Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

So recently I had an encounter, that was first of its kind in many ways; both for me and her. For me, because it was the first time that pull marketing (inbound) actually worked. To put it simply, she is the one who messaged me first instead of the other way round. She gave me one of the best compliments ever. Before meeting her, I sent the link to my site. She was quite impressed and said she is not sure about the kind of person I am, but I am an amazing writer. As I am not into the wine and dine ritual (landing page), I dropped by her place. And the lead time was 3 hours (I was chilling with her within 3 hours of seeing that message). I sent her my ‘fall stand-up’ while on the way so that an incident to the ‘Association Principle’ doesn’t repeat itself. At first, she couldn’t believe it when I said that I’ll drop in the middle of a weekday, despite barely knowing her. But that is the kind of crazy I am; if I want something, I just go for it. I rescheduled my meeting with an industry veteran and founder of a booming startup, just to go meet her.

As soon as I hugged her, I felt that the warmth was worth rescheduling a hundred such meetings. That combined with her well-crafted facial features, her animated Avengers t-shirt, and the bottle of Black Dog’s seasoned scotch that she opened just for the occasion made risk totally worth it. We ended up watching some series on Netflix and chilling. Actually, it was Hotstar, and it was her account as I don’t have one. Even though we were poles apart, still we were so similar. She is a complete introvert, on the other hand, I am an outlandish extrovert. She is totally into her family and friends. I, on the other hand, don’t have any friends and should be ideally disowned by my parents for my kind of rude behavior. Still, we ended up vibing so well on many levels (Triangular Model).

When I first kissed her forehead, she was surprised I knew that is exactly what she wanted. Anyhow, not just the off-the-charts physical chemistry, but also the non-stop banter and endless laughter with her hilarious sense of humor. We ended up meeting the next day too and then a day later she booked a room in a 5-star hotel, where we ended up chilling again. We were either together, or talking on the phone; the time just flew by in her company. We were taking digs at each other and laughing. I just didn’t want it to end.

Anyhow, coming to the MBA concept of ‘Minimum Viable Product (MVP)’. It is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for future product development. A focus on releasing an MVP means that developers potentially avoid lengthy and (ultimately) unnecessary work. Instead, they iterate on working versions and respond to feedback, challenging and validating assumptions about a product’s requirements. It was coined by Frank Robinson, CEO of SyncDev, Inc. in 2001. Robinson used MVP to describe the “simplest version of a deployable product.”

The term proved hugely influential and was referenced in a number of popular books including The Start Owner’s Manual, the Business Model Canvas, and Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup. In fact, Eric Ries is widely credited with helping to popularize the term MVP.

Some useful insights can be drawn in the context of modern-day dating from the concept of MVP. The high school sweethearts or the first relationships are the MVP, in a majority of cases these end being feedback loops where the mistakes provide learnings for future relationships. In a rarity of cases, the first relationship (MVP ) ends up in the happily ever after. That also happened in the case of the app Dropbox. But in most cases, once you move on, learn from the mistakes of the first relationship.

By the age of 40, you meet every person who is there in this world. You either meet the person or someone of similar characteristics (KF4D). So archetype people (TG) quickly and avoid falling into similar toxic/ monotonous relationships. Also, avoid falling into the trap of the sunk cost fallacy. A lot of people, especially women, end up investing even years into futile toxic relationships, just in hopes that the other person will change. That’s not how an MVP is built. You can’t expect the person to modify himself/ herself for you. You need to upgrade and move into more compatible, happier relationships. Otherwise, the frustration and constant self-doubt take a huge toll on mental health and adversely affects all future relationships and one also develops serious trust issues. Just remember one thing, ‘your time in this world is limited, the people aren’t’.

That brings me to the Avengers T-shirt date. So is this it? Have I finally found my ‘Hotstar’? Has my quest finally reached its endgame?

Well, I had mentioned that we are poles apart. She is total oxytocin, while I am pure-play dopamine (TG). So before me, she had just one boyfriend (MVP), it lasted for six years. It took a huge toll on her mental health. She is quite fun as a person, but she is quite innocent and naive at heart. Also, when it comes to physical intimacy, she had slept with only him, and that too just one day. And I am the complete opposite when it comes to love, monogamy, and relationships.

So she decided to quit on a high after a few weeks (peak-end rule) as she knew that the longer she continued, the harder it would get and things would get ugly. I didn’t want to leave, but there’s a maturity lesson I learned way later than I should have is: Providing happiness to loved ones far exceeds the momentous joy of focussing on just one’s own pleasures. I am still using her Hotstar account though. And, I did live up to the five-star ratings again (Diminishing Returns). In fact, she even said that the first day we met is a day was so cherishable that she would want to see a replay of it even four decades later.



Fun Fact: She has read every article on this site, some of them even multiple times. No one (including me) has ever done that.

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