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What they do not tell you in lean startup; your early users are your unwitting product testers. Thus the calculus becomes how quickly you can plug the gaps and deliver the real MVP before your users bail en masse.

It also assumes you have no social capital that can be burned by channeling folks towards trying something on your word and then finding it isn't - in the eyes of the user - a finished product, it's broken or under-featured. Reputations can be ruined like this.

It's not all Dropbox posting a signup form with no product behind it or Steve Jobs building the iPhone from whole cloth in secret with nothing in between. There's a continuum and startups can find their own spot on that path. IMHO

This is true of every startup. (E.g., see Crossing the Chasm.) And of every company, really. Even mature companies do a ton of product testing on their audiences.

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