How to Pilot Your Minimum Viable Product

Things will break and customers will get mad, but that’s all part of the process

Joe Procopio
Marker

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Photo: Image Source RF/Cadalpe/Getty Images

HHere’s the catch-22 about experimentation: It kills your revenue, your customer reputation, your employee morale, and your business rhythm. But if you don’t experiment, all those things will wither and die anyway.

A minimum viable product (MVP), as the name implies, is the experimental version of your product, one that is just functional enough to provide value to the customer. When built right, the core of your MVP — the functionality where the customer finds value — is the only robust part. The rest is sneakernet, vaporware, and duct tape — a bunch of manual processes designed to substitute for automated processes before you spend a bunch of money on automation.

Now, if you launch your MVP without adequate preparation, those manual processes can dislodge and sabotage your launch, like a loose bolt in a rocket, ultimately dooming your MVP to failure.

If you want to reduce the risk of a pre-orbit MVP explosion, you first need to run a proper pilot.

An MVP pilot dramatically reduces the risk of experimentation

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Joe Procopio
Marker
Writer for

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com