Most in the lean startup community have been telling us for years that we can go to market with the smallest version of a product and start learning how the market will react to it. That mindset has led to a fantastical ideological revolution of product development. Of course, there are some organizations where a Minimum Viable Product can be a challenge to either produce or sell to stakeholders.
The answer, according to this insightful idea I found recently, is to use the MVP model and apply it to prototypes.
Of course, this concept isn’t really revolutionary because that’s how prototypes have been built for ages. The difference is we make actual working prototypes and position them for release.
Of course, it’s not just about what you make. Plenty of failed products have been released into the wild and with distribution models constantly evolving the number of failed launches will only rise exponentially. How you learn and apply this knowledge to your next lean launch will define if you are truly committed to the process.
Agile methodology would warn against such a focus on documenting this learning process, but there’s no other way to keep the backlog primed with good information for development. Keep your ideas flowing into working prototypes and don’t be afraid to let people see them.
Sounds like progress to me.