A Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is the test version of a product or service with a minimal set of functions - sometimes even just one - that brings value to the end user. MVPs are created to test hypotheses and the viability of the intended product, as well as how valuable and in-demand it will be on the market.
The results from testing the minimum viable product combined with feedback from the target audience provide insight as to whether it is worth continuing the project’s development, as well as help determine what strategy changes need to be made and what should be left as-is.
Two approaches are used to validate business hypotheses in product development: prototyping and MVP. There are fundamental differences between these two approaches.
A prototype’s purpose is to make sure that a product can be created using available resources. It demonstrates to those who make the development decisions that the concept is viable. An MVP is a bare-bones version of the product whose functionality allows you to receive feedback and learn from the market.
Prototypes are intended for small audiences - usually the interested parties. MVPs are made for significant groups of clients.
A prototype can be a presentation, a video, or an application; that is, it can be presented in any visual form. With an MVP, production is already being launched. It is a product ready for use.
A prototype has fulfilled its purpose once it has successfully presented a product. A viable MVP is the first version of a product, and therefore will continue to be developed and improved.
Another concept that is sometimes confused with a minimum viable product is the PoC (Proof of Concept). A PoC describes the processes for determining the technical viability of an application or other product. In other words, the PoC describes the initial stage of product development, which is then implemented to create a minimum viable product.
The Spotify MVP was launched in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Laurentson with a single feature - music streaming. Today, their product is used around the world, collaborates with major recording studios and is valued at $21 billion.
In 2008, Airbnb allowed the project’s founders to rent out their apartment. The experiment showed that the service was in demand, and today it is one of the largest sites for finding short-term rental housing.
Groupon sells vouchers and coupons. During its creation phase, the site, which was made with WordPress, was aimed at sending presentations and proposals in pdf format. After testing a number of releases, the team of authors expanded its set of features.
The first version of the streaming service Twitch aired episodes of the show “Justin.TV”. The product only appealed to a small number of users and had poor sound and image quality, but the sample was enough to determine a strategy for further development. Today, the service specializes in broadcasting computer games and eSports tournaments.
Buffer is an application designed to help users manage their social media accounts and make scheduled posts. During the development phase, the feature set was severely limited. Feedback from early users was helpful in testing the program, identifying shortcomings, and adding the required functions.
Developing and releasing an MVP is an important milestone in business development. It helps you identify the product’s strengths and eliminate flaws that can alienate your target audience. An MVP can also keep you from accruing large losses in case the project fails.
To develop and implement an MVP, you need to do the following:
A project’s future development depends on the quality of preparation:
Learn more about how long does it take to create a mobile app.