Reddit launched in 2005 and has since climbed into one of the top websites in the world.
The value prop story was simple:
- Liron Shapira, a tech geek, wants to entertain and inform myself by seeing some of the most interesting new content created in the last 24 hours
- Before Reddit, I would have to go to various news sites or specific people’s blogs.
- After Reddit, I just go to Reddit and read different links that I wouldn’t otherwise have read, which I enjoy.
When Reddit launched, it was an extremely simple website. They didn’t have a “community” yet to curate links, even though community creation was a critical piece of the future value.
The key insight to keeping Reddit’s MVP lean is that the person in their specific value prop story was a tech geek. Since the Reddit founders were also tech geeks, the MVP of Reddit simply consisted of them finding and posting links that they thought were interesting (while sock puppeting a bunch of different user accounts).
It would have been tempting for them to conceive of an “MVP” that required building a bunch of features to attract a real community, so that they could stand back and watch what kind of content the community would “organically contribute”. They didn’t fall into that trap. They just manually put content up there which created value for the first users.
The verdict: Non-bloated MVP.