14 July 2017
by: Brandon DiPerno
In the past, software development took a very long time. The entire process revolved around creating a perfect product.
The problem with that method was that if your product didn’t work for users you’d have to start all over to fix the issues. By the time many learned what was wrong with the product, they were out of money.
The goal of an MVP (minimum viable product) is to start this learning process as soon as possible. By doing this, your product can avoid an early death and you can address issues right away. The MVP is not a proof of concept. It’s a working version of the product to figure out market reaction and fit. Through user feedback you’re able to find out if your original hypothesis was right and pivot as needed.
Despite its success MVP has evolved adding a step called MLP. MLP stands for “Minimum Loveable Product”. Where MVP served as a learning tool to find out what consumers liked. MLP works to deliver a new version of the product that early adopters love. It’s in the MLP that you discover what your product’s main focus should be.It’s important to only solve high value problems based on user feedback from the MVP. MLP is what is going to hook your audience.
MLP is also evolving. At babyTEL we’ve developed a variation of MVP/MLP called MAS. MAS stands for the “Minimal Acceptable Service”. While MVP and MLP work well in startups, MAS brings those advantages to established service companies.
MAS brings lean internal development to established services . It’s all about risk mitigation. Companies can’t afford the risks that startups can.
Without MVP and MLP working to define MAS building a product is very hard. The old method of product management requires tremendous vision. Also you need to be able to expect customer reactions without testing.
MAS works by fixing weaknesses and pursuing strengths. With that information you can plan the next direction of the products at the base of the Service. MAS only works for a breakthrough service. An established company isn’t only focused on one product or service. For MAS to work, you need to have some of the vision old product management relied on.
At the end of the day these methods serve to trim the fat off your product. It’s impossible to compete in the current market with a bloated product. People only respond to what they see as crucial, especially in testing. Even so, it’s the results you get from your MVP, MLP, and MAS that will allow you to pivot and be successful.