How To Determine When You Should Launch Your Minimum Viable Product
Answering these five questions will address the most critical decision criteria
The most difficult decision when building a minimum viable product is knowing when it’s ready to go to market.
That question begs the dreaded two-word follow-up, one that’s despised by most entrepreneurs and engineers:
Get that part wrong and you’re facing the proposition of launching a product that everyone hates and no one uses. It’s a pretty powerful demotivator.
So let’s tackle it head on.
There are two camps when it comes to building an MVP
The pro-MVP camp will tell you that a minimum viable product, with its barebones approach to developing the engine that powers a full customer experience, allows creators to bring ideas to market quickly and inexpensively.
An MVP lets them test the viability of those ideas with real, live customers, without a lot of up-front, sunk cost. Then they can make sound decisions about how to move forward to product-market fit.
The anti-MVP camp will point to the vast number of broken and crappy apps in the marketplace, all of them trying to make a quick buck off a bad idea.
Look, I’m not here to judge. But I will state emphatically that those crappy, broken apps aren’t MVPs. Those are just cash grabs. And cash grabs have been around for ages.
So the philosophy behind MVP isn’t the problem. The problem all has to do with when they get released.
There are two sides when it comes to releasing an MVP
One side is worried about releasing too soon and having their product publicly shredded on the open market. No one wants their first impression to be a bad impression. So as a result, these startups often overbuild their product without any kind of market input or feedback, which is just delaying the inevitable — a complex, full-featured product that no one needs.
The other side can’t get the MVP out to market quickly enough, and they cut…