Minimum Viable Product

Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

Minimum viable product (MVP) is a particular version of the product that presents good features for the satisfaction of early customers to collect exclusive customer feedback manufactured for proper product development in the future as per customer requirement at a comparatively lower cost than developing a new product with unwanted features leading to increase in cost and risk of failure due to the wrong assumption.

Key Takeaways

  • A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a version with essential features that are released early to customers to obtain feedback for further product development.
  • It is designed to satisfy early customers and gather insights for future iterations while minimizing cost and reducing the risk of failure resulting from incorrect assumptions about customer needs.
  • It typically includes basic functionality, design, reliability, and usability, focusing on delivering the core value proposition to customers while avoiding unnecessary complexity or features.


The term minimum viable product (MVP) was coined and introduced in 2001 by Frank RoThe term minimum viable product (MVP) was coined and introduced in 2001 by Frank Robinson. Further, it was popularized by Steve Blank and Eric Ries. It may also be understood as carrying out market analysis beforehand. The products are deployed to a particular subset of customers, such asEarly adopters are customers who purchase a new product or technology. They comprise the second group of people who access a product, idea, or service. Innovators precede more early adoptersEarly AdoptersEarly adopters are customers who purchase a new product or technology. They comprise the second group of people who access a product, idea, or service. Innovators precede more who are more likely to give genuine feedback and understand a product vision from an early prototype. MVP has enough features to deploy the product effectively, leaving no chance for further perfection.


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  • It helps in accelerating learning. On the failure of initial product success, MVP helps determine the product’s pitfalls and accelerates the learning process for developing a robust and viable product.
  • The minimum viable product aids in reducing the wasted hours deployed in engineering the product. It gives a signal beforehand for improvements, which helps increase production efficiency.
  • A minimum viable product (MVP) establishes a builder’s ability to create products and justify its requirement. The builder’s ability gets improved with the help of MVP.
  • MVP envisages the quick building of a brand as any flaw in the product gets dealt with at an initial stage without reaching the masses. Hence improved versions of the product are supplied in the market, which further builds its goodwill and popularity.
  • Minimal resources are required to improve the large production of goods, and supply is sent to early customers as soon as possible.


  1. A feedback loop is provided with a minimum viable product to guide the future development of any product.
  2. It has fair value for which people are willing to buy it or use it initially in the early market.
  3. It helps maintain the product’s early adopters by demonstrating enough future benefits. It can assess customer wishes and preferences when they use the product.

Minimum Viable Product Examples

Minimum Viable Product Example

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  1. Airbnb – They used their apartment to start the business. People can live in other apartments at a cheaper rate than being at the hotel that made the start-up of Airbnb that is airbed and breakfast. The close-up interaction with first customers helps get them valuable insights about what they wish to have.
  2. Groupon – Andrew Mason started a website called the point, which provided a platform to bring together people to accomplish a specific task that they cannot do alone. But somehow, the site didn’t gain momentum, so he decided to try something else using the same domain and set up a customized WordPress blog called the Daily Groupon and began posting.


  1. Functionality – The features set in the MVP should be clear to the customers. The product set of functions/ features presented to the customer should deliver clear value to the customer.
  2. Reliability – Thorough testing should be done to achieve the quality standard of the product. It helps in generating greater customer reliability for products manufactured in the future.
  3. Design – The MVP design must be unique and should possess the highest quality standard.
  4. Usability – The usage of the MVP must not be complex, and it should be intuitive.

Why Build an MVP?

It works as a midpoint between the earlier stages of the development of a product and its final stage. It defines the direction in which the product will take its form. It becomes one of the most crucial product research and developmentResearch And DevelopmentResearch and Development is an actual pre-planned investigation to gain new scientific or technical knowledge that can be converted into a scheme or formulation for manufacturing/supply/trading, resulting in a business more cycle stages. Forecasted goals and approximated expectations are given physical form by developing the minimum viable product. MVP comes into play when real data is put in through the process. MVP is a full-scale test in the real market situation for start-up products at its basic level. It helps to build an interaction with the target audience and grab potential customers’ attention and fulfill their needs.

Minimum Viable Product vs Prototype

MVP is a type of functional prototype used specifically for the market to understand the consumer’s prospects and their reaction towards the product. It is used to compare consumers’ responses in comparison with competitive products. The difference between the prototype and the minimum viable product is quite vague and generally depends on the context in which both are used. At the same time, a prototype is a non-interactive version of MVP that is designed to understand what, where, how, and why the study of a product. It forms the outline of the product and is generally not distributed to a large segment of consumers rather limited to a few.


  1. Time-Saving – MVP concept helps in gaining early access to customer feedback, and as a result organization starts developing a refined version of that product at a very early stage.
  2. Money-Saving – To minimize the budget, overspending is one of the biggest challenges for any product or software development. MVP helps to attain the same.
  3. Swift Check on Product Viability – A thorough check is done of the product by deploying MVP as it helps in examining the product’s performance in real market conditions.
  4. A Better Understanding of the Target Audience – With the help of MVP, what a target audience wants and thinks about a particular segment can be better understood.


  1. It requires a lot of upfront work to get reliable feedback from the customers. Various product releases require development efforts, which could be tedious.
  2. Multiple revisions need to be worked upon based on the customer’s feedback. It may take time and increased efforts to finish the product in its natural order.
  3. Features are generally fundamental. Significant dedication is required for small and frequent product releases.
  4. Functionality needs to be revised multiple times to reach the customized need based on the customer’s feedback.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the opposite of a minimum viable product?

The opposite of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) would be a Maximum Viable Product (MXP), which refers to a product that includes all possible features and functionalities without prioritizing or omitting any, often resulting in a more complex and costly product with a higher risk of failure due to lack of customer validation or feedback.

2. What is the minimum viable product vs. proof of concept?

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a functional product with essential features released to existing customers for validation and feedback to refine further and develop the product. Proof of Concept (PoC), on the other hand, is a small-scale prototype or demonstration created to verify the feasibility of a concept or technology without necessarily being a fully functional product. 

3. How to test Minimum Viable Product?

There are numerous ways to test Minimum Viable Product. It includes fundraising, blogs, customer interviews, videos, pre-order pages, social-media surveys, paper prototypes, emailing, landing pages, A/B testing, piecemeal MVPs, PPC campaigns, micro-surveys, ad campaigns, services & platforms, manual-first MVP, concierge MVPs, digital prototypes, single feature MVP, and software testing.

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