Nailing Release 1.0
while optimizing for speed, spend, and scope.
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I recently declared that I’m moving away from MVP in favor of:
MDVFP (pronounced MD VFP)
M: Minimum (the smallest feature set)
D: Desirable (that customers want,)
V: Viable (that makes your business model work)
F: Feasible (that you can build quickly)
P: Product (and package as release 1.0)
The MDVFP is the smallest desirable, viable, and feasible solution that causes a switch from an old way (existing alternatives) to your new way, i.e., customers fire the old way to hire your new way.
To do this effectively, you have to carefully balance speed, spend, and scope.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to embrace these constraints and use the Kano model to help you assemble the right feature cocktail for your Release 1.0.
A Kano Model Primer
Noriaki Kano developed the Kano model in the 1980s, where he identified five types of product features by plotting customer satisfaction against company investment (in a given feature):
It took me more than a cursory glance to understand the chart above. If you’re new to the Kano model, this will be time well spent.
5 Types of Product Features
These are basic features that, when absent, make customers unhappy, but their presence doesn’t create off-scale happiness. They are expected.
Example: Car brakes
Zone of indifference
These features have no impact on customer satisfaction.
Example: The color of your car’s filter.
These features have a positive linear relationship with customer satisfaction, i,.e., more is better.
Example: Car horsepower.
These features create off-scale happiness when present, but their absence doesn’t make customers unhappy. They are unexpected.
These features have a negative linear relationship with customer satisfaction, i.e., more is worse.
Example: Car emissions.
Kano also found that a feature’s ability to delight has a finite lifetime. Over time, a delighter feature becomes a performance feature and eventually a must-have (basic expectation).
The multi-touch interface first revealed in the iPhone (delighter) is now a must-have on any mobile phone (must-have).
Park-assist cameras/features are increasingly becoming standard features on cars.
Applying the Kano Model
Given that a startup is constrained with limited resources (speed, spend, and scope), they need to maximize their product’s unique value proposition while minimizing on features.