worth pursuing.

Related: Book a one-on-one session with fashion designer Rachel Zoe

3. Use a feedback loop to continuously improve and optimize

"One of the keys to being innovative is learning how to take an insight or a hypothesis and break it down into steps to validate it with real customers and users," says Leary.

This is the central idea of the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, which breaks down the feedback loop:

  1. Launch your product
  2. Get customer feedback
  3. Rapid experimentation

Agile development involves iterative development and continuous testing and refinement. This approach can help you build and improve your MVP quickly and efficiently.

Related: Book a session with angel investor Kim Perrell

4. Test your MVP with a small group of users

Leary believes in the power of unplanned magic. "Don't be afraid to do unscalable things to try and crack the code so you can learn what is magical about your product," she says. Gathering feedback from a small group of target users can help you identify any issues and gather valuable insights for future development.

By following these tips you can create a successful MVP that helps your business validate its ideas, gather valuable insights, and build a product that meets your customers' needs. If you'd like to talk about your idea with Sarah, you can book a one-on-one mentor session right now.

Brad Klune

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

Head of Business Operations

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor. Head of Business Operations at Intro. Former leadership at Uber and Instawork.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick


Are Your Business's Local Listings Accurate and Up-to-Date? Here Are the Consequences You Could Face If Not.

Why accurate local listings are crucial for business success — and how to avoid the pitfalls of outdated information.

Money & Finance

Day Traders Often Ignore This One Topic At Their Peril

Boring things — like taxes — can sometimes be highly profitable.


Want to Be More Productive Than Ever? Treat Your Personal Life Like a Work Project.

It pays to emphasize efficiency and efficacy when managing personal time.

Business News

'Passing By Wide Margins': Elon Musk Celebrates His 'Guaranteed Win' of the Highest Pay Package in U.S. Corporate History

Musk's Tesla pay package is almost 140 times higher than the annual pay of other high-performing CEOs.

Growing a Business

He Immigrated to the U.S. and Got a Job at McDonald's — Then His Aversion to Being 'Too Comfortable' Led to a Fast-Growing Company That's Hard to Miss

Voyo Popovic launched his moving and storage company in 2018 — and he's been innovating in the industry ever since.

Starting a Business

I Left the Corporate World to Start a Chicken Coop Business — Here Are 3 Valuable Lessons I Learned Along the Way

Board meetings were traded for barnyards as a thriving new venture hatched.