A Minimum Viable Product is a term popularized with the advent of The Lean Startup movement. People seem to believe that a Minimum Viable Product (or MVP) is simply a reduced version of the final product. However, Eric Reis - the author of The Lean Startup (Check out my book review!) has a stricter definition for this term.
According to Eric, the goal of a Minimum Viable Product isn't to simply release the core features quickly -- but more so to validate the vision and LEARN quickly. Validated Learning is the real goal of an MVP. In the following video we use familiar examples to help you understand what an MVP really is!
Minimum Viable Product or M-V-P
We’ve heard this term being used lately. But a lot of people seem to misunderstand what it really means. Allow me to illustrate….
Say you invent a new SUPER DELICIOUS Food concept! You’re CONVINCED that the WORLD will love it. Your friends & family certainly did. So you decide to start a business. Your vision: To bring Delight to the mouths of the entire world.
But you don’t want to get ahead of yourself. So you start off with an MVP -- A Minimum Viable Product -- Which in your case is A small restaurant in one city.
You scope out a good location downtown, sign a one year lease and Now all you have to do is wait for the people to show up. But the only problem is -- they don’t. People simply don’t like what you’re selling. And now you’re stuck with a one year lease and no revenue. You suffer the losses. But hey, at least you stuck to the Minimum Viable Product right?
Actually - this is where people get it wrong. To carry out an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), first ask yourself -- What is the ‘Value’ that you are offering? In our example, the value isn’t the restaurant. It’s the FOOD CONCEPT, and your MVP (Minimum Viable Product) should set out to VALIDATE if this CONCEPT is something people really care about!
Did you need an entire restaurant to test your food concept? Perhaps you could have opened up a Food Stall at a
An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) isn’t about simply releasing a reduced version of your final product -- It’s about LEARNING -- with the least amount of effort & resources. Let's look at a couple of examples:
DropBox: Before even having a working product, they released a
Then we have the founder of Zappos - who had a envisioned a world where people shopped for their shoes on the internet. To validate his thesis. He asked the owners of local shoe shops if he could take pictures of their shoes! He then posted these pictures on his website along with their prices.
It was only IF & when orders came in -- that he’d go to the store, purchase the shoes and ship them to his customers. This “MVP” was certainly not scalable. But it did its job to validate that the value he sought to deliver was something people WANT.
An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) should seek to prove that the customer WANTS what your vision will offer.
The PROCESS of your vision is often irrelevant. I mean, do you care really care about the diodes, cathodes or liquid crystals that
Book Summary - The Lean Startup by Eric Reis
The Lean Start Methodology by Eric Reis, Author of The Lean Startup.