On building a minimum lovable edible product.

ARCADE invited me to write a piece on how Will's and my background in the technology sector influences the way we make chocolate. One element that's carried over, for sure, is the concept of the MVP (or Minimum Viable Product): 

A minimum viable product has just those core features that allow the product to be deployed, and no more. The product is typically deployed to a subset of possible customers, such as early adopters that are thought to be more forgiving, more likely to give feedback, and able to grasp a product vision from an early prototype or marketing information. It is a strategy targeted at avoiding building products that customers do not want, that seeks to maximize the information learned about the customer per dollar spent. “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”[6]

An MVP is not a minimal product,[7] it is a strategy and process directed toward making and selling a product to customers. It is an iterative process of idea generation, prototyping, presentation, data collection, analysis and learning. One seeks to minimize the total time spent on an iteration. The process is iterated until a desirable product/market fit is obtained, or until the product is deemed to be non-viable.
— Wikipedia entry on Minimum Viable Product

To that end, we are slowly releasing our products to small venues: the chocolate milk at the farmers market every other week and now, Bellflower's bean-to-bar chocolate. I've made a micro batch and will send out samples to a few select people. The ultimate goal is to take feedback and iterate until we have not just an MVP, but an MLP: Maximum Lovable Product.