M💖P & Omotenashi

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Inspired by, with quotes from John Maeda's How To Speak Machine.

A technical Minimum Viable Product is no longer enough. I like to use the term “MVLP,” where the “L” stands for “lovable", or M💖P.

A techie might be fine with a rough, purely functional experience, since their tolerance for discomfort is already high to begin with. But the general population has grown high expectations for their apps, so its become important to redefine “viable” as needing to grant a degree of comfort and a modicum of delight.

A key component that techies and non-techies both find loveable is speed.

And so Google’s selection of speed as a design attribute stood at the rare intersection of what could be loved by both engineers and non-techies because when a web page loads quickly, it qualitatively feels divine.

Something that can make a product loveable is incorporating the Japanese concept of Omotenashi.

Omotenashi roughly translates to “hospitality,” but it means much more than just making someone feel at home. It has to do with how people are greeted and sent off, how they are served, how well you can anticipate their needs and outdo their expectations.
Underlying omotenashi is having an idea of what the customer wants without asking, so that their needs can be anticipated.