During my PTO, I was playing around with a side-project. About 8-12 hour in, I realized I had made a classic mistake. I was focusing on building a thing, but I hadn’t spend enough time working through a design process. It’s easy to do, building is fun, it’s exciting, it feels tangible – but it’s a time sink.
So where should I have started? Problem Statement, Lean Canvas, Personas, User Stories. Do you know what you’re building? Who you’re building for? Why? Unless you answer these fundamental questions, you’re working on a hack — not a project, not a business. After working through the tools, I have a concise understanding of what is and isn’t part of the MVP.
This clarity may have delayed building by 4-8 hours, but it cut 20+ hours of development time out of my scope.User stories in particular helped me understand my scope and architectural needs.
If you haven’t created User Stories before, here’s a primer: https://www.romanpichler.com/blog/10-tips-writing-good-user-stories/