A lot many entrepreneurs and product managers look at MVP as ‘Minimum’ Viable Product – Minimum first and Viable later.
That is, the focus, for most of the entrepreneur is on building Minimum product more than a viable product, in order to test their hypothesis.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – you start with a hypothesis and in order to validate that, you end up creating validation points. So, the focus becomes more on minimum which sort of gives a ‘basic’ experience which you can quickly validate, vs. launching a viable product will take time and could be anything but minimum effort.
What exactly is a viable product?
The one that (almost) solves primary use-case of that ‘big’ product.
You call it lean, you call it MVP – but whatever you do, if it isn’t close to the primary use-case, it’s not viable.
Importantly, the viable product need not be so minimum (in terms of customer experience). THe focus should be on use-case (case study : How Groupon Started As A WordPress Blog.] rather than effort and timeline.
So what exactly is MVP ? How Minimum? How Much Viable?
Well, you can read loads of articles on this topic, but nothing explains better than what Spotify product team has demonstrated with this picture.
If you are building a car (and want your customers to pay for the car), then better build that experience – of wheel, riding that helps your customer ‘get a task done’ (which is ‘reaching from point A to point B’ in this case).
Most of the entrepreneurs end up following the first process – they build minimal experience of the car (this is how the wheel will look like), but that doesn’t help validate.
And again, stacking up technology isn’t MVP. It’s the experience of a ‘complete use-case’ that matters.
MVP, I repeat is not about being Minimum. But being Viable.
What are your thoughts?