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What is a minimum viable product (MVP)?

Definition: Minimum viable product (MVP) is a product launched to the public with enough features to attract early users and validate its idea.

Its goal is to be built and launched in a short period of time to test the idea and gather feedback which gives the team the confirmation if the MVP can be scaled into a complete product.

How is a minimum viable product (MVP) defined?

MVPs go through six defining phases:

  1. Identify opportunities by listening to people and spot patterns in their needs and pain points.
  1. Define the product's value proposition and how it solves a problem customers have.
  1. Define the core feature that solves that problem and can be built.
  1. Build a prototype and test it with a small group of users.
  1. Refine and improve the product based on user feedback. If needed, go through several prototypes.
  1. Validate the MVP by launching it to the public and seeing how the market reacts.

The goal of an MVP isn’t to be of high quality but to test if the market needs a product that solves a particular problem.

Examples of an MVP

Mindmesh started with its team identifying the problem of people having too many meetings, conversations, and documents.

The team interviewed 300 product development employees and noticed a pattern of people having too many notes and to-do lists scattered everywhere.

The team developed an idea and worked on a feature to connect notes and to-do lists and manage them better.

After a few prototypes and tests, the team expanded this feature and turned it into an MVP.

Mindmesh’s MVP feature

Mindmesh’s MVP launched with only one feature, but its users liked it and requested more features.

The market validated the MVP, and the team developed it into

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Article FAQs

What is the purpose of defining an MVP?
It is to validate a product idea and get user feedback that will be used to turn the MVP into a fully fletched product. This helps save money and time by building something small and testing the market instead of taking a risk with a big product.
What should a minimum viable product (MVP) include?
It should consist of a finished core feature that tells the customers what the product's value is; this feature has to be usable and well-polished. It can include other features that support the core feature. Besides the features, an MVP has to have a way for customers to provide feedback and a guide on how to use the product.
What is the difference between MVP and a prototype?
A prototype is an early version of a product with unfinished features meant to be tested by stakeholders and in-house testers, while an MVP has a finished feature and is intended to be used by users. Prototypes provide a platform to test ideas, take valid ones, and turn them into MVPs. Prototypes and MVPs also differ in the time needed to be developed, as a prototype takes significantly less time.
How long does it take to create an MVP?
Creating an MVP depends on what you are building and its features, but it usually takes a few weeks or months to develop it, as the goal is to build it quickly.
What is a minimum viable product in Agile and SAFe?
In Agile, an MVP is a minimum required feature to test a product based on gathered user stories and deliver it to customers. While in SAFe, it's an early product version to prove or disprove an idea.

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