Is Minimum Viable Product, viable anymore?
For any budding first-time entrepreneur, getting to the market is a significant milestone. During this phase, one must prioritize the features, evaluate resources and plan frugally. MVP or a Minimum Viable Product concept has been acclaimed to be a good starting point for getting initial validation from early customers and using those insights for iterative product building.
However, with an ongoing splurge of apps released in the Google Play Store and Apple app store, the viability of an MVP is in question. Google Play store has around 25million apps while the Apple app store stacks at around a 22million. Besides, these numbers are growing every passing minute with app releases globally.
Therefore, until the idea is entirely novel or pathbreaking, hundreds of similar apps might have already implemented it. Is MVP a way to go against such competition? Not likely. The product development has shifted towards Minimum Lovable Product or MLP to keep up with customer aspirations from the product.
Need for MLP?
There has been significant growth in the behavior of new-age customers. They are exposed to some of the best product experiences already in their daily life. Even a food delivery app is providing an exceptional user experience than just selling its product. I hope you noticed the word ‘Experience’ in the last sentence. Entrepreneurs are not just focused on building products; instead, they have started building a wholesome customer experience that only the big guns concentrated on. This is where the MLP becomes essential. While the goal of an MVP is to release the cardinal features with the least cost, the purpose of MLP is to build an experience for only a specific user problem.
Now some may question that creating an experience may require more time and resources to build the product! Well, that`s not true now. The new age low-code platforms like Bubble, Squarespace, Webflow make the job easier. The time and resources can be optimized to deliver a superior customer experience to gain significant traction among the early adopters.
Who is it suitable for?
The below table is a good representation if you should go with an MVP or MLP-
The bottom line is that building MLP is a much better option as it has the same cost and time as MVP, but it provides an initial competitive advantage.
Think about it the next time you start building something!