Minimum Viable Product (MVP) refers to the version of a product that includes basic functionality and some user interface (UI) visuals. MVPs are used for testing and user feedback during the early stages of the digital product development process. MVP terminology has its origins in the lean startup community, aiming to test products and business models and collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers without excess waste of time or materials.
A minimum viable product is that version that aims to provide the intended value and user experience for customers with the least effort and the least number of features to build. This segment of the product development process, after smoke tests, involves performing the build measure learn loop with the least amount of effort, with a team to collect and measure consumer reactions and behaviors towards the product features or business model. The goal of an MVP is not only to test and measure customer opinions but also to inspire early adopters.
Acknowledging the market need and entering with a solid product/market fit involves more than a hypothesis and a feedback landing page. An MVP allows for maximized consumer adoption with minimum risk. Minimizing risk and inspiring customer confidence in a product or business model that has consumer value is a process that will likely be repeated several times. However, ideally, the MVP process is a low effort and lost cost way to measure consumer interest. An MVP can manifest as any number of things, from a realized working product to a prototype or UI with filler data.