Our Dangerous Obsession With The MVP

Posted: March 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


Editor’s note:  Bill Aulet is the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is the author of the recently released book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup. Follow him on Twitter.

Building stuff does not make you a startup.

“But don’t we need to build stuff and iterate quickly?” I get asked a lot.

Well, sure. Once upon a time, when companies used the “old-school” waterfall model to develop products, pushing entrepreneurs to think in terms of building a minimum viable product as quickly as possible made sense. It substantially accelerated the development process. By narrowing the product scope to core features, you start the customer feedback loop quicker and you can more rapidly iterate based on that feedback.

But the pendulum has swung too far toward building stuff and…

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