ditching minimum viable products
Resonated a lot!
Thanks for sharing great insights all the time!
This could have been helpful to read for Jasper. It's an AI startup that hit PMF early by shipping features for AI copywriting fast. Last year, this was a blue ocean - there were hardly any major products for this, little competition. But in the red ocean (very competitive market) of 2023, Jasper struggled. It was building a large-scale product for millions of users on a shaky foundation of lots of technical debt and product problems. With so many competitors, these quality issues stood out, and it was far too hard to compete with lots of free AI tools. Their interface was not high-quality enough, they didn't have a technical edge, and they had too many path dependencies to rethink the product from the ground up. Now they're having to lay off 35%+ of employees and are losing revenue and investors. This story seems like a validating example for ditching MVPs - at least in red oceans!
The only hard rule nowadays is that you need figure out what need you’re solving and what it takes to get there.
I have always believed that an MCE (minimum customer experience) product is much more important than an MVP, especially when introducing a product that has existing competitors. There is so much technology created today that it’s more important that ever to deliver products that delight users, not just meet minimum expectations.
I've always found interesting this paradox between: (on one hand) there are no rules and (on the other hand) an obsession to highlight / find out & follow some playbooks.
Interesting thoughts, thanks. There's such a variety of products and services which took different paths to success. Long incubation periods aren't necessarily bad is one thing I'm taking from this. Reading this while being an early adopter of Instagram's Threads is interesting. It feels like a MVP because of things we took for granted in Twitter like a Following feed and a browser version accessible on laptops. This will make an interesting case study a few years from now.