As a person newer to the tech field (a non technical founder), I've found these terms perplexing. Here is what we did.
1) notice a problem
2) do research
3) do lots of surveys
4) build a website that didn't have enough features to be considered an MVP.
5) Stop using that website 5 months after it was built, because it had so little functionality that all is did was act as a glorified landing page
6) do a manual pilot, that allowed us to acquire initial customers and understand the problems involved at a granular level
7) go through an accelerator, do more customer validation interviews
8) come up with an mvp powerpoint deck
9) do more surveys to pinpoint prioritized features
There seems to be a belief system, that you put up a basic, less than desirable product and keep doing iterations. Which is one way to do it. It seems to me, you can skip a lot of that, by doing customer validation manually or with interviews, so you know what people want ahead of time, before building anything.
If I had to do it again, I would skip the thousands of dollars I spent building a interactive, half prototype and just put up a landing page and send out our powerpoint deck with mock ups.