This Is Why the Detractors Hate Your Minimum Viable Product

Before you test the market, let’s make sure your product isn’t “impracticable”

Joe Procopio

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image by katemangostar on freepik

Last month, I wrote a piece about Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development and why the haters hate it.

TL;DR: As an entrepreneur and a product leader, I bring new products and features to market at a pretty solid clip, including a massive one about ten minutes before I sat down to write this. I almost always launch these new products after testing their market viability with an MVP.

The main argument I hear against MVP development is that it hurts the software ecosystem by allowing flawed product to go to market at an ever increasing rate.

Here’s the problem I have with that criticism:

MVP isn’t about the needs of the existing market

There’s a misconception that those of us who develop and release MVPs are bringing a known quantity to a known market. That isn’t the case at all. If we were doing that, we’d be internal IT engineers, not entrepreneurs.

A true entrepreneur is attempting to bring innovation to market, not a commodity. And when you’re trying to do something that’s never been done before, you’re not so much finding a market as making one.

Entrepreneurs use MVPs to find product-market fit

You basically have two options to get an answer on viability before you attempt to carve out a new market for a new product.

  1. Spend a lot of money.
  2. Build an MVP.

So those MVP detractors are either folks that can easily get their hands on a lot of money or they’ve never created a market.

But that’s cool. I’m going to help the detractors here as much as I’m going to help the entrepreneurs and innovators. Because the detractors are indeed correct about one thing:

The true test of viability isn’t whether or not your product works.

It’s also not whether or not you can sell that product to a paying customer. True viability comes down to whether or not that product can establish market fit.

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com