What’s the difference between a Minimum Viable Product and a Most Valuable Player?
At first, these two concepts seem like opposites but in reality they aren’t.
Minimum Viable Product
Sometimes the path to perfection is debilitating. While dotting all your i’s and crossing all your t’s may be commendable, sometimes getting caught up in the tiny details (which may not matter – if they did, they wouldn’t be ‘tiny details’) prevents you from reaching your goal. At times like this, aiming for the Minimum Viable Product is what gets you going. If the website isn’t perfectly SEO-ed, at least it is up, and dedicated searchers can buy your products. If dinner isn’t a gourmet meal, at least you can have a nutritious sandwich to fill your stomach and give you energy for your next task.
Most Valuable Player
A team’s Most Valuable Player is usually thought of as the player without whom the team wouldn’t be as successful. At first glance it may be the most talented player, but more likely, the MVP is someone who brings out other people’s talents and strengths. The MVP is the one who gets things going, who starts the process.
In this way, the Minimum Viable Product may be your Most Valuable Player.
Without getting the Minimum Viable Product out there, your business (or team) might never get off the ground.
In this case something is better than nothing.
A Minimum Viable Product isn’t thrown together quickly – it still takes careful planning and execution. And, as time goes on, the MVP is adjusted and tweaked to become what you want.
The difference is that tweaks may happen in the open… not in the privacy of a laboratory where they may never see the light of day.
But what does MVP (either definition) have to do with either chess or finance?
In order to make money in the market, you need to be in it.
If you wait until you have an MBA, develop a complicated market-timing strategy, monitor different money managers, wait until the summer is over, and always find an excuse not to invest, then you will never make any money.
Give yourself a basic financial education and create a minimum viable financial plan.
Then, take a baby step and invest in the market.
Without an initial investment (minimum viable product), your money (most valuable player) will never get the chance to work for you.
Douglas Goldstein, co-author of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You A Grandmaster of Investing, is an avid chess player, international investment advisor, and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).