Why 'Riskiest Assumption Test' trumps 'Minimum Viable Product' 

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In the realm of product management, the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has gained significant popularity and widespread adoption. Although the intention behind MVP is commendable, many organizations inadvertently use it as an excuse to produce products and features with minimal value. Unfortunately, customers are not inclined to invest in products and experiences that are bare minimum.
So what do we do instead? Use the ' Riskiest Assumption Test'!

The Riskiest Assumption Test (RAT) is a methodology used in product development and startup environments to identify and validate the riskiest assumptions associated with a new product, service, or business idea. The concept of RAT was popularized by the Lean Startup methodology, which emphasizes rapid experimentation and learning to build successful products. And here's why the Riskiest Assumption Test (RAT) offers a superior framework compared to MVP, providing more clarity and reducing confusion:

"Riskiest" versus "Minimum"
MVP often focuses on reducing the scope to the bare minimum, aiming to launch a product within a short timeframe. This approach may imply a minimalistic scope.
On the other hand, RAT concentrates on reducing the risk associated with an early-stage idea. It involves prioritizing and addressing the most uncertain and risky aspects of the project.

"Assumption" versus "Viable"
MVP thinking often revolves around building what is easy to develop rather than considering what customers are willing to pay for. Consequently, MVP discussions tend to revolve more around engineering rather than conducting a comprehensive analysis of the business opportunity.
RAT emphasizes launching the features that have the most questionable assumptions rather than those that are easiest to build.

"Test" versus "Product"
Unfortunately, MVP is often mistakenly used as a synonym for a version 1 release. It becomes too delivery-focused and assumes that subsequent versions will follow without considering the possibility of rolling back or discarding the entire idea.
RAT highlights the fact that it involves a series of tests rather than being treated as a committed roadmap item. RAT does not assume that it is automatically a product; rather, it is subject to testing and validation.

While MVP has its merits as a concept for quickly testing ideas and releasing a basic product, RAT provides a more thorough and strategic approach to validate assumptions, minimize risks, and create products that truly resonate with users and align with the overall business objectives.

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