The “lean startup” methodology is great and has done a lot to revolutionize the way we create startups.
But too many entrepreneurs who follow the lean methodology get stuck in a product spin, consumed with making and honing their Minimum Viable Product. While the MVP is critical, it’s missing its dance partner, the Minimum Viable Segment (MVS). And that’s ironic, because I often hear about product market fit, yet we all know your product isn’t going to fit the entire market from day one!
MVS is about focusing on a market segment of potential customers who have the same needs to which you can align. Defining and focusing on your MVS is vital because without it, potential users who have divergent needs will quickly pull your MVP in many different directions. This in turn will bloat rather than minimize your product requirements and drain your limited startup resources.
The product market fit problem (slide)
That sucking sound won’t just be heard in product development, it will also get amplified in any Go To Market (GTM) activities, and then later on in service and support, potentially paralyzing your business model.