MVP doesn’t mean half-done

Establishing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a common strategy used by startups and large organizations alike for avoiding lengthy and expensive cycles when developing products that have still not been validated on the market. As soon as the essential feature-set is built, a product is ready for deployment and interaction with end users. This initial version should also help to validate key assumptions about the product’s usefulness and its desirability on the market.

Nevertheless, this basic idea can often be miss-interpreted. It sounds quite romantic to just go ahead and create the first thing that comes into your mind and release it to the public (regardless of its level of refinement and quality). But in fact its very important that the MVP looks and functions like a finished product. If it’s unreliable, unappealing and doesn’t provide value in its basic form, users are unlikely to start using the product nor give it much of a chance. This also means the team behind the product are unlikely to be able to draw any useful conclusions from it either.

Therefore, a MVP doesn’t mean half-done, it means focused. An MVP should look, function and have a value / price just like any other commercially viable product. Its true strength lies not in the speed of release to market, but rather in developing a well functioning and designed product with a laser-sharp focus on the core functionality and less of a focus, if any, on non-essential features.