The term Minimum Viable Product is well known in the startup world.
It is that version of a new product which can be deployed allowing a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort in order to iterate its feature set until a product-market fit is reached or until the product is deemed to be unviable.
The conversation in startup circles is about whether companies have been funded, at what valuation, have they reached the proverbial product-market fit, do they have a scalable business model? When talking about the founding teams, what counts is whether or not they had previous successful exits. What´s their track record? Have they taken any company public?
However, we believe that if your intention is to build or invest in a company for sustained value creation, you cannot ignore the Culture factor anymore, even if the company consists of just two founders tinkering in a garage somewhere.
We posit here that even before attempting to build a Minimum Viable Product one has to first determine if the team, no matter how small, has a Minimum Viable Culture to deliver the company´s intended value proposition.
A Minimum Viable Culture (MVC) consists of the initial set of shared values and purpose that gives meaning to the new company and challenges the founding team to find and deliver the company´s value proposition exceptionally well.
A Minimal Viable Culture is not definitive, just like a Minimal Viable Product is not final. As such, an MVC is simply a foundation for what should become a strong performance enhancing culture that enables the company to evolve and prosper. It should be defined and thoroughly discussed by co-founders as a preliminary step before starting the epic uncertain journey of building a new company.
To facilitate the definition of your MVC, we have designed the Culture Canvas. You may fill-up each of the blocks in the Culture Canvas and discuss different scenarios as you test different value propositions while incorporating customer feedback and other performance data. You may use the Culture Canvas in conjunction with the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder.
If you are interested in knowing more, let us know in the comments below or drop us a line. We will be announcing upcoming webinars to cover all aspects of MVC definition soon.
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