26 Dec 2017

How to ruin your Minimum Viable Product

"As you consider building your own minimum viable product, let this simple rule suffice: remove any feature, process, or effort that does not contribute directly to the learning you seek."

No fancy introductions, no greetings.

I'll cut to the chase.

This is an important post and I want to keep it as contextual as possible. No BS.

Because I know time is of the essence. Your product will not wait. Neither will your business. Nor will your competitors.

And I'd advise you to not waste your customer's time with your sucky MVPs too.

Because according to popular belief, you are going to create a skeletal model with minimal framework because you need to deliver your product to the market ASAP. Then, your early adopters will swoop in like guardian angels and they'll offer helpful insights on what works and what doesn't.

Only, this won't happen.

But wait, I was told that agile philosophy also supports the initial minimum viability of products.

So, you're wrong.

And here's why.

MVP approach has an essential learning cycle

And it is during this learning cycle, your product team constantly develops, learns and analyses. If you want your MVP to work, you need to undertake this essential assumption.

Our very loved, very revered Eric Ries says, "The product with just the necessary features to get money and feedback from early adopters. The minimum viable product (MVP) is often an ad on Google. Or a PowerPoint slide. Or a dialog box. Or a landing page. You can often build it in a day or a week."

In essence, the MVP is such a framework.

However, most developers and product managers simply select just one portion of the functionality out of its minimum viable product. They then decide to showcase it for the whole, wide world to see and ultimately risk marketing a product which is not MVP at all. To build a minimum viable product, this isn't enough.

Can you relate?

Are you able to follow so far?


Because now I open the mirror for you.

Can you find out if you're making similar mistakes?

Read on..

  • Your MVP is simple, but it is too simple.

    Einstein believed that difficult problems are difficult. They just can't be simplified.That being said, we all believe in the power of simplicity. But have you heard the power of simpler-city??

    Well, I haven't.

    Make your MVP simple.

    And sufficient.

    Don't miss out on features just because your MVP should have "MINIMUM FEATURES".

    Your MVP should embody the solution to the problem you are trying to solve, or it should atleast be a close approximation to the solution you want to ultimately develop.

    Keep it raw, keep it featureless, but make it potent. Its greatness should be visible despite the rough edges.

  • Your MVP is not solving your user's problem completely:

    You might have a stellar idea in mind, but if your end users are benefitting from it, well, tough luck! Most businesses focus extensively on developing an MVP which pleases investors. They often think that user-centric functionalities can be added later after the product is launched into the market.

    Even when your product development has the bare minimum MVP features, concentrate on providing the total user experience. Your MVP's functionalities should completely solve your user's problems.

    Forget the fact that since your MVP needs to be concise and sweet, you can skip 3 functionalities out of the total 8. We said, minimum essential features, not minimum features.

    Now, now, this doesn't also mean that you need to provide a full-fledged product to your beta users. You can sail the ship with three-quarters of functionalities which accomplish several tasks. A good idea is to give your testers end to end functionality which allows performing a single task completely and then offers a preview of what it's further capable of doing.

    Having said that, allow me to reframe the above into marketing jargon.

  • Your MVP should delight your customers:


    This is an essential ingredient, one that several MVP designs miss. In your own good and logical, yet misguided reasoning, your MVP might neglect to focus on customer delight.

    Your investors are getting impatient.

    The market is pacing forward.

    The growth hacker is demanding it.

    These are plausible reasons, but not even one of these why your MVP should miss the significant aspect of appealing your customers.

    After all, businesses are founded on the belief to solve a pertinent issue and provide convenience to customers, isn't it?

When in doubt, separate yourself from the development perspective and think from the user perspective.

  • Ask yourself:
    • Would you decide to give your product a try if it were offered to you in its current state?

    • Would you recommend it to others?

    • Can you see something unique in the product or is it too similar to its competitors?

    • How much time can you spare on reviewing the product, after several iterations and changes?

    If you answer these questions honestly, you will find which area your MVP needs getting polished. In the current world of customers being force-fed products and services, first impressions are indeed the last impressions.

At BluEnt, we have over 2 decades of experience in consulting businesses with better marketing and development. Our consultants and developers have hands-on experience with latest technologies & frameworks and are well-versed with ongoing trends. If your MVP needs polishing or you want to develop an idea into a full-fledged product prototype, get in touch today.

Maximum Value. Achieved.



Your Citation

Bluent Tech. "How to ruin your Minimum Viable Product" CAD Evangelist, Dec. 26, 2017, https://www.bluent.net/blog/how-to-ruin-your-minimum-viable-product/.

Bluent Tech. (2017, December 26). How to ruin your Minimum Viable Product. Retrieved from https://www.bluent.net/blog/how-to-ruin-your-minimum-viable-product/

Bluent Tech. "How to ruin your Minimum Viable Product" Bluent Tech https://www.bluent.net/blog/how-to-ruin-your-minimum-viable-product/ (accessed December 26, 2017 ).

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