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The One Thing An MVP Should Do

For an MVP, only one outcome matters: the product-market fit. We want to know that at its core, most basic level, the product is doing the right thing for the right people and delivering what users actually want (and will pay for!), rather than what we think they want.

It’s taken us many years at Fictive Kin to figure out, test, and validate how to build the right MVPs that get us to the oft-coveted product-market fit. On this journey we’ve learned our most valuable role is laying out product and behavioral truths, and stepping Founders through those truths - this can mean doggedly seeking out the “rightness” of a product one day, to helping Founders avoid the potential landmines of vanity metrics another day.

At the heart of a successful MVP process is first identifying our destination, and then figuring out how to get there as effectively as we can - from the center of the product outwards. This means that each additional feature needs to fight itself into existence, judged only on its ability to test a key hypothesis and get us to initial product-market fit.

As a partner, it’s critical that we challenge the assumptions of these features and don’t just build for the sake of building. We know that assuming that an end user wants a feature without challenging its value has only 3 outcomes: either the user really wants it, and you were right (woo!), or the users are fine with it (but now expect it, so you can’t get rid of it), or they don’t want it and resources have been wasted building it.

Doing this right means we don’t just get to product-market fit, but we create a funding-ready MVP that is equipped to gather important validating data, without sacrificing optionality to pivot when needed (after all, really great product design can adapt to different scenarios).

Next article: Who Should Build My MVP?