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Does it Matter if your Product is Minimally Viable or Maximally Buyable?

June 30th, 2010 | KikScore & KikReport,Online & Small Business Resources,shopping,Small Business,Small Business Tips | No Comments »

I was reading this article by Dharmesh Shah on the OnStartups blog where he indicates that a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) is “a product that has the minimum set of features needed to learn what the market wants” and conversely he defines that Maximally Buyable Product (MBP) as “the set of features needed to capture the maximum potential opportunity in a market.”  Dharmesh then goes on to give 5 features of the Maximally Buyable Product.

I think the interesting point that is made in this article is not with the MBP but instead the Minimally Viable Product (MVP).  How does a company know when they have completed building their MVP?  When is an MVP “finished” enough in order to increase online sales and not result in abandoned carts of potential customers at checkout?  I know that when we were putting our finishing touches on our MVP one year ago for our KikScore trust seal product that it was very difficult for us to know when it was more important to get the product to market and when to add that one last feature that our customers would love.

My point here is that I think that building the MVP is not the most difficult thing most of the time.  Usually the entrepreneurial spirit inside of the people that are involved with MVPs is such that dreaming up and building the MVP is not the difficult part.  The difficult part may sometimes lie in the area of limiting the scope and defining the lines of exactly what the first iteration of the ultimate product is going to look like.  Initially, the MVP may be just a shell of what the founders of the company initially dreamed up but the team needs to decide as a whole when it is close enough to “learn what the market wants.”

How did your company define your MVP and how is your MVP different from your MBP?

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