Mighty App had an ambitious goal – streaming your browser from the cloud. They built out custom infrastructure to reduce the latency. After 3.5 years in beta, they are essentially starting a new business around generative AI.
I have a lot of respect for what they were building, and I think that a product like that will eventually be ubiquitous. But could things have gone differently?
I don't know. I've thought about what an MVP looks like in 2022 and cited two other companies with long betas (Figma, and a current company, The Browser Company). Figma's beta might be explained in a few ways. First, they pivoted drastically (from originally a drone company) and were on the very early cusps on the core technology that enabled their product (asm.js, the precursor to WebAssembly).
It's also tough when the market changes beneath you. Funding was abundant the last two years but is no longer as accessible.
At the early stage, finding product market fit (PMF) is the only thing that matters. You can do that in a closed beta for certain products if you're extremely disciplined. It's probably more successful in enterprise software since you can gather requirements from the right customers as you build. Even then, it's tough to gauge addressable market size without getting something out there.
Consumer products lend themselves more to feature creep, which is the enemy of PMF. It's never been easier to create software, which means faster MVPs, but also the possibility to build more out before you even reach your users.