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What is a Minimum Viable Product and why your Start-up depends on it

04 Oct 2017

What is a Minimum Viable Product and why your Start-up depends on it

MVP or a Minimum Viable Product – you’ve certainly encountered this term in many guides and articles on how to successfully convert your idea into a profitable business. However, despite getting more and more popular, this concept still remains somehow unclear. That is why today at Areus we explain what exactly is MVP and why is it so essential.


What is the purpose of MVP?

Before we talk about the definition of MVP, let’s try to understand the idea behind it. Imagine that this winter you are planning to try skiing for the first time in your life. Would you rather rent the equipment for a day or run to the sport shop straight away and spend a couple hundred dollars for top shelf skis?

The answer seems pretty obvious. After all, why would we invest so much in something that may turn out to be completely useless? It’s much wiser to test it out first.

The same thinking pattern should be applied to product development. Before building a product we should first check whether there is a need for it on the market. Yet, many startups still spend months and months on coding an application prototype that eventually turns out to be a complete fiasco. Evaluating their idea with potential customers before building the actual app would save them a lot of time, money and… disappointment.

Here’s where the minimum viable product comes into play. It simply lets you check whether people actually need your application and would be willing to pay for it at all. Depending on what you find out – you can either continue with your idea unchanged, adapt it to customers’ needs or… abandon it, before you invest any resources in vain.


What is the definition of MVP?

Eric Ries – an entrepreneur, who used this term for the first time, describes the Minimum Viable Product as “that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

In other words – MVP is the simplest possible tool or solution that will let you test your business idea and collect information from the potential users. Instead of guessing what people want, you can easily ask them!


What is Minimum Viable Product?

Having explained the idea behind MVP, we’ve finally come to the essential question that causes so much misunderstanding around this concept. What does minimum viable product actually look like?

Many entrepreneurs mistakenly think that MVP is simply a software prototype – an application with limited features and basic design. In fact, building a prototype usually greatly exceeds the “minimum” we need to get feedback from the potential customers.

MVP may come in various forms, some as simple as a landing page, demo video or even a description. The only purpose is to make the potential client or investor understand the concept behind the idea. That is everything your startup needs to get feedback about their interest. A feedback, which can save months of hard work and heaps of invested money.


Next step

Want to know more about MVP? In the upcoming posts we will explain what are the types of minimum viable product and how to successfully implement it. Stay tuned!

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