Venture capitalist Fred Wilson recently published a guest post on his blog from Giant Robot Dinosaur about “Minimal Viable Personality”, what Fred refers to as “voice“. Giant Robot Dinosaur, a/k/a “The Grimster”, explains why personality is a critical aspect of a successful product. This is true for products of venture-backed companies or those funded in other ways. I am including it here because I think it is particularly important for startups – as they usually get just one chance to succeed with an initial product – and because I love the drawing of bread versus bacon.
As The Grimster explains in his typical succinct BUT ALL CAPS manner:
- MOST IMPORTANT STEP FOR BUILD PRODUCT IS BUILD PRODUCT.
- SECOND MOST IMPORTANT IS BUILD PERSONALITY FOR PRODUCT.
- NO HAVE PERSONALITY? PRODUCT BORING, NO ONE WANT.
As illustrated by this simple yet solid pictorial advice:
The Grimster elaborates on his above point, nothing that:
- PERSONALITY = INTERESTING. INTERESTING = CARE. CARE = TALK.
- EVERYONE CARE AND TALK ABOUT PRODUCT? YOU WIN.
His description of how personality can make a product meaningful to your potential customers is great:
His concept of “personality” translates into these questions with respect to your product:
- 1. HOW YOU CHANGE CUSTOMER’S LIFE?
- 2. WHAT YOU STAND FOR?
- 3. WHO OR WHAT YOU HATE?
If you can answer and communicate the above to others, you:
- NOW HAVE MISSION, VALUES, ENEMY.
- THAT ENOUGH FOR MINIMUM VIABLE PERSONALITY.
And finally, with some advice that applies to just about any business, the Giant Robot Dinosaur provides a more colorful version of Nike’s Just Do It slogan:
- NO BE CHICKEN
- CHICKEN LIVE IN CAGE.
- NO CAN HAVE PERSONALITY INSIDE CAGE.
- LAST STEP IS SMASH CAGE, LIGHT BARN ON FIRE.
- DO THAT, YOU WIN.