Is MVP the right approach for launching consumer products?

I’ve come across many people, particularly UX designers:-), growling when they hear the word ‘MVP’ (acronym for Minimum Viable Product) — it’s because some of their favorite features/designs get missed out.

Most people think MVP is just a bunch of features that are being planned for the first release of a product/solution or just another scoping exercise. Some of the traditional definitions too confirm that thinking.

  • MVP is a set of minimum features, a minimum feature set
  • MVP is a feature set that allows the solution to be deployed, and no more
  • MVP is a set of features that ‘can be’ delivered by the expected date
  • MVP is a set of top features that users asked
  • And so on…

On the contrary, I believe MVP needs to be conceived with a 360 degree perspective on how the initial offering will benefit customers and stakeholders. And of course, within budget and schedule constraints.

To summarize, an MVP needs to:

  • epitomize core value proposition with the right mix of features/experiences
  • justify ROI vs. risk
  • help determine user acceptability of the offering
  • help identify demand for specific new features
  • promise great new things ahead


Would love to hear other insights and feedback!