To be cool or not to be cool, that is the Minimum Loveable Product

Why the MVP is no longer enough... and why you need to think about the MLP (Minimum Loveable Product).

We startup people love to make the most of our time, that’s why we sometimes err on the side of using acronyms for everything (like the positions ones), which for some translates into speaking an alien language.

Among these acronyms, you’ve surely stumbled upon the MVP or Minimum Viable Product at some point.

We’re going to tell you why the MVP is no longer enough… and why you need to think about the MLP (Minimum Loveable Product).

But let’s take it one step at a time…

What is a Minimum Viable Product?

A problem for many entrepreneurs is that they first create a product and then move on to selling it (or trying to sell it), which often ends in a lot of headaches and wasted time and money.

That’s why in 2001 Frank Robinson created the concept of the Minimum Viable Product or MVP, later made famous by Eric Ries.

You may have seen the typical drawing of the tricycle that turns into a scooter, then into a bike, then into a motorcycle, then into a car…

The MVP is the minimum version of a product, but enough for the founding team to collect and validate as much important information about their customer and what they want in the shortest possible time (some have already gone from MVP to RAT, as we explain here).

But in today’s market, despite all the conveniences of the online world and technology, it is becoming increasingly harder to stand out: customers are much more demanding and are used to having information and choices…

Minimum Loveable Product, what you need to make the user fall in love with you

The solution is to offer a Minimum Loveable Product, i.e., a minimum product that not only solves the problem or the need, but is absolutely freaking awesome and takes into account product design and user experience from the beginning.

The idea is not to find customers but to find your brand ambassadors: people who really like your product or service and can share it, create a community and attract others to use it. 

It seems better to build something that fewer users will love than something that many users will be indifferent to. So your early adopters will be the ones who help take your solution further.

Here are the major differences between the Minimum Viable Product and the Minimum Lovable Product in visual form:


As you can see, the MLP not only “fixes” the customer’s pain, but the customer loves the experience.

Some tips for creating your MLP

  1. Don’t lose sight of the purpose, the customer’s why, what they care about.
  2. Find a team that is aligned with those values.
  3. Research, research, research.
  4. Focus on solving an important problem.
  5. Put your team to work on creating an amazing experience from the start.
  6. It has to be agile: get results, analyse them and draw conclusions.

Examples of MLPs

WhatsApp or TikTok are two well-known examples: both were dedicated to doing one thing right from the start that blew everyone’s mind. In the case of the messaging app, it allowed you to send messages to your contacts in an agile, intuitive way… and for free. Its ease and being freemium was what made everyone love it and made it go viral. 

TikTok, on the other hand, stood out with its ease of creating cool content in record time. Hence its engagement figures. 

But we don’t have to go outside our own borders to find examples of MLPs: some Explorer alumni, such as Eduardo Lobejón, from Roams (I’m sure you know this phone and Internet rate comparer that already advises 13 million users in several countries and has also started to compare energy, sports, finance and streaming), based their success on something that delighted their first users from the beginning and that spread like wildfire. 

We also have Sofia Belenguer, from MyRealFood app, with almost 1.5 million users. According to Sofia, “We couldn’t fail early, we had to fall in love early to convert a community that, being used to the content they already had on Instagram, wouldn’t have considered a ‘viable’ product enough. So start with an idea that is a need for you and a group of people, identify their pain points and solve at least one of them that will make them fall in love with your product.

Remember that when building your solution you don’t need a ‘tolerable’ experience, but a mind-blowing one. And sometimes it’s better to have few ‘loves’ than a lot of ‘likes’.

Some say that the ideal time frame for building an MLP and launching it to market is 12 weeks, the same as Explorer.

If you too want to be like Sofia or Eduardo and work on a solution that has purpose, become an Explorer!

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