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But with an abundance of competition, tools and changing markets, is this quote still relevant?
Hoffman’s notion tends to be misinterpreted. He is not saying you should release an MVP you’re embarrassed by. In fact, he’s saying the opposite. Let’s break it down into three core elements:
- The importance of speed. You should aim to launch as fast as possible.
- Your assumptions will be wrong. Your assumptions about your customers, product, and features won’t be correct. You’ll be embarrassed at your assumptions.
- Learn quicker. By delaying the launch, you’re delaying the customer feedback loop.
Hoffman’s quote isn’t about cutting corners, not planning or deliberately being ashamed. It is about the fact that a product doesn’t have to be pixel-perfect to get customer feedback. Spending another week changing the colors, rounding the edges and creating a new logo isn’t worth it at this stage. It is more beneficial to release the product and understand how your customers will use it. The core is about learning as quickly as possible to improve your product accordingly.
Also, in a time where there are more entrepreneurs than ever, more new businesses and increased competition, how embarrassing can your MVP really be?
Can your MVP afford to be embarrassing?
Say you’re trying to launch a pizza restaurant. By serving burnt pizza, you don’t get feedback on whether your customer likes pizza. You only know that they don’t want burnt pizza. So when launching your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for your pizza restaurant, if it is the fastest and cheapest prototype, you’re not testing your product, but a burnt version — a flawed version.
The minimum lovable product is a notion that you can get valuable insights if your product is closest to something people can love. A prototype that lights up your user’s face.
But can your MVP have everything?
Can you really do it all? Can you really move quickly? Have a fully functioning prototype? And make it lovable? Here, you must find the balance between making it minimum and lovable: ask yourself how to create the most lovable product with the least effort.
It’s worth looking back at the past to look at the MVPs of the big tech companies today. Many had a similar philosophy to start with a minimal feature that could be used quickly and loved by early adopters. Some MVPs of today’s tech world include Stripe, Spotify, Coinbase and Etsy.
Building a minimum lovable product
Many founders of today believe you can create minimum lovable products with no-code. No-code tools use visual drag-and-drop interfaces to create 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 on these tools stretch far and wide. People are building SaaS tools, chrome extensions, games, marketplaces and more. These no-code tools make them perfect for kicking off your journey and testing your idea. There are three main reasons founders use these tools to launch their minimum lovable products.
- It’s fast. Tools like Bubble.io enable you to build a beautiful and fully functioning marketplace in weeks.
- It’s customizable. You can create your dream product without compromise. From slick design to custom integrations, it can be done.
- It’s affordable. Whether you learn it yourself, with in-house developers, or with an agency, no-code tools are a fraction of the price of traditional code.
Startups built on Bubble.io have had millions of users and raised money from some of the world’s top investors.
How to build your MVP with no-code
There are two ways you can use no-code to build your MVP.
1. Learn no-code skills yourself. Courses and communities like Makerpad, Buildcamp and 100 days with no code are the best places to pick up no-code skills. They will 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 abundance 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 could find a no-code developer on talent marketplaces like Upwork, no-code focused marketplaces like Codemap or specific agencies like Goodspeed.
So when launching your MVP, think about how you can ship it quickly but make it lovable. Then, focus on making quick iterations from customer feedback to have product market fit.
Related: Is No-Code the Future of Technology?