Best Practices

The Lean Startup: What's an M.V.P?

Published Mar 05, 2012 by

MVP: if you’re a sports fan (and who isn’t in March?), it means Most Valuable Player. If you’re Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, it means Minimally Viable Product. And come to think of it, the way Ries describes it, a minimally viable product could be a startup company’s most valuable asset.

The Lean Startup promotes a methodology to fail quickly and cheaply…and then describes just how to do that. Ries says to test your vision quickly by building a product and getting it into the hands of real customers, who can like it, hate it and give you a roadmap for improving it. Instead of crafting elegant architecture for your new technology or building a beautiful business plan, Ries suggests building minimally viable products…what’s the lowest cost thing you can do that looks and acts like a real product…and then put that through a series of rapid scientific experiments.

Many entrepreneurs may not have the discipline for following Ries’ methodology. He advocates setting up very structured experiments, learning specific lessons from each experiment, and then using that knowledge to build the next experiment that moves toward a final product. He borrows heavily from the lean manufacturing movement, with small batches, scientific approaches to decision making and measurement.

If you’re looking for another perspective on building your company, check out The Lean Startup.

If you’ve already read it, what did you think?

Content contributed by Jeremy Hegle, U.S.SourceLink, America's largest resource network for entrepreneurs.