Maximillian Crawford-smith Team : Client Services Manager

Minimum Desirable Product

Maximillian Crawford-smith Team : Client Services Manager

I read a great article on startup marketing which discussed the concept of MDP (Minimum Desirable Product). We all love a good industry buzz word and MDP definitely ticks all the boxes.

We have all heard of MVP (Minimum Viable Product), and yes they both sound very similar and we are all probably sick of industry jargon.  I think it’s important to define an approach to discovering a project and MVP and MDP do just that.

I will recap on MVP first to give context.

Coined by Eric Reis, MVP is a hypothesis driven approach to  testing your idea for viability and proving the concept.  What is the minimum we need to solve the core problem, get to market and validate against customer feedback?

MVP mitigates the risk of large, time consuming and costly projects and because we don’t know what we don’t know we can get to market faster and start understanding what does and doesn’t work.

Start-ups get MVP, tech-savvy businesses get MVP, but what about MDP?

Andrew Chen, writer and entrepreneur, suggests that it is not just about getting to market, but understanding both our business objectives and customer needs. Instead we discover and build a what has coined as MDP (Minimum Desirable Product).

So what is MDP and why is it different to MVP and more importantly why do we care?

I will explain MDP first. MDP is a product that focuses on the customer perspective – what is the minimum product I have to build to provides a great experience and enough value for the user to come back?

“Minimum Desirable Product is the simplest experience necessary to prove out a high-value, satisfying product experience for users (independent of business viability).” –Andrew Chen

MDP offers enough value for your customers to come back, which may mean broadening your scope past MVP.

Andrew Chen goes on to explain that to build MDP, you will have to actually deliver the core product experience so that your customer can make a full assessment, rather than simply providing a landing page. Instead of measuring your conversion rates and revenue generated, you might figure out the metrics of what benefits you are providing to the user.

Why do we care? Consumer habits and technology are changing at such a rate that it is impossible to predict what is going to happen next. Instead of spending months planning out the project writing requirement documents we simply need to get to market and provide our customers with enough of an experience that they will come back again.

MVP could be as simple as landing page to get your business online, but if you are building an application or platform, defining MDP will be more appropriate approach to getting to market. 

Deciding on which approach to take will be determined by your project objectives and customer needs.

Importantly both approaches get you to market and that’s what matters!!