ONE THING on When to Compromise on Quality 

Is it ever OK to compromise on quality? Surprisingly, yes.

If you know your product will be used by millions with minimal changes and refinements, it makes sense to invest up front. But what if your product is a new and untried idea? What if you might have to iterate several times to arrive at the optimal fit between the product and what the market needs? 

This is exactly the situation of most high-tech startups. Then you may compromise on quality — carefully. The term minimum viable product (MVP) has become synonymous with sloppy and incomplete execution. I prefer terms like concept, prototype, and test — even pilot — that make it clear you are trying to learn whether you are even on the right track before you build the real thing. Once you have hit on a success, then it makes sense to go back and rebuild, to the quality and scale required.

I talk quality in Chapter 10 of my book Product Roadmaps Relaunched. Agree? Disagree? Tell me a story.

Uber for personal shoppers? My friends at Threads in London are in need of a strong cross-functional product leader, a VP who sees the enormous potential in social commerce and is eager to roll up their sleeves and make it happen. If this is you, talk to me.

ProductCamp Boston is coming up June 15. Want to give a talk? Proposals are due May 24.