At what point did we understand the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as the Minimum Product to add value?
With the MVP, we are not looking to add value. We seek to validate our idea with the public, with the users who are going to receive the product and who are going to give us feedback. The objective of building an MVP is to achieve that feedback, if along the way we also manage to add value, that would most certainly be a significant compliment, however, to he clear, it is not the objective.
To the extent that we achieve that feedback, we will have early elements to know if we are oriented in the right direction, thus, achieving something that really generates value for the user. In our eagerness to constantly generate value, we expect every activity to have an explicit value generation component, which slows down the process of delivering to the user and validating its use and relevance.
Value or no value?
In his book The Lean Startup, Eric Ries states the importance of pivoting and constantly validating with users whether what we deliver is what they really need and how this will continuously, progressively and evolutionarily deliver more value.
On the other hand, if we wait until we have a product that generates value, according to our understanding of value, instead of validating with the customer, we will be delaying the acquisition of reliable feedback to achieve real value.
By raising this concept, the response I consistently get is that the company will not approve of delivering to users that do not add value to them. So my question is, how can I guarantee that I am providing value when I have not yet validated with the user in an actual environment of usage?
We work under many assumptions and one that makes us move incorrectly is believing that we know what value the user needs.
The definition of MVP does not talk about value, it talks about viability and this, according to Frederic Laloux’s definition in Reinventing Organizations is «feasibility», where he defines the MVP as something feasible, something that at least does not leave us in a condition much worse than the one we are currently in. I for one, could not agree anymore; MVP speaks of feasibility so that by seeking constant feedback we can achieve, together with the users, what we are always looking for, value.
La cometa de valor