#17 The mvp definition

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Hello friend,

Is it warming up where you are? It's finally feeling like spring/summer here in Greensboro. I saw my shadow yesterday for the first time in weeks.

I have a question for you. When you hear entrepreneurs and "business" people mention "MVP" or "minimum viable product", what does that mean to you?

I ask this because the word is thrown around a lot, but everyone has a different definition.

For our purposes, we're going to use it to mean building the smallest product/website/campaign/etc. that gives you a positive return on investment (ROI). A positive ROI could mean any number of outcomes. Revenue, assumption validation, leads or some other kind of learning are all examples of what an ROI could look like.

Are we tracking? Yes? Great.

The misconception I hear most often from people or brands about MVPs is trying to launch one that's half-baked. A good MVP is not something incomplete. It's a complete small version of what you want to build.

Let's take a song for example.

The MVP of a song isn't just the baseline or chorus. That wouldn't be a song, would it? However, an MVP might be an acoustic guitar demo, complete with three verses, a bridge and chorus.

An artist could play the acoustic version and see if her fans like it. If they do and she get's the ROI she's looking for, she may decide to record additional tracks like drums or strings (features or channels). Now she's got a full band version released and burning up the charts on iTunes.

Had the artist gone on stage and played the rhythm guitar only or the first two lines as her MVP, she might not have gotten accurate feedback. She could have missed having a hit because she didn't understand Minimum Viable Product.

Next time you think about the MVP for your upcoming project or product, start with what it is you're trying to accomplish and build the smallest version that gets you a positive return on that.

Until next time.



P.S. Really enjoyed this Force Awakens installment of "Everything is a Remix".
P.P.S. I geek out on music. This video on "Rapping, deconstructed" is worth the 12min.
P.P.P.S. I'm rereading Save the Cat. It's like they put new paragraphs in there since last time.

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