My brother is not overly prone to sage words but yesterday he commented in passing that to get to the Minimum Viable Product with Passle we have had to build a really excellent (excuse me), fully featured product: Great design, tested on every platform with a large core set of features.
More than that we have had to produce an entire launch and training process to go alongside.
Now we can get 100 x's more content out of the brainy experts in a knowledge business. Without all these features we could not.
In other words there was no MVP step. It went direct from a product that our core demographic would not use to a polished and complete product.
And actually that is true of any mature business sector. If you were to open a grocers where the vegetables were rotten or the staff abusive then the shop would not be viable. And when you had fresh vegetables and nice staff it would be viable. But it wouldn't be the minimum viable shop, it would just be a shop.
The web is now in the same phase. It takes a long time to develop a new product as it has to be better than the one it supercedes in every way.
So if you want a cheap unicorn, do mobile. If not, bring a good book, it's going be a while.
Though the MVP provides a means to test hypotheses as a starting point, it does not imply that it is easy to build. The idea behind this exercise is not to see if the product can be built in terms of technical feasibility. Rather, it is to see whether you should be building it in the first place and, more importantly, whether it’s solving a problem other people find worth paying for.