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The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olsen

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Chapter 6 Specify Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Feature Set (Step 4)

Now that you have a clear understanding of your value proposition, the next step in the Lean Product Process is to decide on the feature set for your minimum viable product (MVP) candidate. You are not going to start off by designing a new product that delivers on your full value proposition, since that would take too long and be too risky. For your MVP, you want to identify the minimum functionality required to validate that you are heading in the right direction. I call this an MVP candidate instead of an MVP because it is based on your hypotheses. You haven't yet validated with customers that they agree that it is, in fact, a viable product.

For each benefit in your product value proposition, you want to brainstorm as a team to come up with as many feature ideas as you can for how your product could deliver that benefit. You have done all this great thinking in the problem space and are now transitioning to solution space. At this point, brainstorming rules should apply. You should be practicing divergent thinking, which means trying to generate as many ideas as possible without any judgment or evaluation. There will be plenty of time later for convergent thinking, where you evaluate the ideas and decide which ones you think are the most promising. As your team brainstorms, try to build on each other's suggestions and push each other to come up with even more creative and outlandish ideas.

When you are ...

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