Minimum Viable Product

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What is the minimum viable product? Eric Ries and I recently sat down to talk about minimum viable products: the product with just the necessary features to get money and feedback from early adopters.

What is the minimum viable product?

The minimum viable product (MVP) is often an ad on Google. Or a PowerPoint slide. Or a dialog box. Or a landing page. You can often build it in a day or a week. Monitor110: A Post Mortem. Turning Failure into Learning Writing a post mortem is hard, particularly when the result is failure: a failed deal; a failed investment; a failed concept.

Monitor110: A Post Mortem

That said, without a post mortem, without deep reflection, honesty and introspection, how can we get better and do better the next time? Quite simply, we can’t. Lessons from our failed startup / OliveScreens. Three Rivers Institute » Blog Archive » Approaching a Minimum Viable Product. The purpose of the MVP is to answer your most pressing question or validate your most pressing business assumption.

Three Rivers Institute » Blog Archive » Approaching a Minimum Viable Product

Work backwards from question, not forwards from a feature list. For Tattlebird, my most critical assumption was that stuff was happening in browsers that site developers would care about. Working backwards from that I needed to gather the data in the browser, send it to a server, and show it, minimally, to a single user. Post Mortem on a Failed Product. Just over two years ago, at the beginning of 2008, we set out to build a web content management system with community functionality infused throughout — eCrowds.

Post Mortem on a Failed Product

The idea was that companies would need a solution for facilitating product communities with the following functionality: Content managementForumsBlogsIdea exchangesWikis. Minimum Viable Product: a guide. One of the most important lean startup techniques is called the minimum viable product.

Minimum Viable Product: a guide

Its power is matched only by the amount of confusion that it causes, because it's actually quite hard to do. It certainly took me many years to make sense of it. Ten Rules for Web Startups. #1: Be NarrowFocus on the smallest possible problem you could solve that would potentially be useful.

Ten Rules for Web Startups

Most companies start out trying to do too many things, which makes life difficult and turns you into a me-too. Focusing on a small niche has so many advantages: With much less work, you can be the best at what you do. Small things, like a microscopic world, almost always turn out to be bigger than you think when you zoom in. You can much more easily position and market yourself when more focused. Minimum Viable Product rant. Lately, you can’t swing a dead cat at a gathering of Internet entrepreneurs without hitting someone in mid-sentence talking about their “minimum viable product.”

Minimum Viable Product rant

The problem is that half the time, I don’t hear them talking about minimum viable products. I hear them talking about “minimum products.” It’s the intersection that is important. Communicating with code. Some people can sell their ideas with a brilliant speech or a slick powerpoint presentation.

Communicating with code

I can't. Maybe that's why I'm skeptical of ideas that are sold via brilliant speeches and slick powerpoints. Or maybe it's because it's too easy to overlook the messy details, or to get caught up in details that seem very important, but aren't. I also get very bored by endless debate. We did a lot of things wrong during the 2.5 years of pre-launch Gmail development, but one thing we did very right was to always have live code.

Product/Market Fit