MVP vs. MRP

mvp

If you’re a sport fan of any sport, chances are very good you are familiar with the term MVP and what those initials stand for: Most Valuable Player. But if you frequent the entrepreneurial ecological system of founders, VCs, angels, lawyers, accountants, consultants, and mentors the chances are that your first reaction to the term MVP is Minimum Viable Product.

A minimum viable product has just those core features sufficient to deploy the product, and no more. Developers typically deploy the product to a subset of possible customers—such as early adopters thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype or marketing information.

The MVP emerged from the lean startup model polemicized by Eric Ries

And I have to say, that until recently I bought into the MVP concept myself. However, a few weeks ago I came across a post somewhere – and Google can’t seem to help me retrieve it – that made a compelling case that you don’t want to create an MVP – a Minimal Viable Product, but an MRP, a Minimal Remarkable Product. The case was made that simply putting out a product that is just capable of working successfully with a small set of features,  but no more, is not going to get your customers’ attention. And we are in a battle for attention. “It’s the attention economy, stupid.” Which I have posted about previously.

So while it might make sense for developers to develop MVPs, marketers should demand MRPs – products that get customers’ attention.

So rather than putting out a product that just barely meets the standards of viability on a minimum set of features, focus on what it is that makes your product … remarkable. What is that differentiates your product or service from your competitors, but equally important is attention-grabbing enough to compete against the literally millions of other products and services seeking to grab your customers’ attention? Build that feature up past minimal to captivating, while following the rest of the MVP playbook for the rest of the product. Then lead your demos with that feature and equally importantly, explain how that feature delivers the absolutely must-have benefit that your customers will crave.

In searching for the original post on the MRP I came across this good writeup on Medium from someone who had participated in Y-Combinator’s Startup School. Here’s the quote from Aly Juma’s post 10 Lessons I Learned From YCombinator’s Startup School:

Build your Minimium Remarkable Product (MRP) fast.

We’ve heard a lot about minimum viable products over the years, but a new terms I found from YC is the idea of the minimum remarkable product.

The point is not to be viable because that means self-sufficient, you waited too long. What you want initially is to be remarkable. You want a single feature or thing about the product that at least one person see’s real value in. Then you grow from there.

Some day I hope to find that original post that caught my attention but which I failed to record. Then I’ll update this post. But that’s probably of interest to a few. The concept of Minimal Remarkable Product should be of compelling interest to everyone in the entrepreneurial world.

Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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