Digital Themes

Minimum Viable Product

What is a Minimum Viable Product?

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.

What are the benefits of using an MVP approach for your project?

  • Validating ideas by testing consumer value and interest before building and releasing new products or features can cut down on time, effort, and monetary waste.

  • New releases or upgrades can hit the market much faster when they have data-backed support and early adopter interest.

  • Testing hypotheses in this way saves valuable money and employee efforts previously spent on futile and unwanted products and ideas.

  • Inspiring a pre-launch user base of early adopters can inspire further investments and marketing interest, expanding ROI and pre-release interest.

  • MVPs can deliver instant value to your early adopters and first customers while concurrently generating valuable consumer data for your business.

  • The ability to introduce your product to market and assess your product/market fit before actually building a realized product can also cut back on wasted time and money.

  • MVPs can also inform future product features and releases and can adjust various market strategies utilizing data from consumer behavior.

  • MVPs focus on the core functionality of a product or business model, enabling analysis of unused or redundant functionality.

  • This type of testing can engage new consumers at the initial stage of development, inspiring word-of-mouth marketing and getting invaluable early feedback.
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