What does MVP really mean?

Apple Computer’s MVP

Disclaimer: I am not qualified to write this.

MVP means minimal viable product. Thats it, so stop worrying about it and go build what you’re supposed to. See you later alligator.

Obviously if you’re building a product; software, hardware, a rocket ship or a sky scraper you will need something thats basic, a model of what you envision to be your final manifesto, you’re masterpiece that the world will love. They will love it. But you have to start somewhere, a piece of paper and a pencil or a lego set.

Don’t worry about it being final and polished because it will most likely change tomorrow, the important thing is giving your product a basic structure. This is fun! Keep it fun and playful, your creativity is flowing and your passion is burning like the sun. This crazy mode is you, you are creating, you are a founder, you are in business, you are building something astounding, so don’t fret over what MVP means, you will know when its ready to be called a basic product; its when you can see your vision come to life. It will only be a small vision birth at this point, but its enough to tell you that you are on the right track and to keep going. This also means that your product can convey a message when it hasn’t said its first words yet, so by feeding it, usually money, it will grow into a big and strong child because it has already shown promise. But right now if you don’t have a mike victor papa why worry what it is. Just create, be human, its not that hard.

Once your creation has arms and legs, and I don’t mean a wall of post-it notes and a full notebook, then figure out if its minimal enough or not too minimalist, if you know what I mean.

The planning and brainstorming and waking up at night or not sleeping is you giving birth to your MVP. Because your mind has been impregnated. I know that sounds weird. And don’t give up, don’t focus on silly things, you know by now when you’re wasting time or sitting idle, when you are just not up for it, maybe its been 3 months, maybe its been 5 minutes but you are the only one who can gage your will power, who can say IM GOING FOR IT!

So most of what MVP stands for, in my opinion, really isn’t about the product, its about your first steps and building a real understanding of the problem you are trying to solve. Which doesn’t sound that appealing, but remember this is a long journey and you are creating something thats basic not only to prove your vision but to not waste your time in the future with something that doesn’t work.

And remember this is for you, this is your company thing, you want it to be kinda ready from not being ready at all, ready-ish is okay. We’re testing it out guys, keep it calm, its happening. Don’t make this too serious because most of the time people build a MVP for investors, or its built as the sole foundation of the business, its built for you by you, right now you are in a garage, in a room, some friends hanging out putting lego pieces together and thats cool. MVP version 1, day 1, v2 d2 , v3 d3 et cetera. Your iteration cycle of your product that is being born is usually quite fast, massive changes are made every hour, you can name your product ten different things by lunch time. As time progresses and the product matures your iteration cycle slows and you reach a more final draft, you’ve reached the MVP. Your company isn’t established, you don’t have international offices, no-one knows who are are, but you will feel proud to show off your creation, so do that. Confide in your belief and vision, make the world a better place.

Once you have the business plan, your marketing strategy, pricing structure and the notorious M.V.P then you can put on a suit and go give a professional presentation. Otherwise stick to a t-shirt and go get your hands dirty.


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