This Is Why the Detractors Hate Your Minimum Viable Product
Before you test the market, let’s make sure your product isn’t “impracticable”
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.
- Spend a lot of money.
- 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.