Glossary for Industry Terms

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Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

What is a MVP?

The most common definition of an MVP is, “the smallest thing that you can build that delivers customer value (and as a bonus captures some of the value back).” In general, it is a very basic version of a product that is given to potential customers to see, test and give feedback on. Businesses creating new products can create MVPs to test and prove if a product is viable and should be developed further.

There are three distinct features of an MVP; one is that it has enough features for potential customers to purchase the product, two is that there is a feedback mechanism involved that allows potential customers to give feedback about the product, and three is that it should have future benefits for customers that buy the product first.

The main benefit of an MVP is that businesses can gain an understanding about their customers’ interest in their product without fully creating the product. The sooner a business can find out whether their product will sell, the less time and money is spent on a product that will not succeed. By giving an MVP to a potential customer, businesses can find out whether the market trends are suitable to release the final version of the product. A further benefit is that businesses can use the feedback from potential customers to change and further develop their product, making it more successful.

Testing an MVP with as many users as possible it always the goal to gain fast and important feedback on design and functionality. Using a team collaboration software solution can often allow you to share your MVP with your internal team or close friends and record their feedback and thoughts on your initial product.

MVPs can been seen across a range of industries from clothing and manufacturing to technology and app development. Because of this, an MVP can have many forms including drawings, sketches, a demo, an interactive prototype or a fully functional product or app. Depending on your test users and the amount of investment and time you can spend on your product development, your MVP could look like just about anything with the main goal of getting it in front of users. Some other industries like apparel and clothing may refer to an MVP as being a prototype or a sample depending on how compressed their product development process is.

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