Why MVPs Suck [at the risk of being unpopular]
Rachel Klausner

I agree that teams need to be careful when they jump on the MVP train. The MVP concept can be very helpful in delivering value and mitigating risk. There are a few things that teams should keep in mind.

One of the big reasons for releasing small and often (agile) is to mitigate risk and deliver value. This is but one of the risk mitigators, evaluative research. There is also generative research that the team should do in advance of developing a product. This research is the key to understanding what is a minimum viable product and what is just a product. It is also a key component of understanding your competition, and what you may need to do to differentiate yourself.

A bakery serving raw dough is a product but it isn’t minimally viable. The research will help the team understand what the smallest menu looks like (spoiler, it is challah). The team can then make the best challah in town, rather than a mediocre menu with a larger selection. They should deliver that as soon as it is ready so they can start learning more, like if the customer actually likes the bread!

Here are some examples of first versions that look very “MVP”.