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If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’re late to market” – LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman.
But with a plethora of competitors, tools, and changing markets, is this quote still relevant?
Hoffman’s term tends to be misinterpreted. He’s not saying you should release an MVP that you’re embarrassed about. In fact, he says the opposite. Let’s break it down into three core elements:
- The importance of speed. You should aim to start as soon as possible.
- Your assumptions will be wrong. Your assumptions about your customers, products and functions will not be correct. Your assumptions will embarrass you.
- To learn more quickly. By delaying the start, you delay the customer feedback loop.
Hoffman’s quote isn’t about cutting corners, not planning, or being consciously ashamed. It’s about the fact that a product doesn’t have to be pixel perfect to get customer feedback. Spending another week changing colors, rounding edges, and creating a new logo isn’t worth it at this stage. It’s more beneficial to share the product and understand how your customers will use it. In essence, it is about learning as quickly as possible in order to improve your product accordingly.
How embarrassing can your MVP be in a time of more entrepreneurs than ever, more new ventures and increased competition?
See also: 5 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Use Code
Can your MVP afford to be embarrassed?
Jiaona Zhang thinks no. Rather than creating a minimally viable product, she believes we must strive to create minimally lovable products.
Suppose you are trying to open a pizza restaurant. If you serve burnt pizza, you won’t get feedback on whether your customer likes pizza. They just know they don’t want a burnt pizza. So when you launch your minimum viable product (MVP) for your pizza restaurant, don’t test your product when it’s the fastest and cheapest prototype, but a burned version – a buggy version.
The minimal loveable product is the notion that you can gain valuable insights when your product comes as close as possible to what people can love. A prototype that lights up your user’s face.
But can your MVP have it all?
can you really do everything Can you move really fast? Do you have a fully working prototype? And make it adorable? Here’s where you need to find the balance of making it minimal and adorable: ask yourself how you can make the most adorable product with the least amount of effort.
It’s worth looking back in time to take a look at the MVPs of today’s big tech companies. Many had a similar philosophy of starting with a minimal feature that could be used quickly and loved by early adopters. Some MVPs of today’s tech world are Stripe, Spotify, Coinbase and Etsy.
Building a minimal loveable product
Many founders today believe that you can create minimally lovable products without code. No-code tools use drag-and-drop visual interfaces to build websites and apps without writing a line of code.
Millions of people use no-code tools like Webflow, Figma, and Bubble, and the products created with these tools are widely used. People build SaaS tools, Chrome extensions, games, marketplaces and more. These no-code tools are perfect to start your journey and test your idea. There are three main reasons why founders use these tools to launch their minimally adorable products.
- It is quickly. With tools like Bubble.io, you can build a beautiful and fully functional marketplace in a matter of weeks.
- It is customizable. You can create your dream product without compromise. From slick design to custom integrations, anything is possible.
- It is payable. Whether you learn it yourself, with in-house developers, or with an agency, no-code tools cost a fraction of the price of traditional code.
Startups built on Bubble.io have millions of users and have raised money from some of the world’s top investors.
See also: How Young Entrepreneurs Can Use No-Code to Their Advantage
How to build your MVP without code
There are two ways you can build your MVP without code.
1. Learn no-code skills yourself. Courses and communities like Makerpad, Buildcamp, and 100 Days of No Code are the best places to learn no-code skills. They equip you with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools to create your desired product. Whether it’s a social network, marketplace, or SaaS tool, an increasing wealth of learning content will help you build your MVP.
2. Find a no-code developer. Traditional development costs are high and time consuming. Alternatively, you can find a no-code developer on talent marketplaces like Upwork, no-code focused marketplaces like Codemap, or specific agencies like Goodspeed.
So as you launch your MVP, think about how to make it ship fast but endearing. Then focus on making quick iterations from customer feedback to make the product market fit.
See Also: Is No-Code the Future of Technology?