Today I saw someone among my Linkedin connections, liking some post about MVP vs. MDP. I got intrigued and checked it out.
That post and the image along with it seemed like a total pile of 💩 to me. I was going to reply with a probably too nasty comment (it was early morning, on a Monday. Not my best moment in the week. I’ll let you know which is the best one, if I’ll ever find it), but luckily I decided it wasn’t necessary.
The topic gave me some food for thoughts though, hence this post, where I’m gonna be very short and tell you why I think the acronym MDP means nothing, in my opinion.
A brief explanation for those who just entered the room
Stands for Minimum Viable Product. It’s a term commonly used in startups, but then adopted within digital product design in general, whenever developing in agile methodology (or similar. There are more methodologies being born every day then babies).
The originator of this term seems to be Eric Ries and this happened almost 10 years ago. So nothing new. What does that mean though? Let’s take Eric’s words and say that:
The minimum viable product is that product which has just those features (and no more) that allows you to ship a product that resonates with early adopters; some of whom will pay you money or give you feedback.
Got it? Cool.
Stands for Minimum Desirable Product or someone even says Minimum Delightful Product.
Basically what they state is that MVP is focused on the financial feasibility of the product, but if you look for a Human Centered Design (yes, sorry I like American English the most) approach, what you should try to achieve is not just the product being financially sustainable, but being delightful for users.
Now, I have nothing against HCD, nothing at all. Big fan actually. This is why to me, this MDP thing means nothing, it’s redundant. It’s just another useless buzzword people want to use for some reason (still not sure what that could be).
Let’s check the meaning of “viable”:
capable of working successfully; feasible.
And combine this with the definition of MVP as per Eric Ries. That seems to me that MVP should already be desirable/delightful. It should be implicit.
How can a product be viable, so feasible/sustainable, without being a pleasure for the users to use?
I’m not saying there are absolutely no cases ever where this could happen (for example, a product aimed to businesses that is cheap for companies to buy, it does what it should, but it’s a nightmare for employees to use. I have some examples of that).
But that’s not an MVP, it’s just freaking bad design! It has nothing to do with MVP or not MVP or MDP or any other MsomethingP we’re gonna read about tomorrow here on Medium.
An MVP is not a Beta. It’s should be the core, the bare minimum feature(s) that solves the need the product is made for. Without any additional features. But it’s a full fledged product! It has to be usable, stable, feasible AND desirable.
If it’s not desirable it’s not financially sustainable, hence not viable, hence not an MVP.
Again, this is my opinion, if you like to use the term MDP, go ahead, we can be friends nonetheless.
Either way, clap to make me famous and rich. Thanks.