Reducing Product Risk and Removing the MVP Mindset: A Holistic Approach to Building Successful Products


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 24, 2023

3 min read


Reducing Product Risk and Removing the MVP Mindset: A Holistic Approach to Building Successful Products

In the ever-evolving world of product development, reducing risk and ensuring success are top priorities for any team. However, the approach to de-risking projects should vary depending on the type of customer being targeted. Initial releases will never have all the features and functionalities that teams desire, but the key is to continue iterating and providing value to users as new features become available.

When it comes to understanding the needs and preferences of users, it is important to remember that they are not always reliable narrators of their own behaviors. While we can and should engage in regular conversations with users to understand their problems, we cannot solely rely on their input to come up with solutions. As Henry Ford famously said, "If I'd asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse." This highlights the importance of inferring solutions ourselves and leveraging our expertise as product thinkers.

One framework that can guide us in the process of building successful products is Cody's design quality framework. According to this framework, the level of investment put into a product before it reaches the customer should be directly tied to our confidence in understanding both the problem at hand and the viability of the solution. This means that initial releases, often referred to as Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) or Minimum Viable Features (MVF), are meant to prove that our ideas can solve a problem. If we are successful in proving this, it is crucial to invest more resources to fully realize the potential of the product or feature idea.

Another advantage of releasing products regularly is the ability to de-risk the technical aspects of our vision. By incrementally releasing features, we can observe how they scale or break over time, rather than facing potential issues all at once. This iterative approach allows us to make necessary adjustments and improvements along the way, minimizing the risk of major technical setbacks.

Aside from de-risking product development, it is also important to consider factors that influence a website's ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs). One such factor is Domain Authority (DA), a search engine ranking score developed by Moz. Ranging from one to 100, a higher DA score indicates a greater likelihood of ranking.

It is crucial to note that Domain Authority is not a Google ranking factor and does not directly impact the SERPs. Instead, it is based on data from Moz's Link Explorer web index and takes into account various factors in its calculations. To improve the DA metric, the focus should be on enhancing the overall SEO health of the website, with a particular emphasis on the quality and quantity of external links pointing to the site.

It is worth mentioning that since Domain Authority is based on machine learning and constantly compared against every other website, updates and recalculations can lead to fluctuations in a site's score. Therefore, even if a site has improved its link profile, its DA score could still decrease after an update.

In conclusion, reducing product risk and removing the MVP mindset requires a holistic approach that takes into account the specific needs of the target customers. By continuously iterating and providing value to users, we not only de-risk our product development process but also enhance our understanding of the problem and viability of the solution. Additionally, incorporating insights from frameworks like Cody's design quality framework can guide us in making informed investment decisions. Lastly, considering factors like Domain Authority in our SEO efforts can further contribute to the success of our products by improving search engine ranking.

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