December 20, 2014

MPV comes before MVP


Way before you start on your MVP (Minimum Viable Product), it's a good idea to do an MPV (Major Premise Validation).

It's rather natural for a coder to start right in on building a product quickly so it can be shown to prospective users to get their feedback. But the feedback loop should start before you build anything.

What are the Major Premises (assumptions) at the foundation of your business? These must be validated before you code anything.

The way to do this? You've heard it before: Get Out of the Building! Talk with prospective users and tell them what you have in mind. See if you can get a true meeting of the minds. Is there any interest for the users to actually Pay for what you have in mind?

If you can't get any interest at the conceptual level, you will probably have a tough time getting any interest in a Minimum Viable Product because it will be built on a fuzzy MPV. You'll need to pivot.

It is this one step, Major Premise Validation, that could save a lot of grief later.

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By the way, if I may, this acronym stuff is fun, but it's just technobabble to make the babbler sound like they have some secret sauce. In fact, Common Sense existed long before MVP. The saying that "there is nothing new under the sun" comes to mind. That phrase is in itself quite old, from the bible, one of the oldest and best-selling books in history.

Sometimes the technobabble comes not as an acronym, but in the form of a word that is repurposed and repackaged and repeated so frequently that it becomes part of a specialized language.  The word "pivot" comes to mind. And "fit". And phrases like "get out of the building". All basic common sense repackaged with the jargon du jour. The emperor has no clothes.

The name for the specialized language used in StartupLand is Startupian.  You probably have not heard that term before, and that may be making you feel a bit uncomfortable that there is a secret language that you need to know in order to succeed in this business. Don't be fooled, I just invented the words MPV and Startupian.  It's all just common sense.