Why MLPs are the new MVPs, functioning as tools for growth as well as validation.
By Filippo Yacob
The Minimum Viable Product, MVP for short, is often one of the first milestones celebrated by new ventures. At FINH however, we’ve decided to cann it in favour of its more rotund, fun-loving cousin, the Minimum Loveable Product, MLP for short.
A product that only focuses on the cold mechanics of minimum viability may be something people can use, but it won’t necessarily be something people can love. If you get an MVP wrong, as you should, your early users will likely disappear never to be seen again... but if they LOVE what you’re building, they’re much more likely to: a) overlook the flaws in your offering, b) help you fix them, c) stick around until you do, and d) become super-fans in the process.
The MVP will solve your users problem, but the MLP will make them fall in love with it! And you! And your team! And your mission! Building an MLP is about recognising that every step of your customer’s journey is a chance for them to fall in love with your product, and for your team to build accordingly. MLPs are about the little details that let users know WHY you’re solving their problem, that you understand their problem, that you really care about their problem, and that you care if they care about you. Back in 2018, an old friend once told me that an MLP is an MVP with love handles.
I’ve not heard a better analogy since. Building an MLP unfortunately is not a science! All the consultants and data in the world won’t build your MLP for you. MLPs are a sort of incantation that only passionate and pure hearted founders can perform. For years I’ve built my startups up from MLPs, from Cubetto to Pigzbe, and you should too. Build MLPs, not MVPs