A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product or service developed with a few basic features to gauge how potential customers would respond to it and gather feedback. The results are studied and the insights are used as a basis for the good’s final design that incorporates its full set of features.
If you’ve heard of the phrase “testing the waters,” that’s more or less the principle behind producing an MVP.
- Who Introduced the Concept of a Minimum Viable Product?
- What Is the Purpose of a Minimum Viable Product?
- How Do You Identify the Requirements of a Minimum Viable Product?
- What Are the Stages of Minimum Viable Product Development?
- What Are the Types of Minimum Viable Products?
- Key Takeaways
Read More about a “Minimum Viable Product“
MVPs are made to attract the attention of early adopters who are always happy to provide feedback on how a technology currently under development can be improved. They are critical components of agile development.
Who Introduced the Concept of a Minimum Viable Product?
Eric Ries is credited for introducing the concept of an MVP. He coined the term as part of his Lean Startup methodology to refer to a version of a new product that allows its makers to collect as much customer feedback as possible while exerting the least amount of effort.
What Is the Purpose of a Minimum Viable Product?
Manufacturers can opt to develop and release MVPs so its product team can:
- Go to market as early as possible
- Test an idea with real users before committing a large budget to the product’s full development
- Find out what resonates with the target market and what doesn’t
- Minimize time and resources spent building a product that’s not likely to succeed
How Do You Identify the Requirements of a Minimum Viable Product?
The definition of an MVP is pretty straightforward, but how do you know if what you’ve built is enough? Here are some questions to guide you:
- Is the MVP aligned with your business objectives?
- What specific problems do you want to solve for specific users and what functionality do you want to give them?
- What steps do you need to take to produce the MVP?
Is the MVP aligned with your business objectives?
Any offering you go to market with should translate to meeting your end goals. Do you want to increase your revenue? How much available resources do you have? Do you want to expand your consumer base? Note that if your primary objective is to continue focusing on your core market base, then your MVP should just be an improved version of your best-selling product.
What specific problems do you want to solve for specific users? What functionality do you want to give them?
For this, you’d need to zoom in on your core targets. You can’t do everything at once so prioritize what would make specific customer segments most satisfied. That will require user research and competitive analysis. You also need to determine how fast production will be and how much it will cost.
What steps do you need to take to produce the MVP?
Now that you’ve identified the limited functionality your MVP will offer, you’re ready to create a detailed development plan. Keep in mind that the MVP should be viable, meaning it enables users to satisfactorily complete an entire task. It can’t have half-built tools and features, otherwise you can’t sell it.
What Are the Stages of Minimum Viable Product Development?
There are three stages to developing an MVP—build, measure, and learn.
What Are the Types of Minimum Viable Products?
- Software prototype
- Product design
- Demo video
- Landing page
- Wizard of Oz
An MVP in the form of a software with just its core components. It’s usually produced using agile development, a flexible process that involves discovery and development through collaboration and continuous improvement. An example would be an application produced using the scrum framework.
An MVP typically useful for developing software, mobile apps, and other tech tools. It can start with a sketch or wireframe that shows user experience, hierarchy, and navigation. That should help you produce a mockup demonstrating exactly how your product will work.
This MVP should explain what your product will do to potential users. It will let you see if your product is the kind of solution the market is looking for.
This page lets you announce your new product to gauge public interest. You can ask visitors to submit their email addresses for updates to determine how many are interested. You can treat them as leads you can market to.
A piecemeal MVP can integrate components from various existing tools to show how your product will work.
Concierge MVPs helps you find people who’d like to try out subscription services. You can send them personalized product selections. If the idea succeeds, you can build an app that analyzes user responses and chooses what products to send to people.
Wizard of Oz
This MVPs model involves acting as if your product already exists when it’s actually still in development. It is ideal for many types of service-based startups.
Over time, we’ve seen entrepreneurs use MVPs to gauge how well their offerings will do in the market without exerting too much effort or costing too much. Examples of these include Airbnb and Foursquare.
- An MVP is a product or service developed with a few basic features to gauge how potential customers would respond to it and gather feedback.
- Creating an MVP allows manufacturers to go to market as early as possible, test an idea with real users before committing a large budget to the product’s full development, find out what resonates with the target market and what doesn’t, and minimize time and resources spent building a product that’s not likely to succeed.
- MVPs can come in the form of software prototypes, product designs, demo videos, landing pages, and more.
Other interesting terms…