Time and money are the most important resources that startups have to constantly account for, and focusing on the wrong priorities can delay or completely derail a startup’s potential.
Development Should Be Focused On Today’s Priorities
Don’t spend precious development time working on tomorrow’s problems. Scale only when you need to scale. Implement that sophisticated billing system only when it’s needed. Spending time proactively building out features means that you are making assumptions about your future success (and the problems you’ll face). Making those assumptions is a gamble that usually shouldn’t be taken.
Focusing on future problems also necessarily means that you’re ignoring what needs to be done today. An early stage startup should be focused on usability, customer development, and improving the MVP as opposed to scaling. Automating routine tasks in your backoffice should take a backseat to improving the reliability of the sales funnel.
Not Just Development
The same advice applies to all areas of the company, not just development. Marketing, business development, finance, etc. should all be focused on the problems at hand, the ones that matter now.
What’s Your Take?
How do you prioritize development tasks? Do you try to focus on the immediate issues that you’re facing? When do you shift from working on the MVP to scaling and that it entails? Comments welcome.
Image credit: Nic Mcphee on Flickr