Our Enterprise's Finest Software Solutions

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There is a big idea out there in the startup world that you should build a Minimum Viable Product, e.g. The Lean Startup tells you to do that. The general principle is to put together an unpolished product that is the core of your idea, presumably get someone to use it, and iterate from there. This is sometimes confused with a prototype or a demo that you put together and show to investors, or only manifests itself with the founders' idea that they need to build something.

Surprisingly, I have encountered very similar strategies during my short but thrilling early career in an investment bank. As teams tried to navigate the complex landscape of random requirements, unclear priorities - my boss's boss's boss actually ordained during a yearly town hall that we should be prioritising stability while delivering on new features - and random interruptions of "we can't deploy software because there's gonna be an announcement by a central bank and lots of trading" or "we can't hire anyone this quarter, because we didn't make enough money in Japan" - anyway, I'm rambling. People still got stuff done, thanks to the MVP principle: do most of what you have to do with the limited means available to you, i.e. the minimum viable effort that still gets you a promotion. I will share a couple of examples: may you find them educative and inspiring.

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