The Value of MVPs

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Greetings. If you follow sports you likely know that the acronym “MVP” stands for “most valuable player.” It’s an award given to the player who made the biggest contribution to the success of the team or even the league. Though it isn’t always the player with the most talent…after all, there’s a lot that goes into making a real difference including hard work, long hours and focused determination. Along this line, many companies and organizations also recognize their own MVPs or “most valuable people” (or employees) each year or even each month. These are the folks who’ve made the most significant contributions to business success. Again, they don’t have to be the most brilliant or most important person, but rather the person who has worked the hardest to satisfy customers, create a new product or service, open a new market or improve top- or bottom-line performance.

But there is another definition of “MVP” that has become quite popular in business today, and it’s almost the opposite of the more traditional idea. It’s the concept of creating “minimally viable products” that we put into the marketplace before they are totally baked in order to get feedback from customers and users in advance of putting in the time, effort and focused determination required to get them right. In this way, the logic suggests, we can find out if our initial concept strikes a cord and, if so, how to make them better prior to any real investment. Simply create the crude prototype for a new product on your 3D printer, or the very rough design for a new software or smart phone application, then get fast input without spending a lot of time or money. It’s an idea that makes a lot of sense in certain disciplines assuming that the prospective offering is intriguing enough to get people to see beyond the faults to the its potential. But it requires us to come up with a concept that is likely to really matter to customers and an ability to engage them in the effort to make it a truly meaningful offering.

More importantly, it suggests the value of brainstorming with customers as often as possible as we try to figure out ways to enhance their success.

One very hot company that started as a minimally viable product is Dropbox–the personal cloud company that allows you to store and access all of your stuff on any of your devices or anyone else’s.

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We win in business and life when turn half-baked ideas into powerful possibilities. And when we make customers an essential part of our development efforts.

Cheers!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alan Gregerman
Alan Gregerman is an award-winning author, consultant and keynote speaker who has been called "one of the most original thinkers in business today" and "the Robin Williams of business consulting." His work focuses on helping companies and organizations to unlock the genius in all of their people in order to deliver the most compelling value to their customers.

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