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Unit Economics

The Minimum Awesome Product (MAP)

I like to use the term Minimum Awesome Product (or "MAP") rather than the common term, Minimum Viable Product ("MVP").

The distinction is important but can be misunderstood.

I still absolutely believe in launching early and iterating fast. There is no substitute. I still hold with Reid Hoffman's famous quote:

If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.

"MAP" is not meant to imply higher quality than MVP.

What MAP means is that the product you first launch has to have at least one "wow moment". That's what makes it awesome.

A "wow moment" is the moment of user delight that shows how your product is solving the unmet need you've chosen in a neat and/or novel way. A "wow moment" is what gives a user the reason to show their phone screen to their friend or colleague sitting next to them and say "check this out".

MAP = MVP + Wow Moment

Without a Wow Moment, what are you really testing?


Lissette Arias core team
about 2 years ago

Partner and Chief Design Officer @ Platform Venture Studio

Many of us in design like to call it MLP for minimum lovable product 🫶

about 2 years ago

Founding Partner @ Bootstrapital

Absolutely love this as a framework.

I often talk about how the V in MVP boils down to “people are willing to pay enough for this particular thing to cover the cost of serving them” to drive home the point that early product decisions are as much about the business model as they are feature prioritization.

But without some kind of wow factor, you will struggle to break through the inertia of status quo — and is probably a sign that you’re not aiming squarely at a painful problem.