Minimal Viable Product

A minimum viable product is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and a development team.

A group of people within the company build the product with as few resources as possible. The MVP is intended to allow for continual feedback from the market, so not necessarily complete functionality. In this way, an MVP tends to have fewer capabilities than a typical final product would have.

A marketed MVP can provide a very quick answer to the question of “what can be done now?” It sets a goal and provides a release date, allowing the market to decide if it is important. (The rate of change in technology also allows the number of features to be kept low.) The MVP avoids having to make decisions that cannot easily be reversed. It provides early customers with access to software directly, thereby shortening the time from concept development to actual usage. This helps those customers become users and advocates for future releases.

Why should a company consider building an MVP? There are two core reasons why a company should consider building an MVP for their product. The first reason is that the market can provide valuable changes to the product that would have been difficult or impossible to implement at a later time. The second reason is to validate assumptions about the product and its potential customers. If a satisfied customer makes a claim about a feature she would have liked to have seen in the final version, it can be investigated and resolved by the development team.

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