Minimum viability is very much a product-outwards perspective: what’s the least amount of work we can do to find out whether going down this line of thinking is a business idea that’s worth being invested in. It has nothing to do with viability for users.
It’s a well worn notion that the right way to build a product is to iterate through stages of development, where at each stage you deliver something that, on it’s own, provides real incremental value by accomplishing the user’s goal appreciably faster/cheaper/better than was possible before. A functional approach.
What makes a product viable for use is:
This is distinctly not a product-out orientation — but instead a user-inwards orientation.
We have to make up for the pain we put users through — our stumbling attempts at building something useful, the suffering of (re)learning how to do something, breaking their workflows — with some pleasure on the other side.
Leading to questions that should be answered:
Programming notes: this post is n in a series of indeterminate length on Product topics mainly for startup people, mainly leadership, mainly coming from non-GTM backgrounds.
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