Minimum Viable Knowledge

The minimum viable product is startup mantra.

But what’s the minimum viable knowledge?

What’s the least you need to know about a market, industry, or customer profile before you can build something people want?

I don’t think it’s very much, and I’m tired of investors obsessed with domain expertise.

The Innovator’s Dilemma says “You can’t disrupt from the inside.”

News flash: ‘inside’ isn’t limited to office walls.

Inside is knowledge. When you have a lot of knowledge, you’re inside something. When you are inside something, you can’t disrupt it.

So minimum viable knowledge. It’s not a prerequisite.

In fact, it might be everything.



Ryan goes on Teenage Entrepreneur

Last week I was interviewed on the popular podcast show Teenage Entrepreneur.

It was a lengthy but fun discussion about my lifestyle, my entrepreneurial endeavors, and most importantly the many things I’ve learned along the way.

We laughed, we cried, and we postponed real work for 1.5 hours on a Thursday morning. (I even missed a meeting with one of my readers, who will likely send some well-placed words when this post hits his inbox.)

If you’re into background noise at work or school, give it a listen or read the transcript.

Huge thanks to Jordan (host) for having me on the show — I look forward to returning the favor very soon.

Ryan goes to Startup Institute

Yesterday I presented at the Startup Institute.

It’s an 8-week intensive mentorship program that prepares developers, designers, marketers, and sales people for a job at a startup.

I led a 2.5 hour kickoff session with the sales / biz dev group, a sharp bunch with incredibly diverse backgrounds — finance, trading, medical, legal, PR, etc.

Sharing my framework on sales at early stage companies was a lot of fun, and I’m looking for opportunities to do it again.

If you know a group that would benefit from a 30 min – 2 hr presentation on sales and marketing, please get in touch.

Ingredients aren’t the recipe

Is your startup flush with funding? Do you program? Are you an early riser?

These are great qualities indeed.

But great qualities != success.

Many have failed with good intentions, disciplined character, the most ambitious persistence.

This is what makes success so fascinating.

That the ones who seem to have everything may have nothing at all.

So don’t focus on the ingredients; They may not be necessary.

If you want to be successful, the recipe is sufficient.

The recipe is you.