What’s the difference between a hack, a project, or a business?

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/ 

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