Much of my focus is reducing the scope of MVPs and getting really essential. One method I want to explore here is what I'm calling reverse scoping. Instead of starting with all the hopes and wishes for a product, start with the time and money you have right here right now. What can you build with that, however small, to increase your commitment, increase the investment others have made, and build out something bigger.
Lots of first time entrepreneurs get stuck in a perfect trap. They have grand views of what a perfect MVP will look like, and wait and wait for resources to free up to pursue the dream. Building a product is all about progress. Incremental improvement, and finding something unique and insightful for product market fit. And it requires starting. What can be built with the resources at hand. Get creative. If you have only $1000, you can get a demo or prototype built in a week or two. Two core features with zero fluff can be demonstrated clearly to an angel investor. Along with a compelling industry and go to market strategy, this can be enough to get the next level of investment and product build out.
Constraining your thinking to something significantly less than what might be considered a complete MVP can open up new paths. If you were building twitter for the first time, for example, you could start with a tiny demo to show your operational abilities to get software written in an efficient, cost effective and focused way. Starting with a number of users all able to post publicly with a limitation of characters, and uni-directional following, then ranking the tweets on a homepage to show popular ones and not low traffic ones. This is pretty bare bones, but can be done with very limited resources. Presenting this to an investor can be compelling, much more so than a wireframe.
Functional demos can show a lot more about a project than mockups and plans. Think about your MVP from a resource perspective, not just a nice to have feature perspective. By limiting your thinking, you are forced to get creative. Reach out if you want some help reverse scoping or building out a small MVP.