Great Read: SLC vs MVP


The article looks at two different ways to look at producing the first draft of your product. Rather than focus on an MVP make something that is slick instead. Does what it says and works. It doesn’t have to be complex, just simple, lovable and complete. What to you think? I quite like this.


  • SLC - Simple, Lovable, Complete
  • MVP - Minimum Viable Product

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Sounds nicer for sure, but I am not sure that we have to worry so much about the semantics.

I have seen some business people where the term was banned, because it gave them the feeling that IT was only trying to do the strict minimum.

MVP is about getting the monkey of everybody’s back as quickly as possible so the fun of creativity (both on the functionality and technology sides) can start. Sadly not many stakeholders understand this and it can be a real killer on projects.


Thanks for sharing this article. I definitely see people interpreting “MVP” in various incompatible ways. What this author seems to be suggesting is that the original motivation of MVP is great, it’s just that SLC is a better description of that original motivation. He’s seen too much emphasis on the “M” and not enough on the “V”. I’ve actually seen the opposite as well – people worrying too much about the “V” ahead of time, in the form of listing out lots of features that seem like they might be needed to make the product viable.

Seeing SLC for the first time, I worry a little that the “C” will be as hard to grok as the “V” was. The important distinction seems to be that “complete” means whatever features you’ve implemented actually work and hang together nicely; it doesn’t mean that you have a complete set of features. The “simple” and the “lovable” sound great, though, and should definitely be helpful. Maybe I’d like “coherent” or “consistent” more than “complete”. Not sure.


I agree it isn’t perfect, but neither is MVP. The MVP can be used as an excuse to put out rubbish, I like the idea of putting out something that at least does what it says on the label. Like you though, I too have witnessed that ‘V’ turn into an overbloated, overweighted ideal that ends up lengthening the feedback loops unnecessarily.

That isn’t to say MVP is all bad, I think at times very misunderstood. A paper test can be an MVP, the concept of MVP is all about generating validated learning. Unfortunately, many people see this as “RUSH THIS TO MARKET”. Real MVPs are points of discovery, not an excuse to do shoddy work. Like many things, what is simple in concept becomes harder in practice. (It’s a communication problem not a math problem)

Whilst SLC isn’t quite there either. What I appreciate is the idea of getting back to making our users awesome by providing something that works. It isn’t necessarily perfect, but it does work and do what it says. This isn’t always possible, but nice to aim for.

If nothing else it gets us thinking about the idea of just what an MVP should look like in the context of your current product. That is useful too.