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The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olsen

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Chapter 7 Create Your MVP Prototype (Step 5)

Once you have specified the feature set for your MVP candidate, you'll want to test it with customers. In order to do that, you need to create a user experience (UX) that you can show to customers, which is the top layer of the Product-Market Fit Pyramid.

The goal is to build a prototype that lets you test your hypotheses. As discussed in Chapter 1, I intentionally use the broad term MVP “prototype” to capture the wide range of items you can test with customers to gain learning. While the first “prototype” you test could be your live MVP, you can gain faster learning with fewer resources by testing your hypotheses before you build your MVP. Also, as discussed in Chapter 1, even though I'm using the term MVP, the Lean Product Process applies even when you are not building an entire product (e.g., adding a new feature or improving an existing feature). The type of prototype you should create depends on the type of test you want to conduct with customers.

WHAT IS (AND ISN'T) AN MVP?

There has been spirited debate over what qualifies as an MVP. Some people argue vehemently that a landing page is a valid MVP. Others say it isn't, insisting that an MVP must be a real, working product or at least an interactive prototype. The way I resolve this dichotomy is to realize that these are all methods to test the hypotheses behind your MVP. By using the term “MVP tests” instead of MVP, the debate goes away. This allows more precise terminology by ...

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