- Deep Loafe
- Minimum Viable Product
Minimum Viable Product
on doing what is necessary to begin the thing(s) we wish to begin
From the top:
Welcome back, friends.
Read time: depends on your speed of read
Meme theme: Parks and Rec (started again recently)
See you out there.
When I started working at a summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina during college, I was the counselor with the flannel Coleman sleeping bag and Adidas Sambas for hiking shoes.
this picture doesn’t perfectly illustrate my point, but i used it anyways
Many of my co-counselors who’d either been on staff before or were campers, had more camping and hiking-specific gear. You know, not indoor soccer shoes but perhaps a fine Merrell hiking shoe. Instead of a 9-pound (or 4.17 kg) Coleman bag, they had a middle-of-the-road Kelty bag coming in at 4 pounds (or 1.81437 kg). Or better yet, an Eno.
By any measure of, ‘Does this guy know what he’s doing?’, to the question of ‘Is this guy ready to go camping and hiking?’, the answer would be no.
I’m from Mississippi. Which, in its own right, does not automatically negate one’s ability to travel and camp on durable surfaces (Principle #2 of Leave No Trace watch thru :39 seconds). However, it also does not necessarily prepare one to know what the outdoor industry might say is the proper gear to begin camping and hiking.
And here is, what is my main point of this week’s post:
see my thread with ChatGPT on getting to this thought
We both know the person who has 5 of the right kind of gear and equipment for their hobbies, and we are the person who has 5 of the right kind of gear and equipment for their hobbies.
From my own life, I think a few things are at play here that stop me from getting started on the things I want to get started doing:
There’s an infinite amount of content to be consumed on anything I’m interested in doing or learning
That content is oftentimes very well produced (beautiful to watch) and mostly free
wanna get into golf? Watch Erik Anders Lang
better yet, Want to just want to get into golf? Watch Erik Anders Lang
If I am to spend money on a thing, I want that thing to meet a respectable Venn Diagram of affordability, style, and how long it will last so I spend more time searching than doing
And lastly, perhaps most importantly: There are dozens of reasons, every. single. day. to delay getting started on doing something, especially if that thing is new, and just keep symbolically consuming it
One of my all-time favorite critiques of this phenomenon is this New Yorker article called, “How to Read ‘Infitite Jest’” - read this, it’s hilarious.
I’m going somewhere with this.
Over the last month, me and Sadie have been working on starting a business. Originally, we wanted to start an ice cream sandwich shop from a bike. After some research, we found that’s quite challenging to do (you know, health codes and inspections, refrigeration of dairy, and such).
So, idea #2: A mobile used bookstore, from a bike.
We’ve long been interested in having a used bookstore. Total dream, but it’s long been near the top of our minds. But, we’ve managed to create and ride some momentum in our lives recently and decided to cash that in on this idea.
Plus, as most things tend to be, it’s not been as complex as we thought it would be (nor as simple). We’ve started the business for about $500 and a fun amount of time that we’ve spent getting it up and going.
So, here’s the second, and last, thought for today’s post:
Minimum Viable Product.
By Teemu - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65494330
There is, I believe, across all activities we aim to begin or interests we intend to explore, a Minimum Viable Product that we need to get started.
And that’s the whole aim, or should be I think: getting started.
Our bookstore, Book and Bloom: We have hopes of being fully mobile by bike. Right now? We’re iterating and figuring out exactly how to transport everything to and from our house to our little town.
In the meantime, we found a few ways to just get started so we can get feedback - meaning Feedback, like the kind that comes when you put yourself out into the world - and work towards what we hope it is in full, which is not what is at the beginning.
There is, of course, downside to crossing over from Symbolic Consumption and into Minimum Viable Product:
And yet, should you fall and catch fire, you are someone who knows how to begin.
Find your Coleman sleeping bag and go camping. Grab your wired Apple headphones and go on a run (these are cool now, anyways). Make that curry dish you’ve been dreaming of even if you don’t have the fennel seeds, or know what turmeric is (i don’t), or know that there’s an R snuck into the word turmeric!
Stuff I’ve Been Into
Fully Alive, by Dawna Markova. Holy smokes.
Jimi Hendrix, genius behind the song. Stevie Ray Vaughan, chef’s kiss.
Welp, have a great week. Wonder. Wander. Thanks for reading.