Megan Muir.jpgCONTRIBUTED BY
Megan Muir

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:

Bacon not Toast.bmp

 

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.