Minimum Viable Lying

Don’t burn your money on a product no one will want to use.

In a post for Scale My Business, Vladimir Blagojevic outlines seven different styles of minimum viable product and their strengths/weaknesses. I remember reading about the founder of Zappos and his seemingly ridiculous “Wizard of Oz” MVP. He would receive orders online, go to local shoe stores, buy the shoes, then ship the shoes to the customer. The article highlights how this is clearly unscalable, but the founder learned something in the process of immense value. If orders came in increasingly, he was satisfying a need. As painstaking as it sounds, the founder was not forced to invest in massive inventory and infrastructure before knowing he was solving the correct problem.

In my venture for FSE 300, I solving a simple problem: it is hard to find the right gym or personal trainer. After reading Vladimir’s article, I believe that the best MVP to gather data about the problem is the “Concierge MVP”. In this implementation, my team and I would receive needs from customers and information from gym owners/personal trainers and personally connect the dots. This would eliminate the need for complex software and input/output avenues and give us the most important metric we could ever ask for: do people need this problem solved?

I’m excited to apply these ideas of MVP and it’s money-saving benefits to my venture.

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