It’s time for us to start thinking of every piece of content – books, blogs, albums, TV shows, movies, everything – as a new little startup. We have to look at fundamental business questions right from the start: what is the right audience? What is the right revenue model? And, most importantly, what could we do right now to answer the riskiest of these questions. In other words, what is the minimum viable product?

Just like with startups, this is a hybrid question. If our goal is just to create a blog or a YouTube video as a hobby, there’s no need for this kind of rigorous process. And if you want to write the great American novel – and don’t care if anyone reads it – you don’t need this either. But for the rest of us, who create content because we care passionately about having an impact on the world, we need to rethink the process by which we do it. We can’t just delegate the business questions to some media executive.

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries