Minimum Viable Product

"Smallest" possible product you can start market-testing ("doing validated learning") with real customers - validate biggest assumption (Theory Building) in your Lean Canvas.

a concept in Lean Startup/Customer Development

Kent Beck also supports the idea. The purpose of the MVP is to answer your most pressing question, to validate your most pressing business assumption. To create an MVP work backwards from your question, not forwards from a feature list. Invest as little as possible to answer the question because after this there will be another question and another and you'll need enough money to answer them all.

Steve Blank, Mar'2010: Most customers will not want a product with a minimal feature set. In fact, the majority of customers will hate it. So why do it? Because you are selling the first version of your product to Early Vangelist-s.

In The Lean Startup, Eric Ries ties the definition of "validated learning" to

  • getting a baseline on your AARRR metrics
  • having those metrics be relevant assumptions in your Business Model, so you can see how your baseline varies from your projection/assumption.
    • How many people really start with a Business Model having that much precision?
    • Ash Maurya thinks this is what you should do. For simplicity, I assume a 10% conversion. Is that too high? Maybe, but it's a rule of thumb that will guide our strategic milestones that will surely be met with contrary tactical reality.

Model I'd be most likely to follow: 2009-10-26-MauryaCloudFireMvp

Mar'2010: Dorian Taylor (with Venkatesh Rao) exposes some of the philosophical games implicit in the approach. But it’s important to recognize that I’m not talking about delivering software in a day, not specifically. I’m talking about creating a FeedBack loop in which many kinds of artifacts can accumulate and be recombined with one another in successive levels of complexity. This extends the conventional product calculus by a dimension, such that I can achieve fast, cheap and good all at once, but I can’t say what I’m going to end up with at the end of the day. (Compounding)

Nov'2010: Matt Mullenweg posts if you’re not embarrassed when you ship your first version you waited too long.

May'2013: the "manual-first" (concierge) Start Up: So, we took a shortcut. Instead of building a crawler, my co-founder and I would crawl out of bed at 3 am and manually enter the deals into our database. Plus, when you’re doing it yourself, classification was easy. We did it all manually... The funny thing is that within a few months of our launch, several competitors emerged and they all had crawlers. But, from our users’s perspective, we were more advanced since we had categorization which was definitely no easily automated task... Instead, we were able to focus our resources on improving the product and user acquisition.

Aug'2013: the WebLog-first Start Up: A simple blog post is a viable tactic to quickly validate ideas and gather market feedback... The service Zack Shapiro described (imagined) would enable people to take control of the content they consume, empowering its users to filter keywords, topics, hashtags, events, and other updates from Twitter, Facebook, and other feeds. The post received enormous interest as readers enthusiastically suggested ways they might use the service... Ghost, a new blogging platform, launched a Kickstarter campaign in April 2013, that generated massive attention in the open-source community. But it was actually a blog post that kicked off the movement five months earlier. John O’Nolan originally created a concept page describing his vision of the ideal blogging solution. Within a few days of publishing the concept page, O’Nolan received more than 91,000 page views, mentions in Mashable, and an interview with Pando Daily.

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