Minimum Viable Product vs Minimum Lovable Product
Remember a golden rule of product or service-based business ideas. Your product or service should be built around a problem and rely on technology as a tool to solve it, and not the other way around.
If you are not aware of these terms, let me explain you. MVP means Minimum viable product and MLP means Minimum Lovable Product.
What is MPV?
MPV is the version of a new product that is just usable enough by early customers who can then provide feedback to the team. This feedback should help the team generate validated learnings and guide them on future product development and features.
Suppose you’re building something that simply doesn’t exist in the world, and it’s something that people really want and have no alternative to getting it except from you. At this time, people will accept a textbook MVP, simply because they have no frame of reference to compare it with. Or better yet, because they have no alternative to replace your MVP with.
What is MLP?
MLP focus on no matter how small or feature-stripped the first version of your product is, it is sufficient to deliver a delightful experience to your user.
A great practical example of Minimum Loveable Product is the Apple iPad. All the tablets that came before Apple’s tablet were MVPs.
When to adopt which?
Build an MLP when you are solving a problem that’s already understood by people, and an MVP when people don’t easily understand a problem.
Build an MLP when you can clearly define and understand a market and you are trying to stand out from the existing tools. Build an MVP when you’re trying to gauge if there even exists a market to serve.
An MLP can be built when you know exactly what customers want. An MVP is when you don’t know what customers want, and therefore you want to throw things at the wall as quickly as possible and see what sticks.
An MLP is necessary if you are building in a market where several large and well-known alternatives already exist. An MVP is the right approach for a new market with barely any alternatives, or those solutions are not yet known by the masses.
While building an MLP, you make a dedicated effort to succeed with that idea. With MVP, you are trying to determine quickly whether the idea can succeed or whether it will fail.
Building an MVP means you’re ready for failure and also ready to pivot quickly as you learn more about the market. Which means you should make tech and architecture decisions that help you move fast above anything else. Scalability or good architecture design is a concern to pay attention to while building an MLP.
Finally, the end goal of an MLP is that the customers who use it find it sufficient in functionality and experience to be able to “love” it. With an MLP, you’re building just enough that a customer with (hopefully) a real pain point would “tolerate” and continue using your product while you validate your assumptions.
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