I am just back home after the first day at the Luxembourg startup weekend May 2014 edition #SWLUX @swluxembourg http://luxembourg.startupweekend.org where I am participating as judge. I spent a very nice evening listening to more than 25 ideas, people were enthousiastic! I am looking forward to hear the final pitches!
During the initial talks, organisers presented the “judging criteria”. The minimum viable product legitimately appears as the important concept in the “execution” part of the judging criteria. Below I wanted to share a few thoughts about the MVP.
Quoting Eric Ries (http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/2009/03/minimum-viable-product.html) it is clear that an MVP should have “just enough” features to convince early adopters:
“The idea of minimum viable product is useful because you can basically say: our vision is to build a product that solves this core problem for customers and we think that for the people who are early adopters for this kind of solution, they will be the most forgiving. And they will fill in their minds the features that aren’t quite there if we give them the core, tent-pole features that point the direction of where we’re trying to go.
So, the minimum viable product is that product which has just those features (and no more) that allows you to ship a product that resonates with early adopters; some of whom will pay you money or give you feedback.”
Moreover, another important aspect in elaborating the MVP is the sequencing of actions required to elaborate the MVP. These include:
– inception of the core features
– validate the assumptions with some key users
– rethink/redesign the core features
– define priorities in terms of prototyping
– prototyping “just enough” and validate prototype with key users
– eventually go back and redo everything from scratch
– move ahead with more prototyping and more validation without forgetting the revenue model
Then you should go out and sell the prototyped product having in mind that every time you skip validation from the field you add risk in your execution plan…
Now, in case you are in a startup weekend mode you should find the working path that would allow you to define a MVP within two days. Jumping into a “hackathon” mode maybe an option but in that case make sure you don’t shift from “minimum viable” to “minimum desirable” product. It maybe cool to demo something at the end of the startup weekend but this might not necessarily be a product that early adopters would pay you money or give you feedback for.