Entertaiment

Startups are like stand-up comedy.

The stand-up comedian who is just starting out, writes some jokes, tries them out in front of some friends, then starts going to comedy clubs to perform the routine they’ve built. The comedian gets instant feedback in the form of laughter and applause. The jokes that get no laughter or applause are thrown out, and the jokes that get laughter and applause are then refined, night after night, month after month, year after year, until they are as polished as can be. Over time, the comedian will have amassed a portfolio of tried and tested routines that are all funny and can be put together into a 90-minute show that is performed to an audience in a large arena.

The startup founder who is just starting out, builds an MVP with a few features, tests them out in front of some friends, and then starts finding users to try out the product. The founder gets instant feedback in the form of signups and engagement. The product features that get no engagement are thrown out, and the product features that get engagement are then refined, night after night, month after month, year after year, until they are as polished as can be. Over time, the founder will have amassed a portfolio of tried and tested features that are all useful and can be put together into product that can be used by a community of thousands of users.


Startups are like stand-up comedy. was originally published in Dust on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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