Rethinking MVP: Insights from Edison to Webflow ($4B)

Startup Lessons: 6 Changes from a Founder's Failed Venture

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Hey readers! Welcome to EH weekly, where you can look forward to insightful lessons and practical takeaways delivered to your inbox every Monday.

In this week’s edition, school is in session:

  • A new approach to the “MVP” with examples from Edison’s lightbulb, non-alcoholic beer, and Webflow ($4B)

  • Lessons from the founder of a failed VC-backed startup and the 6 things she’s doing differently with her new business

MVP is Over. You Need to Think About MVE.

Hint: V isn’t for viable — it’s for valuable

Startups often fail because they focus on viability rather than value.

In last month’s top article, Author Pete Sena proposes a shift from Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) to Minimum Valuable Experiences (MVEs), citing Thomas Edison's approach to innovation.

He introduces the A.C.T. framework — Audience, Communication, Touchpoints — to create MVEs effectively.

Using a kick-ass Webflow case study, Sena illustrates how understanding and delighting the audience, rather than just building a basic product, leads to startup success.

👉️ To read more examples of MVEs, head here: MVP is Over. You Need to Think About MVE.

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I’m Starting a New Business After My Last Startup Failed — Here’s What I’m Doing Differently

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

After Joy Zhang’s entrepreneurial journey ended with a failed tech startup, she took time off, recovered, and now feels the urge to start anew.

Today, she’s launching her next business but with six changes, drawing from past mistakes and insights.

Here’s what she wrote:

  1. Start with Distribution. Prioritize distribution over product perfection. Begin your marketing efforts before product launch to build social credibility and gather early feedback.

  2. Avoid Vanity Metrics. Focus on meaningful metrics like WAU, MRR, Churn, Retention, or Conversion. Beware of metrics that inflate success without reflecting true business performance.

  3. Keep Your Day Job and Build on the Side. Maintain steady income while building the business on the side. Utilize mornings, evenings, and weekends for business development.

  4. Launch Fast, Launch Often. Launch repeatedly to gather feedback and iterate quickly. Avoid the misconception of a single grand launch event.

  5. Disrupt an Existing Market. Focus on improving existing markets rather than creating entirely new ones. Look for innovation in the business model, scalability, or product value proposition.

  6. Focus on the Journey. Embrace the entrepreneurial journey as a marathon, not a sprint. Reflect regularly on learnings and experiences to fuel personal growth.

The business idea she’s working on next explores personalized children's books leveraging AI for scalability. She’s aiming to retain the personal touch of handcrafted books while utilizing AI technology responsibly.

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