As the lean startup approach has saturated much of the tech world, I've watched a handful of interesting MVPs (minimal viable product) crumble after the first — and fatal — introduction to users.
I'm quite confident that some of these misfortunes could have been avoided had the product owners tweaked their perspective on what they were delivering from MVP to MVE (minimal viable experience).
An unfortunate interpretation of the lean methodology is that products are often viewed as a sum of their features, and getting to an MVP is a matter of stripping the offering down to the core value proposition. It's an effective way to manage technical complexity, but fails to address the fact that humans use the technology for a complex set of reasons, far beyond features alone.
By focusing on the MVE, we're compelled to factor in these complexities and consider the offering from a design perspective.
When we develop the initial MVE from a design perspective, we posture our offering in a way that respects the complexities of humanity. The results are worth the effort. After all, customers aren't searching for new technology, they're searching for better experiences.