Minimum Viable Badge

This is a stub of a post. I’ll come back and add more detail later, but I wanted to get it out there pre-#BelshawBlackOps13. When I say ‘badge’ I am, of course, talking about Open Badges.

Just as we have the established idea of a Minimum Viable Product (and riffing on Minimum Viable Bureaucracy) how about a Minimum Viable Badge?*

A Minimum Viable Product has just those 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.

So a Minimum Viable Badge would be the first badge in an emergent ecosystem of value. A stake in the ground, as it were; line in the sand. It’s the opposite of trying to satisfy upfront all of the requirements and concerns of ‘stakeholders’. It’s a recognition that the first thing you produce is something to talk about, iterate and (probably) jettison. It’s a conversation-starter.

Yesterday, at the Prototyping activities for the Web Literacy Standard session at MozFest we did something fairly close to this. And it was glorious.

Does this resonate as an idea?

*This may or may not be a term that I’ve (inadvertently) ‘borrowed’ from a Mozilla colleague or community member. If so, er, oops.


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  1. Minimal viable badge design standards have been percolating in my mind: camera phone pic of rough pencil sketch. Add ink for iterative versions.

  2. yup yup and yup 🙂 this is something i was trying to get to with the first batch of SUMO open badges which I call:

    Open Badges 1.0: Minimum Awesome Achievement:

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