Your MVP is About Discovery – Not Product

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Many entrepreneurs believe the key to an MVP is identifying the right minimal features for the right customers. It turns out this is mostly a fool’s errand because an MVP isn’t about product feat…

StartUP Product‘s insight:

Thanks to Tristan Kromer @Triko for tweeting this posting written by Kevin Dewalt!

Tristan is speaking at the Startup Product Summit SF2 on October 11, 2013 Register today for best price!

Salient points:

  • In the real world people selectively listen in conversations, give us inconsistent feedback, change their minds, and think about problems differently. Products are difficult to scope and hard to build.
  • Don’t fall in love with my process – fall in love with the Big Idea – Steve Blank, Beijing 2013
  • Startups are about discovery: searching for a scalable model, not executing on an idea.
  • your MVP – as a product – is going to suck.
  • some of the most passionate people you meet in interviews never even try the product. Apathetic – and even very negative – people may become your most passionate customers when they start using a product.
  • building an MVP will help you discover about you
  • stop worrying about the ideal set of product features and make your best guess with the information you have and get an MVP – however you define it – in the hands of customers. It’s the only way to keep the Discovery process going.

See on

2 thoughts on “Your MVP is About Discovery – Not Product

    Robert Yau (@RobertYau) said:
    August 5, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Discovery vs Learning? is there a difference?

      StartupProduct responded:
      August 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      Generally speaking, I’d say it’s just semantics. In the case of Kevin’s article, if there were any intended distinction, I think it would be to differentiate learning by doing (discovery) as opposed to learning by talking (learning). I’ve kept up on the comments on Kevin’s post, though, and in some of his replies, he’s using the term learning, so I don’t think there was an intention to position those two terms in contrast to each other.


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