Mental Model Mondays #5: Minimum Viable Product

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Hey friends, hope we’re all keeping well.

Let’s take a look at another mental model from the world of business- the idea of the Minimum Viable Product, or the MVP.


In the area of start ups, the minimum viable product is a product you’re developing with just enough features and functionality, so it can be viably tested by real people. Basically, it’s something you make that’s just barely above the bar as acceptable, that can attract the attention of consumers.

Companies and people make an MVP mainly so they don’t waste time working on something that would’ve been a waste of time. The MVP essentially prevents you from spending too much time on something that you haven’t received enough feedback for, and ultimately wasting resources on it.

Gathering opinions on this first minimum viable product example will allow us to efficiently orient the development and future improvements of the finished product iteratively. It is a strategy to know your target, its use of the product, all quickly and at a low cost.

Vasyl Poloch,


-An example of an MVP could be a piece of code. Instead of adding loads of sophisticated and flashy features to the 1st early version of it, you would obviously want to first see if the basics of the code can run first. This first, rough version of the code with just the bare minimum of programming is called the MVP.

-A real life example of an MVP is actually Dropbox!

The story goes that the founders came up with the idea for the application, but discovered that the costs for the development of the actual hardware infrastructure was tremendous.

So, instead of immediately going all in and investing everything they had to begin developing their idea like most entrepreneurs, they didn’t🙃

Instead, they made a short and simple video explaining the concept of their idea, how it would work, and what it would offer to people. Nothing had been made yet; they were just showing their idea off to people and see if there was even enough interest to begin working on it.

To summarise, the video was hugely successful, and it let the founders know there were more than 70,000 people interested in finding out more about Dropbox.

This one simple video, the minimum viable product, let Dropbox’s founders test the biggest risk facing their business – ie. would anyone actually want it –all cheaply, quickly and efficiently!

Cool, that’ll probably be it for this MMM. I’ll hopefully see you guys in another one, stay safe👋🏼

(Also, I think I might change the blog banner for the MMM series every month, just to spice things up a tiny bit🙃)

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