All That You Need to Know About a Minimum Viable Product

July 4, 2022 | 6 min read

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the initial saleable version of a product. An MVP is designed with minimum yet adequate features for initial customers to be able to use the product. This product also confirms the expectations of usability and the requirement basis on which the final product is designed and developed.

Let us divide the definition of an MVP into three parts:

  • Viable: The word viable is essential, as it distinguishes an MVP from a prototype. A product has to be capable of working before the launch as an MVP to confirm the expectations.
  • Minimum Yet Sufficient Features: An MVP has to be made with the least resources but should be saleable. That is, it should comprise minimum yet adequate features that can satisfy the customers and get them to purchase the product.
  • Validation of Assumptions: All the entrepreneurs design their products on specific assumptions relating to the market, utility, and demand. An MVP is designed in a way to confirm the expectations based on which the final product is built.

Why is an MVP Important?

Why-MVPAn MVP enables you to test your ideas in the real market as it is a working version of the final product. It helps reduce the failure rate and curtail the negative economic impact when the product is ready for a launch in the market. It is designed to check real user behaviour with the product concept.

  • Get Initial Customers: The objective of an MVP is to enable initial traction and give a taste of what the product has to offer.
  • Get Feedback: Another objective of MVP is to get an idea and feedback about the market requirement for the product.
  • Validate the high-risk Assumption: The riskiest assumption is typically the unique selling proposition that is confirmed with the help of an MVP before making huge investments in the business idea.
  • Build a Validated Marketing Strategy: Testing a product strategy with an experimental but feasible product enables you to learn most of the characteristics, wants, habits, and requirements of the target audience. This helps you to build the final version of the product with a ‘not likely to fail’ promotion strategy.
  • Avoid Overbuilding: Most entrepreneurs include a variety of unwanted features while developing a product. The usability and requirement for this product hypothesis are confirmed only at the time of the MVP stage. Thus, the final product is built with the best features that the market needs.
When Can You Develop an MVP?

One of the things we should understand when launching an MVP into the market is that we are looking for assurance or a commitment from the initial customers. An MVP is the first tangible test that allows you to understand the product requirement in the market. Through a prototype, you can be looking for feedback. However, once an MVP is launched, you acquire data on whether customers are willing to pay for a product or service and if the business model fits the market.

Where can you start?

A typical mistake while developing the first MVP is that we try to achieve all at once. Prioritization is a struggle, and this can be risky when deciding what the first MVP should look like. Developing that one great MVP feature is a huge responsibility.

Try not to go for all the features and functionalities at once. We must stay, particularly in the initial phase, with only what is essential. This approach may make MVP look very different from the initial business idea. However, as long as it allows us to obtain the information that we need from the market and the customer, there is no need to worry.

Also, prioritizing does not mean that we only design a single functionality of the product. For example, if you are designing a mobile application, then you cannot just offer the registration screen for the app to the initial customers. You must ensure to include the functionalities that are important to deliver the value proposition to the customers. An MVP is all about building something simple but not impracticable.

Develop your MVP with Scalex (CTA)


Scalex can help you build an optimal solution for the primary problem while assuring the product’s viability. The focus will be on that single feature that will be the cornerstone of the product’s growth story.

MVP Examples

Creating and testing just a tyre when you want the final product to be a car is not considered to be an MVP. MVP is the basic but viable version of a product that helps you collate the maximum amount of information about customers. Let us go through two MVPs that later translated into real ideas.

  • Zappos: Zappos was designed with the aim of selling shoes online. However, just like any other e-commerce store, it also needed thousands of dollars to purchase inventory for the products. Nick Swinmurn, the founder of Zappos, went to a local mall and posted a picture of all the shoes available in the mall on his MVP website. Once customers placed an order for shoes on the website, Nick purchased those shoes from the mall. He then sent those shoes to the customer’s address. This MVP strategy worked and Zappos was later acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion.
  • Buffer: Just to ensure that the target group will pay for an app that queues multiple tweets simultaneously, Joel Gascoigne, the founder of Buffer launched the MVP of the product in the form of a landing page. This page was designed to validate what he expected out of the product.
  • Foursquare: Foursquare, initially had just one feature for its initial users. Customers would check in at various locations, which helped them win badges. The gamification encouraged people to use the service. Once Foursquare had a wide user base, it expanded to turn into a full city guide.
  • Facebook: Facebook was initially launched as just a simple social media tool to connect with friends. User profiles were as basic and its members were all the students at Harvard University. The idea proved to be an excellent one and as they say, the rest is history.
Let Scalex Help You

Scalex understands the challenges you could face when bringing an idea to life and has the necessary expertise to help you. Their MVP development services resolve your key business challenges and identify product-market fit.

About the Author

Aanchal is a digital marketer with over 11 years of experience in the field of digital branding for both B2B and B2C. Her expertise lies in strategic management and she loves diving into the world of information technology to be adept with its technological advancement.

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