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Why ‘Minimum Viable Product’ Is Hot Comments

  • By Meredith Lepore
  • March 05, 2013

tin can phone

When most people hear MVP, they think Most Valuable Player. But in the startup space, MVP means something very different: Minimum Viable Product.

MVP strategy, made popular by Eric Ries, father of the Lean Startup, brings a product or product feature quickly to market—in its most minimum viable form—in order to test market response, and then adapt it to what customers really want.

That’s easier said than done.

You need the data that will give you the most insight into your customer base, specifically, the information that’s most relevant to making your product successful. As business coach Tara Gentile says, "Real growth is about making sure your business fulfills more desires—your customers' and your own—while requiring less effort from you."

Ries notes that getting there requires investing considerable energy talking to customers, and understanding metrics and analytics in order to hone your product.

A primary goal of MVP is to figure out which products customers don't want so you can adapt, and start thinking in a new direction, or develop products or features that are needed by customers.

The need to get immediate feedback early on in the development process is the m.o. for MVP. The method can be used to test new products or to see if a startup business idea is viable.

The most important thing is to figure out what you want to get out of your MVP as well as the market you're targeting, and the data collected should be extensive and all-inclusive.

Then, you have to prepared to respond rapidly to market preferences, iterating your product to build your customer base.

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