What is a Minimum Viable Product?

Ruben Buijs
August 10, 2023

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a basic version of a product that is developed with the minimum set of features required to test and validate the product's value proposition in the market. It serves as a starting point for further development and helps gather valuable feedback from early users.


Let's consider a few examples to better understand the concept of Minimum Viable Product:

  1. Dropbox: When Dropbox was first launched, its MVP consisted of a simple file storage and sharing service with only a few essential features. This allowed them to test the market demand and gather feedback before investing in additional features and scalability.
  2. Instagram: In its early days, Instagram started as a simple photo-sharing app with limited filters and basic social networking features. By focusing on the core functionality, Instagram was able to validate its concept and iterate based on user feedback.


Developing a Minimum Viable Product offers several benefits in the Saas product management process:

  1. Faster Time to Market: By focusing on the essential features, an MVP can be developed and launched quickly, allowing the product to reach the market faster and gain a competitive advantage.
  2. Cost-Efficient: Building a full-featured product from the start can be expensive. By developing an MVP, resources can be allocated efficiently, reducing unnecessary costs and minimizing financial risks.
  3. User Feedback and Validation: An MVP allows you to gather feedback from real users, understand their needs, and validate your product's value proposition. This feedback is crucial for making informed decisions and prioritizing future product enhancements.

How to Use Minimum Viable Product

To effectively use the concept of Minimum Viable Product, consider the following steps:

  1. Identify the Core Value: Determine the key problem your product aims to solve and identify the core features necessary to address that problem effectively.
  2. Build the Minimum Feature Set: Develop the product with only the essential features that provide the core value. Avoid adding complex functionalities or unnecessary bells and whistles.
  3. Launch and Gather Feedback: Release the MVP to a target audience or early adopters, and actively seek feedback. This feedback will help you understand user needs, discover pain points, and identify areas for improvement.
  4. Iterate and Improve: Based on the feedback received, iterate on the MVP by continuously enhancing and refining the product. Gradually add new features while ensuring they align with user expectations and needs.

Useful Tips

Consider these tips while working with a Minimum Viable Product:

  • Prioritize features based on user needs and market demand to ensure you are building something valuable.
  • Keep the user experience simple and intuitive. Avoid overwhelming users with too many features or complex functionalities.
  • Actively engage with early adopters and gather feedback through surveys, interviews, or user testing sessions.
  • Regularly analyze and evaluate the feedback received to make informed decisions for future product iterations.
  • Stay agile and be open to making changes based on user feedback and market dynamics.

Related Terms

Here are some related terms that might pique your interest:


What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a version of a product that has the minimum features required to satisfy early customers and provide feedback for future product development.

Why is creating an MVP important?

Creating an MVP is important because it allows you to validate your product idea and gather valuable feedback from real users without investing too much time and resources upfront.

How do you determine the features for an MVP?

To determine the features for an MVP, you should focus on the core functionality that solves the main problem for your target users. Avoid adding unnecessary features that can delay the launch.

What are the benefits of building an MVP?

Building an MVP offers several benefits such as reducing development costs, minimizing risks, getting early customer feedback, and accelerating the time to market.

When should you launch an MVP?

You should launch an MVP when you have a basic version of your product with enough features to solve a specific problem. It should be functional and usable by early adopters.

How do you iterate on an MVP?

To iterate on an MVP, you need to collect feedback from users, analyze the data, and make data-driven decisions to improve the product. Continuously iterate and refine based on user needs.

What is the difference between an MVP and a prototype?

An MVP is a functional product with enough features to solve a problem for users, while a prototype is a preliminary version used to validate design concepts and gather feedback before full development.

Can an MVP be released as a final product?

Yes, an MVP can be released as a final product if it meets the needs of your target users and fulfills the desired outcomes. However, it's common for MVPs to undergo further development and enhancements.

What risks should be considered when building an MVP?

When building an MVP, risks such as market acceptance, scalability, and competition should be considered. It's important to have a strategy to address these risks during the product development process.

How long does it take to build an MVP?

The time it takes to build an MVP can vary depending on the complexity of the product and the resources available. It can range from a few weeks to a few months.