Minimum Viable Product vs Cutting a Slice

“Minimum Viable Product” or MVP should be pretty familiar to anyone who’s been keeping an eye on the developments in business and software development practices over the last few years, particularly in Silicon Valley and the lean startup movement. If you spend any time on Medium, you’ve probably read an article with a title like “7 Ways to Minimum Viable Product your Life in Just 30 Days”. In fact, I might go ahead and write that article!

Minimum Viable Product

But I digress. When I started talking about minimum viable products with some of my coworkers that are not developers, I did find that many weren’t aware of the concept so briefly the aim with a minimum viable product is to get as quickly and cheaply as possible to the most basic version of your product and get feedback on its value, flaws, potential improvements, etc before spending the time and money required to build a full-featured product. A sort of rapid prototyping (but may not even be a prototype!) Or, to quote Eric Ries:

The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

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