The MVP process to 3 steps:
1. Start with a single, simple product solving a tiny subset of a Grand Problem;
2. Keep iterating, while constantly solving bigger, related problems en route to solving the Grand Problem;
3. Constantly communicate the vision of the Grand Problem that will be solved.
Let’s use the evolution of light to illustrate how this works.
Grand Problem: Humanity needs cheap, effective lighting during darkness
1st MVP: Fire. Humans witnessed how lightning from the skies could ignite forests and create fire. After experimenting by rubbing sticks together, they created their own fire. Problem solved. But the fire isn’t particularly portable.
2nd MVP: Oil Lamps, Candles & Gas Lights. Now humans could carry light with them as they moved about their business. Problem solved. But candles and gas lights aren’t particularly bright and the slightest breeze blows them out.
3rd MVP: Incandescent Light Bulbs. Early light bulbs were battery-powered and were more reliable than a flickering candle. Problem solved. But as cities grew in size, the demand for more widespread lighting grew. The national grid had not yet been constructed.
4th MVP: Widely Available Electricity. In order to transmit electricity over long distances, AC and transformers were developed. Thermal power stations were built to meet massive demand. Problem solved. But as the world’s electricity demand increases, alternatives are required.
5th MVP: Solar Power. Lower wattage light bulbs replace the original incandescent light bulbs while solar panels become more efficient and cheaper to produce. Problem solved. But solar solutions are still relatively expensive and adoption too low to be able to turn off the national grid.
6th MVP: A Planet Powered Solely by the Sun. Highly efficient batteries can be charged solely by cheap and ubiquitous solar panels. At this point, it becomes possible to remove our dependence on fossil fuels. We’re not quite there yet.
As the founder of an early-stage company or product, you have a clear vision of the Grand Problem (MVP6) you are solving. But you’re way ahead of your market (or at least you should be).
To be successful, it is your responsibility to chunk up the journey from where the world is now to where you want us to be. How will you release feature sets that take us from what can be delivered today, while communicating the future truth of your vision? A great example of someone who practices this model of development is Elon Musk.
At Day One, we use a variety of methodologies to build web products, mobile apps, and your other digital needs. Get a quote today by writing to us.