Minimum Viable Product means many things to different people so let’s start with a definition.

When Eric Ries, of Lean Start-Up frame, used the term for the first time he described it as:

Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

Over time it got simplified to: “the smallest thing you can build that lets you quickly make it around the build/measure/learn loop”:

Ask a leanstack coach to help determine this

The problem with this simplified definition is that everything shown in the image above would qualify as an MVP.

But how is a landing page or demo a product?

Many of the things above are really (good) tactics for testing interest in a product though the use of a faster proxy for the product like a landing page or demo. But they aren’t a product by themselves.

Here’s a stricter definition of a Minimum Viable Product:

A Minimum Viable Product is the smallest thing you can build that delivers customer value (and as a bonus captures some of that value back).

The directive of an MVP is first and foremost racing to deliver on customer value. Furthermore, there is no business without revenue which also tends to be one of the riskier parts of the business model. This is why whenever your users are also your customers, I am a strong advocate of capturing back some of that value which is just a fancy way of saying “charge from day one and get paid”.

Using this definition, a lot of the learning tactics or experiments from earlier don’t meet the MVP criteria.

The lean startup process - a leanstack coach can help

This article was taken from the work of Ash Maurya @ leanstack and should be used for information purposes only.

If you would like to understand more about this and how it can help your business, contact me or visit my website and we can have a discussion