From Donuts to MVPs: Focusing on the Essence Before the Sprinkles

Diogo Guerner
October 12, 2023

In startups, creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a key step. I like to think of it as crafting a simple donut. Start with the basic form, perfect it, and then think about adding the sprinkles and extra flavors.

My experience at Naviu has allowed me to partner with many startups on their MVP journey. A common hurdle is the initial urge to pack the application with numerous features right away. It's good to have a big vision, yet, maintaining focus and deciding what to prioritize can be tough for startups.

Now, onto the core and the sprinkles. It's common sense to focus on the main goals and central issues the product aims to solve. But, I think there's a critical point often missed: "What's the real goal the MVP aims to prove?"

Making the MVP about a specific goal helps in several ways:

- Streamlined Development: With a clear focus, startups can work on the key features that prove their goal.
- Efficient Testing: A clear goal sets the stage for user testing, making feedback collection straightforward.
- Resource Conservation: Instead of spreading resources thin, startups can put their efforts where they matter most, saving both time and money.

Let's dive into a real scenario. Imagine a startup wanting to build a complete cloud-based HR platform for small businesses. They dream of packing it with many features – from managing performance reviews to complex system integrations. But, when they look at their main goal, a question arises: "Are the target users ready to shift from old ways to a digital HR overhaul?"

To address this, the startup can make an MVP focusing on basic features like managing employee data and tracking absences. Testing it with potential users can give priceless insights into its usefulness and what can be better. Later on, they can slowly add more advanced features, keeping in line with the bigger platform vision.

In conclusion, when planning an MVP, I'd say think donuts. Create that perfect basic version, check your assumptions, and once you're sure it works well, feel free to add those appealing sprinkles.

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