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Your MVP is a Ford Pinto but it’s better than a Ferrari without wheels.

Published: Apr 13, 2011 2:33 pm

Recently on TSF we’ve been talking a lot about “Minimum Viable Products” (MVP) and I’ve had several readers write in asking me why I was so high on the concept. My reasoning behind it is threefold. If I missed anything I would appreciate you sharing your experiences in the comments. 

Gain traction:

The point of your MVP is to act as your “beater” vehicle. Remember that Ford Pinto you flipped burgers in high school to pay for? It’s purpose was to take you from point “A” to point “B”. You wouldn’t want to pick up a prom date in it, but it took care of your daily commute.  You MVP is the same concept. It’s not your dream car, but it can still take you places.

It allows you to learn what features you should actually spend your time on.

Don’t try to build everything at once. Focus on a few  features and see how the community responds. Never create in a vacuum.

It doesn’t matter how fast a Ferrari can go if it doesn’t  have wheels

Theoretical performance means nothing if the rubber can’t meet the road. It’s much better to have something launched (even if it just has the core features) than something that is perpetually “just a few weeks away from launch”. As King said Let your community grow alongside you: Ship unfinished apps.

A Ford Pinto will take you much farther then a Ferrari without wheels.

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Hi, I'm Paul Hontz.

I'm a YC alumn and I love startups. I created TSF to highlight companies I find interesting. You can learn more about me here.

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