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Disclaimer: During this post, whenever I mention the term “Minimum Viable Product,” I will do so through “MVP”. The same will be true for “Minimum Viable Offer” – “MVO”. Consider also the term “offering” as what we deliver to the customer.
I believe you know the term: “Minimum Viable Product – MVP.” It is a term created by Frank Robinson and often mentioned by Steve Blank, Guy Kawasak, or Eric Ries.
In a very summarized way, minimum viable product is the art of creating a product with only the basic features and the essentials in order to validate and iterate the product. However, I don’t believe in the singular concept of building MVP’s. That is, I do. I just think the concept is limiting.
Why? The truth is that usually, at the beginning of a project, we start by validating the business model and the product, and there is a lot of focus on the MVP as a small picture when it is essential to have a big picture perception.
So instead of creating an MVP, we should create an MVO (Minimum Viable Offer).
What is this “Minimum Viable Offer – MVO”?
It is a set of actions that provide a minimum set of benefits and guarantees that a customer would want to and pay for what we are offering. And within this MVO are sometimes several MVP’s.
What I have felt is that we usually develop an MVP without the concern of creating everything else around it. As an example, the Angry Tool Alice: besides creating an MVP, we create descriptions, presentations, meetings, interviews, case studies, demos in IFTTT, courses in Drip marketing, tutorials, and eBooks – just for one MVP.
As Josh Kaufman defines, a Minimum Viable Offer is an offer that provides the smallest number of benefits necessary to make a sale. In other words, it’s a prototype that people are willing to purchase.
Creating a Minimum Viable Offer helps you gather feedback from real customers quickly, and therefore test the idea’s Critical Assumptions. Its purpose is to minimize the risk of the project by keeping the investment small and promptly discovering what works and what doesn’t. And be aware that this is not product marketing! It is just everything that is required and parallel to validate the MVO.
Yet unconsciously, we are probably already doing this, but the truth is that if we keep this broader concept in mind, we never forget that besides the MVP, there is a lot of parallel work to be done. And that it’s all part of just one block within the big picture “Project/Company”.
If until now the MVP aided to minimize the risk, I believe that the MVO concept will help a lot more.
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