Why Your Minimum Viable Product Isn’t Ready for the Real World

There’s no reason to rush your product to market, so get your MVP right first

Joe Procopio

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image by freepik

It’s an undeniable fact that the world is full of trash MVPs. Is yours one of them?

I’m not going to answer that in this post. Instead, what I’d rather do is give you all the right reasons for keeping your MVP an MVP until it’s ready to graduate to the real world.

Look, markets have always been littered with garbage products. The modern-day difference is that the global marketplace is no longer finite. It’s simply not the case that someone’s hacked-together, buggy Clubhouse clone is taking “shelf space” from more worthy competitors.

In fact, the beautiful thing about this brave new world of public beta tests, glitchy prototypes, and hastily thrown together MVPs is that each one has to live or die by its own value proposition. For better or for worse, it’s a much more free market than it was just a decade ago. Theoretically, if your product sucks, no one is going to see it, let alone buy it.

However, the reverse of that value statement is not automatically true. If your product is brilliant, there is no guarantee that it will find product-market fit, let alone launch your startup into the stratosphere.

That’s what your MVP is for. That’s the viability you’re proving.

My latest project just celebrated a year in MVP mode. And that’s neither a record for one of my projects nor is it too far off from what I’ve seen as the median MVP time of the successful products I’ve been involved with.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m super quick to kill a product that isn’t going anywhere. I’ve learned the lesson that even a crap product still costs tens of thousands of dollars to develop, and that’s before we open the sinkhole of even more cash to market it.

If I’m going to run to an investor for that kind of money, I’m going to be damn sure that my MVP isn’t still behind one of these four gates.

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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