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Are there significant risks to creating an MVP that is too minimal?

I'm creating an MVP currently but am worried that an MVP that is too 'minimal' could prevent potential early adopters from interacting with our product. We plan to begin with our basic function but have several plans for future add ons that could be an important part of our future business. Has anyone encountered a similar dilemma?

28 Replies

Michael Markarian
7
0
Michael Markarian Entrepreneur
Founder at Mount Dream
Yes. I am a strong believer that people are taking the concept of MVP way too far without really understanding what it means. Remember that "V" stands for "viable". Strip down everything that does not include the core of what you are offering, but you need more than a landing page and benefit statement. That is not a viable product.
Steve Mock
3
0
Steve Mock Entrepreneur
Co-founder and COO at Metric Insights
MVP is a great concept but vary hard to do. In your example, you have to keep iterating until people are actually interacting with the product. You might call that the MVP, but then you might want people to interact with the product even more, and you'll need to keep going. So, maybe the MVP is further out.

I think the question you should answer is what is your goal for the MVP. If the goal is to get confidence to quit your day job and do it full time, that is one thing. If you goal is to have enough of something to do fundraising, that is another plateau. For fundraising, you can talk to a number of investors and share your progress along the way. The day you get funding will be the day you know you've got your MVP done. :)
Sachin Dev Duggal
2
0
Chief Wizard @shoto. Loves tech. Believes in humanity. @SDSquared Venture Labs
I think its more than just early adopters - its a matter of what you're testing with the MVP - ideally if you are testing the hypothesis of whether something will work or not from just a basic core idea perspective you can do that. We often use the idea of minimum loveable but you have to be careful not to be hung on the idea for too long.
Mamie Kanfer Stewart
2
0
Mamie Kanfer Stewart Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder & CEO at Meeteor, Speaker, Change-maker
It also depends on who you are 'selling' your MVP to. We launched a MVP that had the core functionality but was not very well designed and was missing a lot of the features that would make it smooth to use. But we also gave it away for free to hand picked teams (its a B-2-B product) that understood what an MVP is and were willing to give us feedback on a weekly basis so that we could improve it. I would be very weary of releasing an MVP to the public. The point of MVP is to get early users who will help you design the optimal product.
Michael Kelly
1
0
Michael Kelly Entrepreneur
Marketing Manager at University of Southern California
Great insight gentlemen, thank you. I like Michael's point on the "Viable" portion of MVP. We obviously don't want to create something that doesn't do our core function well. I also like Steve's point on identifying a goal for our MVP. Our current goal is to build confidence and learn about what more(or less) our product can do for our customers as well as identifying when and how to implement our extended features.
Brendan Benzing
0
0
Brendan Benzing Advisor
Cofounder at MyNeighbor
Michael- I couldn't agree with you more. The idea of an MVP make sense but everyone seems to have a different definition of what that is, even your early adopters.. I would start with trying to identify one key problem your target customers has and if you can solve that. For example at our company MyNeighbor.com we developed an MVP, we limited to mobile app only, and cut out things like in app transactions, ratings, reviews, public profiles, 3rd part Identity verification, etc. All of these items for some users could be considered minimum, as our service enables neighbors to borrow and lend goods and services with their neighbors. We have definitely proven some will, but you are right you risknot appealing to some early adopters who may say it needs x,y,z, and I would use it. I suggest staying focused on answering the question is the pain point you are trying to solve worth using a MVP to try and solve it, and if the answer is yes, you are probably
Todd Kovalsky
1
0
Todd Kovalsky Entrepreneur
I help businesses get where they need to go
cut scope until you meet the goal. If your bids to build it are too high, cut more scope and keep meeting that goal. You will be amazed at how many things are really nice to haves. good luck Best regards, Todd Kovalsky [removed to protect privacy]
Michael Kelly
0
0
Michael Kelly Entrepreneur
Marketing Manager at University of Southern California
Agreed Mamie. We do worry about releasing an MVP that could turn off our initial hand picked teams (a combination of fitness professionals and professional athletes). Introducing a brand/product to people with celebrity status is similar to an elevator pitch, you have a small window to sell them and if they don't like it who knows if you'll get a second chance.Thankfully, I'm well tapped into a nice core of people who can grow this product but they may not understand exactly what our initial MVP launch is trying to do. Still have questions we need to answer clearly!
Andrew Lockley
0
1
Andrew Lockley Advisor
Investor and strategy consultant
Solve a big problem with a small tool. A
Michael Jacek Gre
1
0
Partner @ SWARM
No you cant have a MVO that's too minimal. The whole point of a MVO is that its barebones. It tests your assumptions. Anything larger and you have bloat. Go through a MoSCoW model and only implement the M's and be diligent about not having many M's. :) -- *Jacek M. Gre, Partner, SWARM.* we make apps for mobile, wearable and second screen devices @swarmnyc | http://swarmnyc.com | +1 646 . 709 . 7407
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