I attended an "Everything Product Related" workshop at KAPTÁR (my coworking space of choice) yesterday evening and a topic came up that I'm almost sure is not new to anyone reading this post. That topic was of course "Minimum Viable Product (MVP)".
Hang, the host of the event asked a question that as expected, began to divide the group and the mixed responses were fascinating. The question of was "What exactly is an MVP and what does it mean to you?"
Some people declared that MVP as a concept is taken too literally and instead of trying to define the minimum requirements for it to be an overnight success you should instead define the minimum requirements to gather valid feedback.
Others declared that they don't believe in an MVP at all and its all about getting the right validation before building the complete product under the confidence provided by your eagerly awaiting target audience.
Some of the other ideas suggested as a mark in the sand that should be used to consider a product "launchable" were:
- Minimum Valuable Product
- Minimum Loveable Product
Success isn't defined or guaranteed by MVP in any form
Now to be clear, this post isn't about trying to explain to you what an MVP is or even what my interpretation of it is but instead to deal with another recurring theme that came up in the workshop associated with the concept. That theme was along the lines of "to have success you need to follow some form of the MVP concept".
After spending so many years watching makers, entrepreneurs and even myself try so hard to launch products but ultimately fail I'm here to tell you that none of the above matters. What really matters is whatever belief or motivation is the one that leads you to completing the project putting it out into the world.
There is no success guarantee
You might indeed have "the perfect MVP" for your product and still experience massive failure. You might even have done all the validation possible, recieved great feedback then be dumbfounded when your hard work doesn't pay off.
As an entrepreneur the biggest marker for success in my experience is quite simply "the delivery of ideas". The more ideas you successfully deliver, the more likely you are to experience some form of success now or in the future.
Minimum Viable Product,
Minimum Valuable Product,
Minimum Loveable product,
Minimum Product I believe In or even
Minimum Product That I Want To Fucking Build.
Who cares? As long as it motivates you enough to get it done!
If you've launched a product then you've already achieved success.
Now improve it, launch another or just sit back and enjoy the moment.
After juggling clients, life, work and my own commitment for 18 months, I recently launched the Polkadot Tiger beta and cannot tell you how much of a relief it was to finally be able to say "I did it, it exists".