This post was inspired by a comment left by Hugh Anderson: Lessons Learned from Launching a Software Product. In that comment, he mentioned wanting to launch with a Lamborghini on Day 1. That made me think a little bit more about creating a minimally viable product (MVC) and why it’s about that killer feature. I look at it this way …

It’s All About the Engine

If someone showed up at my house with a welded together car frame with a V12 engine, a bucket seat, a steering wheel, a gear shift and three pedals, I bet I would have a good time driving that and wouldn’t care for too long that it didn’t look all that cool.

But if they showed up with a car that had the Lambo frame and was immaculate inside, but with a Prius engine, I don’t care how cool it looked, I’d still feel let down. I would find the quickest way to get a bigger engine and would let the thing sit in the garage until it had one (that is if it even moved with that engine in it).

So it has to have that V12 engine and a way to use it. The other stuff — paint, body, radio and car show models — can wait.

It works the same way with just about anything these days.

You Have to Get Your Market Behind the Wheel

Getting your product or idea in the hands of your target market is one of the most important aspects of creating anything.

When your intended audience uses what you’ve created, that’s when reality will begin to enter your bubble. For the past 24 hours, 2 weeks, 2 months or hopefully not 2 years, you’ve been looking at this thing. To you (your team) it’s great. But when a user uses it, you’ll begin to wonder…

Usually questions like: “Well, why did they do that? Didn’t they see that big red button that takes up the whole screen?”

It’s That One Killer Feature

Nailing that killer feature is key, as that is the one thing your users or audience will immediately realize they can’t live without.

It also plays another important role … it is the key character in your marketing story.

I’ve believed for a long time that the rise of Instagram came down to two things: filters and following. Something as simple as throwback filters set the app apart. Then add following into the mix and you have a “killer” feature that became the main character in its social spread and marketing. If you were an early user of Instagram you know what I’m talking about, the functionality was pretty sparse. Eventually, the social features were added, but that first killer feature (MVC or the V12 engine) was the ability to easily take pictures, add filters and follow other people.

It’s finding that one standout feature that has to be there on day one of your launch.