The Way of MVP with Startups

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WTF is an MVP?

That’s a great question and likely the reason why you are here.

An “MVP: Minimum Viable Product” is a methodology widely used within the Startup world primarily for these reasons:

  1. You quickly identify what your initial fans want;
  2. It’s affordable and you don’t waste money

Think of it the opposite way that an artist would work on a painting and then present it to the world.

Consider the above picture: the stick man drawing would be the MVP version Beta 0.0.0.1. The entire purpose of starting with such a simple diagram is that it would act as a basic starting point and from that initial foundation the creator (entrepreneur) can then go ahead and build on it.

An MVP in the Startup world allows the organization to be lean and develop within principles within an Agile Lean Methodology. The major benefit is that, assuming that time is finite (again within a “Startup Environment”), time of truly of the essence: i.e. you can’t afford to commit huge amounts of time and investment in creating a flop (a polished turd).

The Absolute Benefit of an MVP-Led Culture

The massive benefit of developing with an MVP culture is that you rapidly discover what your customers do and do not want within your widget, service or product, and that feedback becomes invaluable.

I’d extend this post with using the very famous quote from Ben Parr from Octane AI.

“If You’re Not Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late”

The vast majority of websites that I’ve launched for the first few months of their existence look half-baked and my bounce rates will be through the roof but I’ll be able to at least gauge on what people are clicking and from that you can begin to craft better pages and landing pages, conversion funnels etc etc.

The absolute benefit #1 is that you’ll make sure that your Startup encourages MVP Development is that you’ll save a bunch of money.

Think of the Da Vinci painting at the top of this post; it took, apparently, approximately four years for Leonardo Da Vinci to paint the Mona Lisa and that he continued to constantly “touch up” the painting for many subsequent years. Imagine applying that same logic to your Startup and Investors. Understandably, trying to compare MVP Startup principles to the Mona Lisa might be a bit weird but you can hopefully see the point that I’m trying to make here.

The absolute benefit #2 is that you’ll create a product, service, widget, SaaS or other that your customers really want.

Being able to pivot, and pivot fast is the name of the game here.

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