Having gone through fundraising, I’ve been exposed early to Steve Blank’s Business Model Canvas and the idea of the Minimum Viable Product. The motivation is that you don’t invest huge amounts of time, effort, and money into a concept unless you know that there are people willing to buy it.
We’re big fans of this. Back when it was still an early platform, Kickstarter was great not only for funding a project but for also validating the idea. The Kickstarter itself could be the test. Today, that’s not really the case as backers are treating projects the same way consumers would treat a new release.
While an MVP makes sense, there’s also another component that should come before it — the Proof of Concept (PoC). While the MVP help fulfill an early market indicator, the PoC shows that the product can fulfill the need. It also can show in reality how a product will feel or operate in a users hand.
Many times, our desires for certain future products is predicated on a lack of availability. When we finally get it, we’re like “meh”. Similar to how Robot Chicken depicts what would happen when Gargamel finally captures a Smurf:
The PoC validates that the experience is going to affect the change that you’re selling as the MVP.