Don’t create a perfect product, ask Apple

February 28th, 2023

Launch your product faster, and for less money as an MLP

MLP or Minimum Loveable Product is the minimum product that customers will love, and nothing more. This is exactly what Apple did with the original iPhone. The first iPhone was a step change in mobile phone design, featuring one big touch screen and no keypad. But it was far from perfect, a fact that is easily ignored given its huge success.

The limited iPhone 1

No app store

Today, app stores are an important way to add useful functionality to your phone. But with no App Store, this wasn’t an option when the iPhone launched.

No 3G

In 2002 3G brought dramatically faster internet speeds finally fast enough for browsing the internet. But when the iPhone launched in 2007 – five years later – it didn’t have it.

No copy and paste

Three years after the first iPhone, Apple finally allowed users to copy and paste text from one app to another.

Would the original iPhone have been better with these features – absolutely! But there were big drawbacks to adding them –

Why iPhone 1 launched with limitations

Quicker development time

All these extra features would have taken longer to develop and in that time a competitor could have released an all-screen phone before Apple.

Cheaper development

Developing extra features would cost more money which would have to be paid for, either by an increased product cost or reduced profit margin

Lower product price

Adding 3G would have increased the cost to produce the product, but the iPhone already cost more than double its competitors and it risked being too expensive.

Make it to launch

This one probably wasn’t a big concern for Apple, but for start-ups, there is a very real danger of spending so long perfecting a product they run out of cash before launch.

How to build a minimum lovable product

Creating an MLP isn’t about producing a half-baked product nobody wants. The first iPhone is a great example of how to focus on features customers love most and save the rest for future product versions.

Create a Lean Business Plan

We help our clients create one-page business plans that focus on their customers and the unique product features they need.

Develop the MLP solution

We create early designs and prototypes which include these important features and provide tools our clients can use to ensure customers love their products. If customers love the product idea, we help clients rapidly launch their MLP.

Make V2 better

Once the MLP is launched we help our clients to learn from their customers which improvements matter most and build V2 by using the revenues from the first version to help pay for development.

To find out how we can help you develop a product customers love, book a free consultation here.

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