Cheap, Fast, Good: Pick THREE!
You’ve might have heard it before: Cheap, fast, good, pick two. The concept is pretty simple: If you want cheap and fast, you’re probably sacrificing quality. If you want fast and good, it’s probably going to cost you a lot of money. If you’re lucky, and you find cheap and good together, you’re likely to find you’re not their highest priority and it’s going to take a while to get results. It all makes sense when you think about it. But that doesn’t mean it’s always true.
There’s actually a fourth player in this that changes everything, and you can take advantage of that to get cheap, fast and good. The fourth is actually the quantity. When we start working on a new project, we naturally start to list in our minds everything that could go into it. We cater for every situation and build up an awesome solution that will solve everyone’s problems with grace and finesse. (Like everything I do!)
Let’s turn the situation around a little, though. We’re starting a new project, we probably don’t have a massive budget for it but we want it quickly, and the quality of it is going to be infinitely important. So how do we get it all? Cut back on features. Start looking at stripping back to the bare minimum required to test your product and market. What do you ABSOLUTELY need? Once you strip things down, you’ll start to see there’s a lot less to do than you originally thought. That makes it a lot more possible to get fast and good and still keep costs down.
When developing software, we tend to call this the MVP (Minimum Viable Product. Not quite the same as Most Valuable Player, but in a lot of ways they’re similar!) These actually are the most valuable parts of your application. They’re the core pieces you couldn’t get by without. In another article, I’ll go more in-depth into how to design your MVP; what should be included, what shouldn’t, and how you should get started deciding.