Prior to InfiniTeach becoming entrenched in Chicago's vibrant tech community, I would have said that my idea of an MVP is someone who has a hot bat and no errors. I now know that the acronym has a totally different meaning in the tech world – no batting averages required, though the error thing probably still holds true.
Our Minimum Viable Product (ahhh, MVP) means launching our app with “just those features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more” (thanks Wiki). This MVP strategy makes sense, given that we don't want to put out a fully loaded product, with a higher than necessary price tag, if those fancy product features aren't what teachers or parents need. So instead we should start with an MVP, gauge feedback, and continue tweaking from there. Right?
The challenge we're facing with InfiniTeach is determining what constitutes an MVP. These are the things we want to include: theme customization, individualized lesson planning, cross-categorical learning activities, adaptive learning, visual cues, data collection, parent/teacher collaboration, free chocolate, parent massages (as needed), and the kitchen sink. Seriously, we think so many features are critical – how can we possibly determine the MVP?
What concerns me the most, however, is that MVP is only half of the equation. As we learned from Andy Crestodina at Technori's pitch event last Tuesday:
MVP only works with MVA
MVA? Market value added? Maximum valuable asset? Try Minimum Viable Audience. Oh tech acronyms. Not only do we need to determine our minimal product, we also need to determine how many people we need to buy that product in order to make the next LessMVP.
Now my head is swimming – but probably in a good way. And really, isn't MVA the reason we're writing our blog in the first place? To find you, our most dear MVA. Now that you're here, let me tell you how much we need you. We need you to help us build a product that transforms education, a product that changes a child's life. Let's do this together.