MVP Does Not Mean "Shit Product"

The term "MVP" has become pretty meaningless. This is D77's philosophy on how to keep MVPs actually valuable.

In 2020 the concept of an "MVP" seems to be poorly understood by product teams, and is often used as shorthand for:

  • A version of your product that misses key functionality

  • A badly designed version of your product

  • A badly coded version of your product

  • A poorly performing version of your product

It shouldn’t be this way, and the clue is in the name - Minimum ViableProduct.

AT D77, when we say Minimum Viable Product, we mean the version of your product that has the smallest feature set that it can offer, and still succeed in the marketplace. Or to put it another way, a product that does just what it needs to do in order to deliver real value and a good experience to its users.

This minimum feature set could be one feature, or it could be a hundred. For example if you're building a spaceship then yes, your MVP is going to be huge. But does the first version of the spaceship really need a microwave oven, a coffee machine and a foosball table? No, it just needs to get you safely to the moon (and back).

Bringing the conversation back to Earth, we’ve all heard people say "We can't do an MVP because we really need features X, Y and Z".

If it’s true that you really couldn't launch without X, Y and Z then they simply become part of your MVP. The uncomfortable truth is that most of the time you don’t need X, Y and Z, you just want them. It can be a very hard distinction to make at times, but we can help you make it. It’s what we do.

Let's imagine you’ve got a great idea for a to-do list app. There's probably quite a lot you could leave out of MVP that would be (and will be) nice features to add later.

It doesn't need push notifications. Well, not yet anyway....