Maximum Viable Product

On the day I posted my comments about the digital sobriety/software eco-design talk by Hélène MAITRE-MARCHOIS and Matthieu MARCHOIS at the Forum PHP 2022, John Gruber from Daring Fireball published a blog post relaying a new idea from Clive Thompson: The Maximum Viable Product, an idea that fits well with product design being the most impacting area of software development as detailed by the aforementioned speakers in their talk, even though it seems Clive Thompson is coming more from an angle of usablity rather than sustainability.

Clive Thompson:

Minimum Viable Product” is a venerable Silicon Valley concept. It argues that if you’ve got an idea for an app, you should release it early — when it’s got barely just enough features to be useful. Sure, the app might only do one thing. But if it does that one thing well, get it out there.
The thing is, we can usefully flip this concept on its head!
What if more developers developed a sense for the “maximum” number of things a product should do — and stopped there?
What if more software firms decided, “Hey! We’ve reached the absolute perfect set of features. We’re done. This product is awesome. No need to keep on shoving in stuff nobody wants.”
Sure, this would have risks. Standing still risks becoming obsolete, as other competitors swoop in.
But it can also just mean you have confidence in your amazing design.

John Gruber:

[...] One way to think of it is that software should be designed a little more like hardware. A 2022 MacBook doesn’t have any more buttons or ports than one from 20 years ago. (In fact, MacBooks have fewer ports.) It’s mostly software where there’s a temptation to keep expanding in scope endlessly.

This reminds me of a project I came across a few years ago called tiny apps.
It also reminds me of Gemini, an internet protocol, inspired by Gopher, that is designed to not be easily extensible to keep it simple.