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Forget MVP: Future innovation is dependent on having an MTP

From small business to startups, there is often an emphasis on the importance of the minimal viable product (MVP).


However, in a world where we are constantly told we are experiencing change at a faster rate than ever before, perhaps an MVP is no longer ambitious enough.


To create a positive impact today, you need a massively transformative purpose (MTP), and companies are struggling to keep up.

SINGULARITYU CO-CHIEF EXECUTIVES CHRISTINA GERAKITEYS AND LISA ANDREWS. SOURCE: SmartCompany.


What’s your massively transformative purpose?

Business leaders considering the shift from an MVP to an MTP need to be committed and personally invested in the transformation. For a startup or company, the MTP needs to be dynamic and crucial, and have deep meaning for everyone involved.


For an MTP to embed into every cell, every atom, of an organisation, it cannot be too tech-specific. At the rate technology changes, agility and evolution need to be in-built.


Peter Diamandis, the co-founder of Singularity University, said: “An MTP needs to be aimed at the heart as well as the mind. It should be declared with sincerity and confidence”.


When we talk of MTPs, it is definitely with an abundance mindset, a positive mindset and with optimism. It draws purpose-filled employees to you and is transformative in having them realise their best. It is also the North Star, keeping leadership teams focused and on course.


MTP at work

To find examples of current-day individuals with an MTP making a difference, you need look no further than Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, and Greta Thunberg, who has mobilised students all over the world on climate change. They follow well in the footsteps of Rosa Parks, the individual whose actions inspired Martin Luther King.


On the business side, an organisation that adopted a mass transformative purpose and realised the vision is TED.


TED describes its MTP as “ideas worth spreading”. And spread they have. TED began as a conference in 1984. Today TED has millions of viewers on YouTube and talks in over 100 languages. That’s a lot of spreading.


A formula for MTP

Operate a business through purpose, and intent and efforts never feel unrewarded. For most of the time anyway.


So how do you go about formulating an MTP?


Diamandis suggests the following formula.


  1. Look for the biggest problems to find the biggest opportunities. “If you want to become a billionaire, help a billion people,” he said.

  2. Create unholy alliances —just like Apple did when it entered the music business, and Uber in partnering with eateries and drones, and NASA in partnering with Lego to create a vibe around STEM education. 

  3. Forget 10% and go 10x. Most organisations aim to increase revenue by 10% and simultaneously cut costs by 10%. But fewer resources while trying to increase output never really makes sense. Aim instead to increase revenue 10x, become 10x cooler, or increase your impact 10x. The difference between 10% and 10x is 100-fold.


Beyond innovation

Discussions are prolific around fear and progress, abundance and scarcity. Do incremental, sustainable, disruptive and destructive innovations benefit humanity, or will they eventually destroy us?


We are no longer simply asking ‘what is innovation?’ We have surpassed the notion that all businesses should be innovating, though many are talking and few are acting. Startups, accelerator programs and collaborative workplaces are now the norms rather than the novel. The words ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ are common in organisational dialogue.


Ethical conversations and debates are frequent and increasingly necessary. There is a call for organisations to employ chief ethical officers.


So, what is there to discuss? Plenty it seems, especially when it comes to artificial intelligence and medicine.


How smart should we let AI become? Should we engineer each human by editing DNA? If we created ‘fake’ meat and milk, couldn’t we feed the world’s undernourished and starving? Will autonomous vehicles reduce fatalities on our roads? Can we live forever?


With exponential technologies, MTPs and continuous innovation come greater responsibility. We need to consciously put humans first in innovation.  We need to ‘humannovate’. In a world ruled largely by what divides us (race, gender, religion, economics, politics), rather than what unites us, how does that play out?  Perhaps if we look to science and that we share 99.9% of the same DNA we could overlook those differences. How’s that for a moonshot? How’s that for a worldwide MTP?


Never has there been more talk of ‘tribes’, social impact and an increasing push for businesses and organisations to have a social bottom line. For businesses to do well into the 21st century, they will need to have a far greater impact than simply a profit statement. We are increasingly demanding that businesses and organisations give back and support the community at more than tokenistic levels.


How can we use MTPs to solve the world’s greatest challenges? How can we strategically take giant leaps forward? Can we afford not to?




This article originally written by CHRISTINA GERAKITEYS and published on SmartCompany website and republished here.

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