A Minimum Viable Product centers upon the idea that you should release a new product ASAP. Don't spend nine months building all the features. Instead, build the most important features -- just enough to learn whether or not people even want the thing you're making.
Repeat after me: an MVP means getting the most learning for the lowest amount of effort. Ask yourself, "How can I get this product in front of people as quickly as possible?"
Example of Minimum Viable Product in action
- Dropbox started as an MVP
- Here at One Month, we use Launchrock to build a landing pages, and to collect email addresses for classes that aren't yet in development. This helps us learn which classes are most in demand.
How to Learn to Build an MVP Today
- Steve Blank, and Eric Reis: Read about the experts and follow them on Twitter (5 minutes).
- Data Drive Products Now! (slideshow): Check out this cool case study from on Etsy developer Dan McKinley (12 minutes).
- How to Make Your First Dollar: with Noah Kagan (online class).
- How to Build a Startup : with Steve Blank (online class).
- QuickMVP : a paid service that allows you to quickly build a landing page and set up Google Ads.
- Launchrock: a free service to easily set up landing pages and collect emails.
- The Lean Startup: by Eric Ries (book).
- Lean UX: by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden (book).