If your riskiest assumption is...

THIS IS A "PUBLIC DRAFT" (NO OFFENSE BLOGGER)
I WOULD LOVE FEEDBACK BEFORE POSTING TO LINKEDIN AND MEDIUM. 

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There are a bunch of posts about MVPs,

  • MVI Minimum Viable Investments (recently - shout out to Melissa Perri for discovering it, shout out tPeter Henschke for writing the post)
  • MLP Minimum Lovable Products,
  • MAU Minimum Awesome Products, 
  • MVE Minimum Viable Experiments. 



People tend to agree on the minimum part, if you are doing more than the minimum, you are , by definition, wasting - but people seem to disagree on the viable part and the product part. To me, the reason is clear. Each of these things does a different job. They solve for a different problem at a different stage. Put even more simply, each one of these terms does the same exact thing, for a (most of the time) different RISKIEST ASSUMPTION. 

The goal of this post is not to pick a winner or to innovate on the term itself, but to explore the misconceptions, the consequences behind the misconceptions, and potentially offer a solution (in experiment sprints) to teams who are genuinely interested in putting the objective first and the terminology second. 

Let's assume that the only thing you are trying to do with these terms is -- LEARN SOMETHING or GROW SOMETHING 

Let's agree to agree that the best way to learn something valuable or grow something fast, is to run experiments FAST and to test the "CORRECT" risky assumption the "CORRECT" way. 

Before you go designing experiments or even stating hypotheses, you need to say out loud 

I AM WILLING TO PAY / INVEST / SPEND THIS MUCH TIME attempting to learn THIS THING OR GROW THIS METRIC. 

IF YOUR RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS THAT THE PROBLEM EXISTS - your course of action to LEARN if that is true is PROBLEM INTERVIEWS. (MINIMUM VIABLE RESEARCH)  

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS DECIDING ON FEATURES that will increase activation - your course of action to LEARN if that is true is card sorting or  . (MINIMUM VIABLE RESEARCH)  

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS DECIDING ON FEATURES that will increase engagement - your course of action to LEARN if that is true is takeaway tests, false doors (MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT / EXPERIMENT)

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS LEARNING IF THEY WILL PAY - your course of action to LEARN if that is true is a price test page  . (MINIMUM VIABLE PRICING EXPERIMENT)    

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS LEARNING WHAT TO ADD TO AN EXISTING CASH COW - your course of action to LEARN if that is true is  . (MINIMUM VIABLE INVESTMENT)

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS ENGAGEMENT = MINIMUM LOVABLE PRODUCT 

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS BLITZSCALING PRODUCT = AGILE

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS BLITZSCALING NEW CUSTOMERS (crossing the chasm) = GROWTH HACKING 

IF YOUR TRUE RISKIEST ASSUMPTION IS BLITZSCALING NEW CUSTOMERS (adjacent new market) = Combination of Minimum viable investment + Problem interviews + Problem Observation (customer immersion) 

thoughts +Boris Grïnkot +Steven Sherman +Franck Debane 

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