Oftentimes in a business you end up with a situation where the users don’t have the IT tools that they need to do the job, and will make up their own tools. For example, a user that wants to do some work at home might create a Dropbox account and use it to transmit a copy of the customer database to their home.

This utter nightmare of information systems governance is called Shadow IT, and it exists because either the business isn’t a) providing the systems people need, or b) isn’t communicating to the user base why the can’t have it.

The reason why I bring this up is that when you build your MVP you can either commission someone to write some software for you, or you can string together a solution yourself – e.g. using Google Docs and Zapier, and manual processes etc.

When you’re doing this, this is like the equivalent “shadow IT” solution that you might come up with at work because you’re not being provided with the right tools to do your job. I firmly don’t believe in using this approach for building MVPs, but this idea can be helpful to conceptualise what’s happening.