MVP is not a shortcut

December 15th, 2014 Comments Off on MVP is not a shortcut

product development has been totally dominated in past few years by the ‘lean methodology’, preaching that we should all focus on less features, more iterations and a lot of customer interviews. all good and well, but i have also seen a lot of misunderstandings of this approach, leading to dysfunctional teams and products.

I believe the most problematic concept of all is the MVP – minimum viable product. everyone is pretty sure they know what MVP is, and yet, they continue to deliver either dysfunctional prototypes, or confusing ‘betas’.

sometimes, what people call the ‘lean mvp’ is actually just an excuse for sloppy design and coding. these i hate the most, and explain the fallacy with an engineering comparison:

MVP of a bridge is not made of two ropes, connected with occasional rotten wood planks that happened to be lying around. this lethal construction would serve only as a practical illustration of a concept, a sketch on the napkin, not even demo-ware yet.

MVP of a bridge is a healthy trunk carefully mounted over the river. you can use it to cross the river; you might have to learn how to walk it, but you can be sure it will carry your weight.

designing and building MVP is not a shortcut, it should take notable time and effort to do it.

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