MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, or „a product with the minimum requirements and characteristics“. In most cases, the MVP is used in connection with the Lean Startup methodology, and can be used well in this context.
It has to be „quick and dirty“
The basic idea when creating an MVP is to create a product with the most necessary functions – such a landing page – as quickly as possible. This is then published immediately in order to first obtain feedback from (potential) customers. This feedback is then used to enhance and improve the MVP.
Every advanced feature should left out of the MVP. Only those functions that are absolutely necessary in order to enable the actual purpose of the product are included. A lot of time, effort and money is saved this way.
MVP Reduces Risk
The primary reason for developing an MVP is the minimization of risk. Those who choose to develop and release a full product should expect a variety of problems.
It takes a great deal of time and money to develop such a fully-fledged product. Far more than it would cost for the development of an MVP.
Another risk is developing a product which doesn’t accurately meet market and customer needs. If months of development are put into the product, but no one wants to buy it after release, this is not only annoying, but also results in very heavy losses, and is therefore synonymous with risk.
The development of an MVP, however, reduces the risk for the startup by only developing and releasing a prototype with the necessary functions, saving the company a lot of time and money. Additionally, the early market entry helps the company decide whether the idea and the product have any chance on the market.
Most MVP’s generally require no great knowledge of programming or the like. Most of the problems that must be solved for the MVP can be solved through contemplation and clever use of existing techniques. There are, for example, enough kits to test one’s own concept which can create rudimentary websites without any knowledge of web development.
In addition, many processes which are to be automatised at a later stage, can first be done by hand. Although it involves hard work at the outset, many product features can be tested without any arduous programming.