Can I skip the discovery phase of starting a startup?

Niko Wallner
11 replies
Hi! I have a question for those who plan to create a startup or already have any experience in this field. How do you think, is the discovery (planning) phase important for product success? Or I can skip it without serious risks? Please, share your thoughts. The information on the web is quite controversial and I’m interested in real life experience.


It may be easier to answer this with more context about the problem you are solving / the kind of product you want to build. It could be that you are ready to make your MVP because your product is a result of something deeply personal to you, and leverages existing first hand experience and knowledge. But if that is not the case you don't lose anything by doing some research simply to verify those basic assumptions before investing resources into something uneccessarily.
Niko Wallner
@abadesi Your opinion is very interesting and supportive. Thanks a lot! I keep in mind some great products (like Airbnb) that didn’t complete a discovery phase. But I’m confused by tones of posts like this: They claim that skipping discovery causes lots of problems (a project that doesn’t meet my goals, endless scope creep, a bloated budget, missed deadlines, etc)
@niko_wallner How many unicorns can you name that skipped it, though? 👀
Astha Sharma
Discovery is very important in my opinion, even if it's not that intense I feel like you can learn at leasting one thing from it.
Mitch Gillogly
Discoveries pretty essential. But I think it depends on how much startup experience someone has. It may easier for people with more experience to recognize problems and validate it with less validation than people starting their first startup.
Niko Wallner
@mitchgillogly @astha_sharma Thanks for the clarification! Can I complete the discovery on my own? Or should I pay an agency?
Mitch Gillogly
@astha_sharma @niko_wallner Do it yourself. Just talk to people. I usually create a Google form survey with the problem statement, potential solution and a couple other questions relevant to your idea.
Discovery Phase in software development may seem as the complexity and cost-increasing factor for the project. In fact, this stage of the development process evaluates the direction of the project and describes the objectives for the required scope of work. This phase is also a go-to solution for legacy projects because it can reveal the right direction for the project to be developed and delivered successfully. Discovery Phase creates a common understanding between the customer and contractor of the project’s business goals and the direction that it should follow as well as can give an ability to run the initialisation of the development environment deployment for the desired software development product.
Colin Brown
for sure discovery phase is important part of any product development. but it doesn't mean that you need to spend months on this. First of all, you should talk with users and check their needs. And don't create Washboard one more time. yeah, most of companies recommend to conduct discovery phase BUT if you are the expert of the niche, you can skip discovery phase.
Lui Kown
Discovery phase for a digital product is like construction documentation for a house. It is the basics to begin with. Discovery phase by itself consists of several important steps such as research, planning, defining requirements, choosing technologies, etc. Here is a downloadable template and explanatory notes with examples: