The Most Valuable Problem

Introducing MVP v2.0

MVP v1.0 —The Minimum Viable Product

Anyone even remotely engaged with building software and/or startups has heard of the MVP concept — the Minimum Viable Product. The whole idea behind it is to reduce waste to a minimum by testing ideas and hypotheses rapidly and deferring any heavy lifting until it actually makes sense.

One of the pitfalls of building an MVP is focusing too much on the product itself. Entrepreneurs sometimes get carried away with their ideas and start building solutions long before they’ve made an effort to talk with and observe the behavior of their customers. Other times, the motivation to achieve success is more important than solving a customer’s problem. The both approaches often end up creating waste.

One way to avoid this trap is by looking at the concept from a slightly different angle, one that is more closely aligned with the customer, not the product. In order to capture this viewpoint we need to redefine the MVP acronym.

MVP v2.0 —The Most Valuable Problem

The Most Valuable Problem represents the biggest customer pain point.

It allows you to shift focus from building a feature-heavy solution that might not be widely used to actually solving the biggest challenge first. It therefore helps you narrow your focus and define your success metrics by avoiding the & symptom.

A lot of entrepreneurs subconsciously avoid tackling the biggest unknown in the fear of missing out. They often have the need to spread the solution across different target groups in the hope of it “catching on”. This approach almost always guarantees failure because none of the target groups gets served particularly well.

Sometimes a small shift in perception can bring great results. By shifting our thinking from building solutions to solving problems we can deliver deeper experiences more quickly. Putting customers first always pays off in the long run.