The Importance of Cycle Time in Build-Measure-Learn Loops

  • Complexity of the critical assumptions — Each loop through your BML process is intended to derive validated learning around critical assumptions. For example, you might be testing the applicability of a set of features for a target market, or the viability of your proposed pricing & packaging. The higher the complexity of the unknowns, the more time it will take to iterate through the process.
  • Complexity of the MVPs — As a general rule, it is important to focus on the M in the MVP. Too many times I see people spending months to deliver an MVP product that could have been done faster with a simpler solution. For example, for my first experiment in delivering cost optimization for the cloud, instead of building a software product, I chose to make myself the product. I engaged five companies in a consulting service in which I used my time, spreadsheets, custom scripts and anything else I could get my hands on to deliver a “product.”
  • Time to business objective — You are driving through a BML process for a reason: to achieve a business objective. When I first started my BML process at CloudHealth, it was to launch an initial viable business and product. Business objectives have constraints. For example, as a self-funded business venture, I had a limited amount of time I could go without an income. To accommodate this, I adjusted my cycle time based on a projection of how many iterations I thought I would need to achieve the business objective. Note: there will always be inconsistencies between iterations, and thus you will need to adjust incrementally between cycles.




Boston Entrepreneur | Technologist | Product Strategist | Husband | Dad

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Joe Kinsella

Joe Kinsella

Boston Entrepreneur | Technologist | Product Strategist | Husband | Dad

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