The Problem with Minimally Viable Products


Where I am seeing more and more trouble is the translation of that kind of internal thinking into the customer/user experience.  Especially on products that are not labeled as Alphas or Betas, but that are being sold or promoted as fully functional.  (If you’re piecing it together with duct tape behind the scenes, so be it, you can come back for tech debt later.)

“Lean Startup isn't about being cheap [but is about] being less wasteful and still doing things that are big.”

Simply put, your customers should never know that you’ve but an MVP in market.   That means paying attention to all of the details that create a great customer experience and not skimping on the work.

  • Your marketing website:  Make it look good – I mean, really good.  You want people to know what they are signing up for and how it can help them without having to do a ton of work to find the answers.
  • Your collateral:  Don’t just .pdf an internal word doc and call it a day.  Put some simple, clean design elements and photos in so people feel like you’ve put the effort in that you’re asking for in return.
  • Your marketing automation:  If you believe that sending triggered emails will help your potential customers be more successful with your product, don't wait to be perfect but take some smart guesses and again, make them look good.
  • Your UX:  if you skimp on your user experience a minimally viable product can quickly become a not viable product.  The experience needs to look and feel thought through, even if you plan to change it later.
  • Your sales process:  The only way to learn what works and what doesn't is to put your best foot forward.  MVP means you may not get results right away, but you need to try, learn, and adapt. 

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