Debate

Is MVP an Experiment or a Validation Mechanism?

Minimum viable product is no longer the real MVP of the product world. We already saw the diminishing role of MVP in our debate on minimum delightful product, but the truth is, it’s still a common enough device employed by many product teams. But what is it exactly that you really use MVP for? Is it a way to not let perfection get in the way by experimenting with new things? Or is it really not so much for external consumption as it is about validating a hypothesis?

75% of our readers think that MVP really should be more of a validation tool than an experiment, and our debaters agree. Well, at least they do in the via negative — it makes less sense to use MVP as purely experimental.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Validation

We have a history with the MVP at 15Five, and not the good kind! When used properly, for me it's a mechanism to validate a hypothesis without investing 100% of the time and resource into building out the full solution. And of course, part of that validation is to collect data once the MVP is complete /released.

Holly Kennedy
Head of Product, 15Five
Wrong question

Minimum Viable Product is not the smallest product that meets MY goals. It is the minimum product that satisfies the customer goals and desires. If the team is focused on the technology and not the customer's pain, and on empathy and devotion to learning more about those driving factors, MVP can turn into a technology experiment instead of an exhibition of the customer desired outcome being satisfied.

Jeff Coyle
Chief Product Officer, MarketMuse
User Comments