#3 – Skateboards
A well-known metaphor for creating Minimum Viable Products is the skateboard that evolves into a scooter, bike and, finally, a car. The idea is that, when the customer asks for a car, we should ask him ‘why’. The answer could be ‘because I want to go from A to B’, so we identify how to solve this problem with minimum effort, namely creating a skateboard, and enable a feedback loop between the team and customer to ensure that the skateboard evolves appropriately.
If teams, POs and customers fail (for whatever reasons) to implement the MVP in a way where iterative development is possible, they risk ending up with too many skateboards that are thrown away. It is quite expensive to create a scooter or bike from scratch if we cannot further develop the existing skateboard into the next increment of the product.
Please note that here, we are not talking about Set-Based Design or similar approaches where “throwing away” is actually positive and encouraged.