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The failure of Houston’s validating MVP solely would’ve proved that only one of the ways of winning customers, i.e., through a Digg video, was a failure, not the entire business idea.The second type is the Invalidating MVP, which uses a better product than the final product.
However, the test’s failure doesn’t necessarily invalidate their business idea.However, entrepreneurs generally choose the incorrect MVP: they tend to go with the validating MVPs and most of the businesses fail as they continue solving the wrong problem.Invalidating MVPs are precisely designed to prevent that failure.Majority of invalidating MVPs are comparatively simple and most of them reveal people’s essentially flawed assumptions about client demand, sparing them a vast amount of time as well as frustration in engaging in multiple validating MVPs.MVPs basically have twin goals: first, learning about the problems to be solved and second, driving risk out of people’s existing (hypothetical) business idea by testing their fundamental assumptions.In this approach, entrepreneurs develop a much better product at an unsustainably high price by personalizing it for each customer.
If they are unable to get people to pay a sensible long-term price for the better product, it means that their business idea is set to fail.
For example, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss started Rent the Runway using this approach – they offered an in-person dress rental service to college students, where they could try on dresses before renting them.
This was definitely a much better experience than renting online.
Thus, it’s better to test the market risk first and if you are able to develop a “better product” and no one is paying for it then it’s time to move on.
But developing a “better” product early on is at times, impossible, especially when the product performance results from scale, like in multi-sided platforms, where the value proposition is entirely dependent on network effects.
However, its failure doesn’t prove that their business idea is set to fail.