Who has shipped a crappy MVP and regretted it?

An earlier post lamented that they shipped too late. Now I get the concept of a Minimum VIABLE Product, but there seems to be a movement that you should ship as soon as you can even if its buggy as hell. There’s a saying by Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn) that “if you are not embarrased by the first version of your product you’ve launched too late”.

I’m sorry but that sounds like a total disrespect to your initial users. Your users shouldn’t be rewarded for their investment of time with a crappy user experience.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe users should be treated like crap, and you keep throwing crap at them until it turns into gold. Then you make millions.

Anyone wished they launched later when they had a better working/polished product?

  • We’re launching later. I dont believe launching a crap MVP really works for a real launch. It’s fine to alpha or beta test, but not a full product launch. Then again, my company is in the digital health space, so that could be why.

  • I think launching an MVP is only good for when you’re validating an idea. If you already know that people will want the product that you’re going to launch, then you should release a better version of it, rather than a crappy MVP.

    The MVP is just meant to avoid time wasting; spending months building something that no one is interested in using.

  • I launched an MVP. It was pretty bad and we ended up loosing the first customer who tried it. But we learned a lot from this first experiment and the next customer, way bigger than the first, is still using to this day. When I say we learned a lot, I mean we really saw what was missing from this first version with the first customer. I think I would agree with Reid Hoffman.

  • as the person who posted about shipping late: what I meant was that you need to get something into the market fast enough that you have time to make changes and test, at least a few different things before you run out of money. If you have no successful exits and no traction, you can’t raise seed funds. So time is your most precious commodity, because once you run out of savings, you are fucked. If you can’t get a basic MVP or even a landing page, etc out in 30 days, think hard about what is wrong.

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