Iconic Products Weren't Lean

I am an opponent of talking to users and building MVPs, and here’s why:

The "launch fast, fail fast way" is to optimize for the company and investor, not the customer.

The Lean approach will lead you to incremental solutions or even make you run around in circles achieving nothing. It lowers the cost of failure (downside), but also the potential impact of success (upside). One of the reason the MVP approach been so popular is because the VCs in the valley wanna see the MVP and traction because they want to de-risk a "deal". In fact, most of them care more about who is the lead investor than the user experience of the product.

A lot of people overgeneralize those “Lean” cases. Some founders bumped into PMF after a few pivots, and were smart or lucky enough to recognize the potential doesn't mean it's repeatable. It means without a solid longterm product vision, the product might lose the magic over time.

In fact, you only get one chance to make a “wow” impression for the user, which is important to create the word-of-mouth distribution. Why would you test your product so early on and waste that opportunity?