Frank Robinson from SyncDev first uses the term “Minimum Viable Product” in 2001. Since then the MVP concept has spread quickly and has become part of business and tech world. Steve Blank and Eric Ries made it the start-up world’s mantra via their Lean Startup methodology.
So what is an MVP according to SyncDev?
We define MVP as that unique product that maximizes return on risk for both the vendor and the customer.
the MVP is the sweet spot in the upper left quadrant of ROI on the vertical axis and risk, which correlates directly to effort and time to market, on the horizontal axis.
What is an MVP according to The Lean Startup?
A core component of Lean Startup methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop. The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible. Once the MVP is established, a startup can work on tuning the engine. This will involve measurement and learning and must include actionable metrics that can demonstrate cause and effect question.
The startup will also utilize an investigative development method called the “Five Whys”-asking simple questions to study and solve problems along the way. When this process of measuring and learning is done correctly, it will be clear that a company is either moving the drivers of the business model or not. If not, it is a sign that it is time to pivot or make a structural course correction to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy and engine of growth.
So, here’s my take on someone who has never heard of Frugal Innovation and frugal solutions:
Your Minimum Viable Product Is Most Probably Your Frugal Solution