MUP – Minimally Useful Product

If you are building a MVP stop. Try building a MUP instead. A Minimally Useful Product is a wiser investment with better returns.

The term Minimally Viable alludes to knowledge of what is viable and what is not, but you don’t know. You have an idea and the assumption it’s viable. But the only way to know is to try it on strangers. Who are they, how many of them are there?

Even if you have identified your customer, you probably don’t know their problems, customs, and habits. You don’t know them, and they don’t know you. Instead of gambling on a minimally viable product, you should simply hand them something useful, however small it may be.

It will have to do a hell of a lot more than just scratch an itch to be a viable product, but if it can remedy some small problem, then that will lead to other itches, the pursuit of which is viable.

The hardest part of developing a product is getting something useful in front of the end user. The fewer assumptions the more interaction and validation you must pursue. You should start with something that is just useful enough to be worth the time it takes them to install or sign up for.

My point is that aiming for a viable product at the beginning is often times aiming too high. Aiming for something not even associated with being a product is a much more achievable goal. Plus, focusing on building something useful with the least investment of time forces you to focus on understanding the customer’s real problems. What could you build for your prospect in less than 8 hours? If you don’t have any ideas, then talk with them about their processes more. If you know them well enough, something should come to mind. Part of the big problem. If you can’t find anything you could do in 8 hours, then they don’t have any of the problems you need to make an MVP. If you know what you could do, then why not just build it for them free of charge? If it is useful then you will have gained their trust. If it is not, then you don’t understand their problem well enough to build anything useful.

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