“There’s a big difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”
― Richard Feynman
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF) are two concepts that a lot of people know the name of, but not nearly as many know what they really mean.
Or, if they do know what it means, it’s because they’ve adopted their own definition, often defining an MVP using the MMF definition.
MVP embodies the idea that the best way to learn if your product is going deliver the outcome you’re looking for is to deliver something, get it in the hands of the people who are going to use it, and get feedback whether you are headed in the right direction.
MMF (much less common in practice) embodies the idea that you should deliver your product in chunks, but you should only deliver chunks that provide coherent, viable solutions.
It doesn’t matter whether you call your approach MVP, MMF, MMP, or Fred as long as you deliver things quickly to get feedback and deliver small, coherent chunks to your customers so they can realize value.
To help you determine your approach, here are some posts that explore different perspectives on minimum viable/marketable product/feature.
Kent J. McDonald
Even the experts are confused about what MVP means
- Start with a single, simple product solving a tiny sub-set of a Grand Problem;
- Keep iterating, while constantly solving bigger, related problems en route to solving the Grand Problem;
- Constantly communicate the vision of the Grand Problem that will be solved.
One expert’s original definition of MVP
Eric Ries, creator of Lean Startup defined MVP on his Startup Lessons Learned blog in 2009 as: that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
Another expert’s revised definition of MVP
Several different meanings of MVP
The Difference between MVP and MMF
There are differences between MVP and MMF, but in order to understand the difference, you need to understand the concepts, not just know their names. In this excerpt from Beyond Requirements, I describe both concepts, how they differ, and where they can be useful for product people.
Another perspective on the difference between MVP and MMP
The practical application of MMF
James Shore clearly described how the MMF idea helps teams deliver phased releases that each deliver value in this post he wrote shortly after the concept was originally introduced.
Do you use the term MVP, MMF, MMP? If so, how do you define them? Let us know in the comments.
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