Minimum Viable Product, also known as MVP, is a much misunderstood, but incredibly important term when it comes to modern product development. Whether you are building a piece of software, a website, or trying to design a brand new type of car, MVP allows you to build your offering faster, and with greater confidence.
The idea is to launch a basic, functional version of your long-term idea and allow the market to provide feedback. This is looped back into its design process. The next version should now be better as a result, and you can add more features and test it with the market once more. This iterative process continues until you get to the final goal for this project.
Are you solving your customer's problem?
The market feedback step is a crucial part of MVP development. The consumer is the one who will ultimately decide your success. Listen to their pain points and what problems they are solving with your product. Are they the same as yours? Don't ignore this and blindly follow your original release plan or you may end up with an undesirable, unusable, expensive disaster.
By the way, MVP does not mean "incomplete". Each iteration should be worthy of purchase by consumers, and solve a problem that they have, or why would they bother? Just because a product functions as expected, does not mean it is worth having.
Finally, you should always keep your audience aware of your long-term goals – in other words, the vision you have for your product. If you do this, they will remain hungry for your next iteration and you can continue to benefit from their metrics and feedback to create a product whose future you can have confidence in.