MVP is a process, not a destination

Amy Jo Kim
Lean Startup Circle
2 min readMar 4, 2017


If you pull back the curtain on hit products and games, you’ll discover that the idea of MVP (minimum viable product) is more of a process than a destination. That’s why embracing rapid, lightweight, user-centered iteration (AKA design thinking) is so crucial for success.

I learned this working on — and scoping — complex online games and marketplaces. The best teams I worked with did lots of tiny, high-learning experiments early in development. If you were watching from the outside, the process might look like it’s meandering, going sideways — not heading directly towards a product. But from the inside out, we were bringing a high-risk product to life through a series of high-learning experiments — designed to scope out the areas of greatest risk.

This is what Eric Ries was talking about in his Lean Startup book — but sometimes, eager entrepreneurs fixate on the details (AKA building a fake landing page) rather than the deeper point of building a product through disciplined, high-learning experiments.

Many experienced entrepreneurs get this deeper point — like the folks at Y Combinator who wrote the excellent article below. Others look around, think everyone else doesn’t get it, and then try to invent a new word — like the hackermoon author below. Seems to me that these folks are travelling in different circles — hence the disconnect :-)

If you wanna dig deeper, watch these videos — and learn to embrace the uncertainty, excitement and true discovery of an effective MVP process. That’s the fast path to product/market fit.

How & Why to Iterate your MVP
Test your high-risk assumptions with small, high-learning experiments

Accelerate your path to product/market fit

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