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25 Comments

Why products should be “slick”, not just viable

  1. 15

    It just depends on your definition. MVP doesn't mean it is shit. It is the minimal thing that will work. If the app needs to be slick to be viable, than slick is part of MVP.

  2. 15

    Nailed it! Folks who keep repeating to be fast and cheap at the detriment of quality have been driving me nuts 😅

    People used to build in silos for years and release something that nobody wanted. I certainly made that mistake. Now people go the opposite direction. They only spend a few days or weeks building something small and inconsequential, and then they wonder why it doesn't get people excited.

    You need balance between the two. Basically spend real time to think of something that truly matters to your users, which likely takes time to build. Then remove as much from it as you can to keep the essence. That way you can spend less time but still have a polished and exciting product.

    Basically what your post said 😅

  3. 6

    In addition to my article that @levid linked to in another comment here, also check out:

    https://firstround.com/review/dont-serve-burnt-pizza-and-other-lessons-in-building-minimum-lovable-products/

    "Don't sell burnt pizza"

  4. 4

    Further reading you'd probably enjoy: MVP Does Not Equal Shit Product by @Primer

    One thing I like about Mick's post is that he's not trying to rename MVP. He's just saying "you're doing it wrong."

    I fully agree with the things you described (Simple, Loveable, Complete, Design by Subtraction). To me, those are all characteristics of a well-done MVP. Or a well-done SLC. The intention is the same. Spending time talking about what we name the thing feels like wasted energy to me. Lots of people will still misinterpret the concept or execute it poorly and lots of people will understand it and do it well.

    I hope that didn't come off argumentative. Thanks for sharing Herman.

    1. 2

      Cheers for the mention!

  5. 2

    If you look at the original article by Jason Cohen, you'll see this image. Minimum viable product is literally right there in the title.

    In my opinion, you are just talking about the semantics of MVP, which sure might be distorted, but it never meant to make something bad and unusable. Indeed, it means the same thing that SLC does, just worded differently.

    This same example with the skateboard to car evolution of your product has its own article, referenced in the Cohen article. It goes into much more detail about how to progress your product.

  6. 1

    I wish I could upvote this post twice.

  7. 1

    In that case, LinkedIN is still an MVP. And it sold for $26B

  8. 1

    At the same time slick doesn't have to mean great looking -- unless it is a product for audience that cares about it, like designers. I read this the other day and it was very eye-opening. It counters everything I learn on PH.

  9. 1

    I have seen the direct opposite. Most end users & players don't understand what slick is.

    Simple is definitely key, less features, less buttons, less actions. Try to get one thing right then move on.

  10. 1

    Hell yeah.

    My grandma always told that the first impression is the one that counts....

  11. 1

    MVP does work if you do it right. If you're MVP fails, it's because you probably started with the solution and not the audience or market. Most of the clients that I have coached, the first pivot comes before they've even designed the product.

    I express this to most people as Minimum "Sellable" Product. You have to add value to solving the problem in a way that is more than just minimum. Viable doesn't mean it works without errors or is good enough - it means it is a viable solution to a real problem the market is having.

    If you start with the market and find the problem, then establish the product-market fit with a solid solution based on interacting with your market, bingo, you have an MVP with customers you've created when figuring things out.

    People + Product + Profit = Successful MVP.

  12. 1

    I want to defend quick and dirty development:

    1. A usable thing is different than something on paper or in your head
    2. As a competitor, you can see if the product is something that users want or don't. And if they do and it's deeply flawed, there is an opportunity to do a better one. There were a few social networks before Facebook and not many people will remember any beside Myspace.
    1. 1

      I agree with these points 100%. I think that sometimes products are too quick and dirty to be a valid test of assumptions. For me, Bear Blog was built in 3 days before I released it.

  13. 1

    @HermanMartinus I think we're meant to be best-friends lol.

    I read Jason's article when it came out a few years ago and since then I've been a huge proponent of the SLC. It has single-handedly been responsible for keeping clients & stakeholders focused on creating real business outcomes and avoiding scope creep better than any other heuristic or framework I've come across.

    To client: "Let's define the irreducible set of features that create a simple and loveable user experience. We'll ship this first, gain immediate feedback and grow concentrically." This approach is called the Slick method."

    ^ Clients love this. And so do we. :) Great post!

    1. 1

      I like the idea of focussed effort on real business value :) I'm sure clients love you, but also, I think you love yourself and your project a bit more as well.

  14. 1

    There’s even an Easter egg on the Bear Blog home page. Happy hunting!

    I have to ask, it's the :hover bear, ain't it?

  15. 1

    It takes a lot of code and design to come together to achieve that functionality and look for a software to convince someone to pay for something that lives in a computer.

    And most often, this takes a lot longer than a week or a month to build.

    Addendum -- Looking at this thread, I think we need a IH group for ourselves.

    1. 2

      It really depends on the context and product. It'll be really difficult to build a simple version of accounting software that is still useable. On the flip side, a project like JustSketchMe's first iteration only took a few weeks.

      The f**k MVP group? ;)

      1. 2

        Absolutely agree. Some products are much, much easier to build. It takes some time to get them polished enough to convince people to use (and buy) them, but the number of UI screens are much less so less work to get it up to spec.

        And yes, we do need a group. 😊

  16. 1

    MVP Sounds good, doesn't work.

    SLC makes sense however I have no clue on predicting loveable, which seems to me as the key in the concept.

    1. 2

      I guess Loveable is pretty tough to quantify. At least in my case it's a feeling I get when building it, but also an excitement to show it to people I know. If I'm afraid to show it to someone I know then I don't think it's very loveable.

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