Minimal Viable Product: One of the most used and abused buzzwords of the startup ecosystem.
Ability to define an MVP also happens to be one of the key criteria for hiring Product Managers.
One of the most common follies that many potential product manager hopefuls make is, focusing only on the “Minimal” aspect and forgetting “Viable” and “Product”
Minimal: What is the least thing you can do in the fastest amount of time to get the product out and test the market.
Viable: What is the least you NEED to do to make sure it works. This implies it would include the key differentiator that you have from your competitors.
Product: It HAS to be a finished product in itself. There HAS to be a market for that product. It may be your MVP but customers do not buy your MVP. They buy products.It can do only 1 tiny thing, but it should do it well.
To give an oversimplified example: If you were to build a WhatsApp rival that will differentiate itself by giving users an ability to hide messages in a group from certain group members, Your MVP has to be a messaging App with an ability to hide messages from group members.
You can cut corners on speed, multi-browser support, group sizes, encryption, starring, tagging, blocking, spam fighting, heck even real-time updates, or don’t even give users an ability to invite anyone(Do it via email, manually for each user ), but not on the very core feature
Sounds like such a simple thing to do…
And since I am fond of haikus on Product Management–Here is one on Minimal Viable Product
Minimal Viable Product
was minimal as a blank slate
forgot Viable Product