June 21, 2014

Our Dangerous Misunderstanding of the MVP

3Pillar’s CEO, David DeWolf, recently wrote an article for Software Magazine titled “Our Dangerous Misunderstanding of the MVP,” about the software industry’s over-reliance on the Minimum Viable Product and its frequent misuse.

In the simplest of terms, a Minimum Viable Product, better known as MVP, is one that requires the absolute smallest amount of development work necessary to gain customer feedback. The purpose of the MVP, as stated by Eric Reis, author of The Lean Startup, is to shorten the feedback cycle in order to obtain more customer feedback at a quicker rate.

The MVP is a tool. Its purpose is to solicit valuable feedback in order to understand what could drive revenue, capture market share, and drive user adoption. What the industry seems to understand it as is a beta, or initial release of a product, which is simply incorrect.

In essence, the MVP is the first, second, and third steps along the road to creating a sustainable market-ready product, not simply an interesting and seemingly viable idea. What MVP should never be used as is the end goal of the product, which is exactly what many in the industry view it as.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the MVP and all of its applications.