Goal of a pre-launch startup - Y Combinator

Launch something quickly. That’s it.

This is the often advised in Y Combinator sessions, source link at the bottom.
“the goal of a prelaunch startup is extremely simple. Step one, launch quickly. This is something that’s been part of the YC ethos from the very beginning, and it’s been great advice for 10 years, and it continues to be great advice. If you can walk away from one thing from this presentation, it’s launch something bad, quickly….

The second thing that an early stage startup needs to do is get some initial customers. Get anyone using your product. You don’t have to have a vision of how you get everyone using it, but just anyone interacting and seeing if they get value out of the product. You’d be surprised at how many founders’ journeys end before a single user has actually interacted with a product they’ve created. It’s very, very common. So please get past this step. It’s extremely important.

The next one is, talk to your users, any of them, after you’ve launched this MVP, and get feedback. This is one that’s also extremely common mistake, because most founders in their heads have a idea of what they wanna build. And so they kind of have this weird feeling that if I haven’t built the full thing yet, getting feedback on the shitty initial thing is kind of useless. “Of course, it’s not gonna work. It’s not the full thing. The full thing is gonna take three years, $10 million, a whole team. So feedback on the little thing is useless.”

In most cases, most people should be building a very lean MVP. So by that, we mean you should be able to build it fast, in weeks, not months. This can either involve software, or honestly, we see startups just start with a landing page and a spreadsheet. But most startups can start very, very fast.

The second, extremely limited functionality. You need to condense down what your user needs, what your initial user needs, to a very simple set of things. A lot of times, founders wanna address all of their users’ problems and all of their potential users, when in reality, they should just focus on a small set of initial users and their highest-order problems, and then ignore the rest until later. You should have a vision of everyone. You should have an MVP, very small. All this is is a base to iterate from. That’s it. It’s just a starting point. It’s not special in any way. You just have to start. And so, please make sure you don’t feel like your MVP is too special.