Making a Side Project, Part 3: Minimum Usable Product

Mubashar Iqbal
Make Side Project
Published in
5 min readNov 9, 2017

What should we build?

Have you read Part 2 of the Making a Side Project series?

People often ask me how I’m able to make and launch so many side projects, and this step in the process is usually why. Having the ability to define what we need to build and stick to it, is key.

You don’t have a lot of time to work on your side project, if you did it wouldn’t be a side project. Getting the features down to something that can be built in a short time frame, is key. Key to making progress, key to launching, key to getting feedback from user.

Since I’m making this project during the Product Hunt Global Hackathon, my time is externally constrained. I have to launch by the end of November. I typically limit myself to 2 weeks, so this is actually longer than I normally get, but I am doing this documenting of the process as I go, and I have to say this is taking more time than I thought it would!

What is a Minimum Usable Product

A Minimum Usable Product (MUP) is the minimum features that we need to build so that a user can use the product for the purpose it was intended. No nice to have features, just the minimum required. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is another popular term for this, but I don’t think that accurately describes what we’re trying to do.


For each release of the product, the user is able to use it to achieve the goals of the project.

I’ve often left out things like the “Forgot Password” feature until after launch. The chance that a user will forget their password the day they create the account, well it happens, but not very likely. Typically that is the only feature in the MUP that needs to be able to send emails, so not only do you save time by not having to build the feature, but you also save time by not having to signup for and setup an email delivery service.

Features like this usually get added pretty quickly after launch, don’t let that stop you launching though.

Mubashar Iqbal
Make Side Project

2016 @ProductHunt Maker of the Year. Making side projects for fun and profit.