The Creation Process - Rethinking on MVP
Minimum, Viable, Product. So simple, yet so hard. I admit that only recently I learnt to appreciate the efforts to establish it. MVP is being misused a lot, by everyone. It is mainly about learning and iterating, as quickly as possible, however it usually treated as the first release, without acually any questions that will make it an effective learning process, on the contrary, it is minimal in a way that it can be delivered fast enough to meet the manager’s expectations, and it is viable because the PM thinks it is viable, and it is a product because… it has a logo?
Reaching a true MVP is hard, some teams can work months or maybe even years without reaching an MVP. There are startups that got acquired without having any viable product. it can be a tech preview to get additional resources to develop something viable.
“P” - A creation is a product only if it is available to use for the customers it was made for. If a product is not in production, fully available, then it is not a product. The product must have a business strategy, roadmap, goals, mission.
“V” - Product’s viability cannot be defined by the product manager, only customers can use the word “viable” to describe the product. If other customers find your product useful, then pivot or work harder to improve your product. No customers, no product. What are you solving? for who?
“Too often, technology guides the solution: a company has the ability to solve a problem in a new way, so it solves the problem that way. Is that solution what the user really requires?” - from BCG perspectives
“M’ - The first release that customers perceived as viable, you now have the minimal set of features that can be treated as a viable product.
Then what is this bulk of code that we worked on days and nights? We deploy using continuous deployment on a server named "production”, it is publicly available to some users, the design is amazing, the architecture is fantastic. It is disrupting, innovating, creative, but what is it? it can be the start of what will be one day a great viable product.