Minimum Viable Product (MVP): a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers
What is a Minimum Viable Product?
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?”
What’s an example of an MVP?
So check this out. I have an idea for a new company: It’s a new tea brand.
So now, does that mean that I have to hire a designer to get the bottle, to get a factory and hire a bunch of people to help me? No, because of the concept of the minimum viable product (MVP).
Almost all successful startups these days were built using a minimum viable product.
When DropBox launched in 2007 they didn’t write a line of code. At the time, founder Drew Houston made this Dropboxvideo to show how it would work. He wanted to first answer the question: “Does anybody even want Dropbox?”
As a result of the video demo able to get hundreds of thousands of emails to say, “Yes. This is pretty good. Let’s make this thing.” At One Month we use this idea of MVP internally all the time to launch our new classes for example.
So here you can see instead of designing this whole class for UX, getting a teacher, making all the videos. No. We just put this landing page up to ask the question, “Will anybody sign up? Is anyone interested in this class?” So how could you launch a product quicker? How could you launch it without writing a line of code? How could you launch it today?
Do the least possible to get your first customer. That’s MVP.
MVP Books and Learn Startup Resources
- The Lean Startup: by Eric Ries (book).
- Lean UX: by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden (book).
- 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).
Minimum Viable Product Online Course
Learn how to build your Minimum Viable Product with this online course at One Month! In 30 days, you’ll learn how to build a Minimum Viable Product and evaluate your startup idea. This is a course for anyone who wants to learn how to pre-validate their business or feature ideas before they spend years and fortunes building them.