Minimum Viable Product · Product Development

How do you build your Minimum (Minimal) Viable Product (MVP)?

Nitesh Cloud-based Web and Mobile Product Development Specialist

December 28th, 2015

If there would be one sentence with which to describe the basic strategy when building your MVP, then this would be the one: your Minimum Viable Product should provide one COMPLETE FOCUSED EXPERIENCEto your early adopters (early users).In other words, the best is not to forget the word "viable" in the Minimum(Minimal) Viable Product.

We understand that the complexity of MVP depends on the type of product you're building, and different kinds of MVPs can range from vague AdWords tests to early prototypes.

We have worked with multiple Testing Techniques, but would like to understand from the Entrepreneurs what are the best Testing techniques you have in mind, to build a right MVP and utilize to build a complete Product?

What are the best testing techniques you can put to use to get reliable data from your actual users and know your right target audience and understand their need?

Leo Frishberg UX Strategist, Product Manager, Phase II

December 29th, 2015


I think your question was about specific testing techniques to get real data from your users, so you can leverage your MVP into a broader product.

Your supposition about a single focused experience makes perfect sense when you are fielding a working product. But we take a step back and apply "fail fast" techniques to the problem before we address a product or solution.

The same "tests" are used, and similar data is returned using our Presumptive Design technique. Here's the technique in a few bullets. See thePresumptive Design website for details and discount on the book.
  • As in Lean UX, craft an artifact - but different from an MVP in that it's testing your assumptions. It can be a piece of junk as long as it provokes the right kind of conversation.
  • You offer the artifact, with a minimum of explanation about the problem you are trying to solve, without any explanation for how it is supposed to work.
  • You then listen as @Logan suggests, and you ask the "five whys". You are probing for why they are attracted or horrified by your offering. Either reaction is gold.
  • You watch as they accept your assumptions without comment. That is, if they use the artifact as you expected them to, without any question or confusion on their part, you have just scored.
Do this with three people per your persona (or proto-persona) audience. If you get roughly the same reactions to the same aspects of the artifact across all three, you're done with that artifact, or that line of inquiry. Meaning, you've gleaned as much value out of that exercise as you can. It takes about 15 minutes total per person, per assumption. We limit our interaction to about 60 minutes, depending on the complexity of the investigation. In that time we can get through three assumptions quite easily, and sometimes four.

As many above have reiterated, getting somethinginto your users' hands as quickly as possible is key. We strongly urge dev teams to get a provocative artifact in front of your audience ASAP, before platform, architecture or coding effort has even begun. In doing so, you raise your team's confidence you are attacking the right problem.

Logan Kleier

December 28th, 2015

In one sentence, we built an MVP that answered one and only one question that we heard our users ask over and over. 

An MVP that answers one question is easier to have a value discussion with potential clients than something that answers two or three. Discussions become very focused and easy to keep people's attention. People are very busy and it's our job to keep discussion focused on one thing. If we solve one important issue for them, they're interested. If they don't care about the issue we solve, then we ask why to understand if we're going down the wrong path.

Even in those cases where there isn't match between what we offer and what a potential client wants, we learn that we can understand others' business and values in under 30 minutes, because our MVP is so focused. 

David Lebow CEO HyLighter, LLC

December 29th, 2015

Having a big and bold vision for your software product is commendable. Attempting to build an MVP with a scope that greatly exceeds your capacity is a prescription for disaster. Savvy designers embrace temporary sufficiency - make your MVP good enough that people will try it and buy it. Let your big idea provide gravitational pull from afar while small steps bring you ever closer to realizing your vision.

Aravind Nirmal Kumar Formally Informal

December 29th, 2015

We believe in LSM (Lean startup Methodology), Instead of spending much at the initial stage, create an MVP with the core functionality (i.e.: Need of a customer for using the product) with the lean budget. And bring it into the actual world to generate the end users, Because they will be the perfect beta tester and indirect promoters for the product. 

Then communicate with them to get to know about their additional requirements from the MVP, and move on with the next level developments. This will increase the opportunity, generate more user for the website, and decreases the risk and loss.

If you are looking for an MVP within 30 Days, feel free to look on

Rob G

December 30th, 2015

I agree with Leo F.  I'm not a designer, but i think i understand Leo's wording.  I should qualify that i'm not a big fan of building consumer products so i focus on business customers (medium to enterprise scale).  Sped your efforts up front on product/market fit before you cut any code.  We build first in PowerPoint.  If i can't get customers to buy or at least 'commit' based on face-to-face meetings and a PP mockup then we don't proceed with any code, landing page, explainer video, etc.  By 'commit' i mean spend money, sign a contract or commit resources to the project as though they are preparing to implement.   I find that face-to-face discussion with aid from a few PP slides is invaluable - the feedback loop is much faster and more productive than building landing pages and A/B testing - that comes later when you need to scale.  In the beginning you need face to face contact with customers.  FF discussions using PP doesn't scale well so to help validate scalability (once we know we are in the ball park) we then build a short explainer video ($500-$1000) which we post on a landing page with a simple signup form (give us your email address and we'll let you know when we launch).  No SEO, no advertising - if we chat with someone and they want to know more we send people to the page and they either sign up or they don't.  This also helps qualify prospects before we commit to meeting F-F. Once we know we are in the right ball park and We have 'significant commitment' from a sufficient % of suspects then we move forward with coding an MVP.  "sufficient % of prospects" is a pretty nebulous term.  We don't need every suspect we contact to meet with us nor do we need every prospect we meet with to commit, but we can get a pretty good feel for product/market fit and market demand by keeping track of our 'close' stats - how many contacts turn into a meeting and how many meetings result in a committed customer. 

Nofyah Shem Tov

December 31st, 2015

I've done a lot of stressing about MVP in the past, and it was to my detriment. Start with an idea and solidify it as much as possible, build it. That's your MVP. Even if it only does one thing, it should do it reasonably well.

I saw a great video by Mark Zuckerberg in which he pointed out  great truth: People remember your successes. The little glitches that happen on the way get forgotten quickly.

Ema Chuku Product Developer. Founder.

December 30th, 2015

@Carina, I'm sure you have been heard. So do you mind ending the repeated notifications?

Nitesh Cloud-based Web and Mobile Product Development Specialist

December 29th, 2015

@Leo: Great Advice.
We meet with different Enterprises and Businesses who come up with new products and this is one of the common practice they follow. We wanted to understand what yields the best result for them when it comes to MVP, when Businesses have great idea in mind but are not sure of the Idea acceptance in the market.

There have been some of the techniques that we have seen some of the Businesses use to get the "Gold" the real customer response and I would like to know everyone's comment if this is the same practice being followed or there is more to it.

1. Customer Interviews - As @Leomentioned
2. Landing Pages creation - To showcase How the idea works?
3. A/B Tests - Random distribution on Visitors

Paid Campaigns include
4. Market Surveys with Specified Target Audience
5. Ad Campaigns
6. Fundraising Activities
7. Explainer Videos
8. A functional Demo Version Created - Digital Prototype or Paper Prototype
9. Blogs and functional Content writing hitting the real pain areas
10. Single Feature MVPs
11. Pre-Order Pages like in case of VR

There have been different other strategies people have used to make sure they are not only solving the pain points but also understanding that the pain points they think are the same Pain areas that customer has.

The question here would be what would be the best technique or blend of techniques need to be used while testing your product's Target Audience?

It would be great to hearing from everyone.

Andrew Lockley Investments & consulting for tech startups

December 29th, 2015

Listen to what they say about your product to others eg via social. Look for pattern of use - frequency and innovation. Build to satisfy that innovation