Everybody wants to go lean today. Lean Startup seems to be the holy grail, the methodology to go in every situation. However, it is not!

Building an MVP is often used to excuse missing features, including core functionality, and important UX shortcomings. The MVP approach can only work if you are able to ship new iterations at least once per month. Ideally, you should have 1-3 iterations each month in order to be able to show your users some progress and to get into the “build - measure - learn” rythm.

Having a product that is used only once per year is not a good candidate for Lean Startup. For example, a smartphone app that should support a conference experience and thus is only used around the few conference days. The rest of the time it won’t be touched by users. In case you come up with an early version of your product that you still call MVP then most likely people won’t enjoy what they get. And they won’t want to use it the next time. With the conference situation, it is about the organizers to decide whether they will offer your app the next year again. And they won’t if your app failed too big, which means, there is no second iteration coming.

Consider your situation very well before you choose the best methodology to develop your product. Every approach has its pros and cons, its situations where it shines and those where it most likely fails. In case you have a once-per-year situation, the good old waterfall might be the better way to go. Don’t blindly follow the masses only because everybody is talking about something.