The Minimum what Product? 🧐

Bhavya Singh
14 min readAug 20, 2023

Making friends with the PM scope jargons: MVP | MAP | MLP | MSP | MMP …

What’s the difference between a product that’s good enough to launch and a product that’s actually worth using?
How do you know when you’ve built the right product?
What are the risks of launching a product that’s not fully baked?

Lets address the elephant in the room 🐘

Do make sure to read about the incredible Minimum Awesome Product towards the end of this blog. That’s what makes this blog the MAP read 😉

This image is created by the author’s imagination using Dall-E

Hello beautiful fellas,
Welcome to the Daily product management show! 📺 I’m your host, Bhavya, and I’ll be bringing you fresh insights on product management every day! 👋

  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP): The most well-known term in this list, the MVP is a product with the bare minimum features and functionality necessary to satisfy early-adopter customers.
  • Minimum Lovable Product (MLP): A variation on the MVP, the MLP focuses on building a product that is lovable from the outset, even if it doesn’t have all the features that users might want.
  • Minimum Marketable Product (MMP): An MMP is a product with just enough features to be marketable and sold to customers.
  • Minimum Sellable Product (MSP): An MSP is a product with just enough features to be marketable and sold to customers.
  • Minimum Functional Product (MFP): A product that has the minimum features and functionality necessary to perform its intended function.
  • Minimum Usable Product (MUP): A product that is easy to use and understand, even if it doesn’t have all the features that users might want.
  • Minimum Acceptable Product (MAcP): A product that meets the minimum requirements of users and customers.
    MAP = MVP + few (not too many!) niceties users expect in a quality product.
    The niceties could include items like the password reset option and other generally accepted features.
  • Minimum Awesome Product (MAP): MAP is an incredible product with viability, eye-catchy features, and superior functionality. The product designers do not wrestle with minimum sustainability alone, but upgraded their approach to a minimum, viable, and excellent product design.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

Definition and Purpose: MVP is the stripped-down version of a product with the most essential features, allowing teams to gather early user feedback and validate assumptions. It helps save time, resources, and avoids building unnecessary functionalities.

How to Build an MVP:

  1. Validate your idea: Often ideas fail due to the lack of their needs in the real world. An MVP helps you corroborate if your end product will survive in the market.
  2. Do market research: Understanding the wants and needs of your customer plays an integral part while developing a product.
  3. Get early feedback from professionals: This will help you to improve your product before launching it to the market.
  4. Check what your competitors are doing: This will help you to understand the market and position your product accordingly.
  5. List the project features: This will help you to prioritize the features that are most important for your MVP.
  6. Receive user experience feedback: This will help you to improve the user experience of your product.
  7. Apply A/B testing: This will help you to test different versions of your product and choose the best one.
  8. Measure: This will help you to understand how your product is performing in the market.

Examples of Successful MVPs:

  • Uber: Uber’s MVP was a simple mobile app that allowed users to request rides. This was enough to test the market and prove that there was a demand for the product. Once the MVP was successful, Uber added more features, such as the ability to track the progress of your ride and pay for your ride in the app.
Vintage version of Uber
  • Airbnb : The MVP was a simple website that allowed users to list their homes and search for available listings. This was enough to test the market and prove that there was a demand for the product. Once the MVP was successful, Airbnb added more features, such as the ability to book listings and pay for reservations online.
The MVP of AirBnb back in 2008. Ref: https://www.kapwing.com/museum-of-websites/airbnb
  • Spotify: The company’s MVP was a web app that allowed users to listen to music for free, with ads. This was enough to test the market and prove that there was a demand for the product. Once the MVP was successful, Spotify added more features, such as the ability to create playlists and download songs for offline listening.
Ref: How Spotify’s website UX has changed (2006 to 2016)
  • Slack: The MVP was a simple web app that allowed teams to chat. This was enough to test the market and prove that there was a demand for the product. Once the MVP was successful, Slack added more features, such as the ability to share files, create channels, and integrate with other apps.

MLP (Minimum Lovable Product)

Definition and Importance: MLP goes beyond functionality, focusing on creating an emotional connection with users. It aims to evoke delight and loyalty, making users fall in love with the product.

Building a MLP — Winning User’s Hearts:

  1. Concentrate on “the why”: In the pursuit of lovability, you should still bear in mind the main goal you create your minimum loveable product for.
  2. Remember about the M in MLP: Building your MLP, it’s also vital to stay agile.
  3. Add surprise & delight: This can be achieved by adding features that are not strictly necessary for the product to function, but that enhance the user experience and create a sense of delight.
  4. Add hooks: These are features that keep users coming back to your product.
  5. Build your tribe: Create a community around your product that will help spread the word and provide valuable feedback.
  6. Align your team on your lovable goals: To create a lovable and adorable product, it requires the whole development team, and you must include that love into every part of your product2. It is your job as a Product Manager to bring your teams together to achieve a shared goal.
  7. Gather qualitative feedback: This will help you understand what users love about your product and what can be improved.
  8. Test, iterate, repeat: Continuously test and improve your product based on user feedback.

Case Studies of MLPs in the Market:

  1. Tinder’s Swipe Feature: Swiping on user profiles is without a doubt Tinder’s most app-defining feature, and it wasn’t even available until a year after the app was released to the market. Before that, users could still accept or reject potential matches, but it was done with conventional buttons that users would tap.
  2. Facebook’s Like Button: In 2009, Facebook introduced the ability to like posts in a split second with a really simple ‘like’. This feature takes something that users already want, and makes it effortless. The difference between very little effort and zero effort is huge. It’s the difference between no action and action.
  3. The Infinite Scroll:
  4. The “Unsend Message” Feature
  5. Google’s Front Page

source: 5 Amazing Examples To Inspire Your Minimum Lovable Product (upstackstudio.com)

MSP (Minimum Sellable Product)

Definition and Business Significance: MSP is the version of a product that has enough value to attract paying customers. It allows companies to generate early revenue and fund further development. An MSP is the best version of a minimum viable product (MVP) that you get after a number of trials and errors. It has a basic set of features, but those features are what have come out of the mill that is the early adopters — a set of features that addresses users’ needs and pains.

Crafting an MSP to Generate Early Revenue:

  • Focus on features that solve critical customer pain points.
  • Set an appropriate price point to attract early adopters.
  • Offer incentives for early customers to drive sales.
  • Leverage marketing efforts to create product awareness.

MSP Examples:

  • Tesla introduced lower-priced models for broader appeal. Software companies often offer tiered pricing for MSPs.

MMP (Minimum Marketable Product)

Definition and Purpose: The product that has the minimum set of features required to satisfy early customers and generate revenue. The goal of an MMP is to get your product into the hands of users as quickly as possible to start validating your business model. MMP is a product that has just enough features to be marketable and is designed to quickly test the viability of an idea with real users. It’s the minimum viable product (MVP) with a twist, providing a roadmap for teams to follow as they navigate the development process.

How to build it:

  1. Ideation: The first step is to generate ideas for your product. This can be done through market research, customer interviews, and brainstorming sessions with your team.
  2. Prototyping: Once you have some ideas, you need to develop them into prototypes.
  3. Select your target audience: Select your target audience and stick with it.
  4. Ruthlessly prioritize your product features: Prioritize the features that are most important to your target audience.
  5. Create a constant feedback loop: Continuously gather feedback from your target audience and use it to improve your product.

MFP (Minimum Functional Product)

Definition: A product that has all the essential features it needs to function, but may not be very user-friendly or visually appealing. The purpose of an MFP is to get the product to market as quickly as possible and start generating revenue.

How to build it:

  1. Conduct market research: Understand the needs and desires of your target audience, as well as the competitive landscape.
  2. Define the core features: Identify the minimum set of features that are required for the product to be functional and usable by its target audience.
  3. Develop a prototype: Create a prototype of the product that includes the core features.
  4. Test and gather feedback: Test the prototype with your target audience and gather feedback on its functionality and usability.
  5. Iterate and improve: Use the feedback to iterate and improve the product until it meets the minimum functional requirements.

Minimum Usable Product (MUP)

Definition: A minimum usable product is a product that is functional and user-friendly. The purpose of an MUP is to provide a good user experience and collect feedback from users. MUP is not only functional and usable but also provides a positive user experience to its target audience. Usability is a key factor in the success of any product, and the goal is to create a product that meets the needs of its users and is enjoyable to use.

How to build it:

  1. Define usability goals: Identify the key usability goals for your product, such as ease of use, efficiency, and user satisfaction.
  2. Conduct user research: Conduct user research to understand the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your target audience.
  3. Design for usability: Design the user interface and user experience of your product with usability in mind, taking into account factors such as simplicity, consistency, and intuitiveness.
  4. Test for usability: Conduct usability testing with your target audience to identify any issues or areas for improvement.
  5. Iterate and improve: Use the feedback from usability testing to iterate and improve the usability of your product.

Minimum Acceptable Product (MAcP)

Definition: A Minimum Acceptable Product (MAP) is a product that has the minimum set of features required to be functional, usable, and meet the basic expectations of its target audience. It goes beyond just being functional and aims to provide a positive user experience by including a few niceties that people expect in a quality product.

How to build a Minimum Acceptable Product:

  1. Conduct market research: Understand the needs and desires of your target audience, as well as the competitive landscape.
  2. Define the core features: Identify the minimum set of features that are required for the product to be functional, usable, and meet the basic expectations of its target audience.
  3. Identify the niceties: Determine which additional features or niceties should be included in the product to meet the basic expectations of its target audience.
  4. Develop a prototype: Create a prototype of the product that includes the core features and niceties.
  5. Test and gather feedback: Test the prototype with your target audience and gather feedback on its functionality, usability, and user experience.
  6. Iterate and improve: Use the feedback to iterate and improve the product until it meets the minimum acceptable requirements.

MAP (Minimum Awesome Product)

We live in times when it is hard to come up with a total innovation, and even the first versions of new products need to attract users with a lot more than only useful functionality. Minimum Awesome Product is basically MVP with “wow effect” in terms of UX.

How to Build the Minimum Awesome Product?

Convert Existing MVP into MAP:

If you have developed MVP in the form of an application, a landing page/homepage, or a video for your business in the first place, you can still convert it into MAP by adding lots of unique alternatives. Only if those options make your MAP > MVP. For example, if your MVP is X, your MAP has to be more than X or better be 2X in terms of quality excellence.
So, how can you convert MVP into MAP?

  • Add a catchy UX/UI design to your existing mobile application for better user experience.
  • Add a chatbot software system or create a chat application, like Facebook Messenger, Slack, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Make sure your application is user friendly so that people don’t have to put a lot of effort to access it.
  • Add an awesome effect in the form of unique features with the help of the Internet of Things (IoT) — don’t go extreme though — minimal is still the key.
  • Integrate security functions into the application.
  • Make sure to meet the expectations of users.
  • Provide information with the help of social media i.e, newsletter, images, post, email-voices, text messages, ads, etc.

Build MAP From Scratch:

If you are yet to build any product, you can kick start your business by building new product MAP from scratch and build a platform to sustain your business. For it, follow the steps:

  1. Know Your Audience
  2. Have an idea
  3. Select Design process and User Flow
  4. Decide MAP feature
  5. Build, Measure & Iterate

The next time you think about MVP, think about MAP, (unless you have no competition, then your MVP will automatically be a MAP, as there is no reference): less features, but all properly designed.

Ref: The MVP is dead, long life to the MAP
Ref: The MVP is dead, long life to the MAP

What should your approach be?

The MVP is about creating a small version of your product that brings real value to customers, but deciding what’s “small” can be tricky.

Now, the Minimum Marketable Product (MMP) focuses on features that help you sell the product. It’s about making money, but what’s “marketable” depends on how mature your product is.

If you want to test your concept, the value you offer without a working product can be your MMP. If you want to try your solution, your MVP could be your MMP. If you want to see if people will pay for it, your MMP should include payment. In essence, the MMP’s meaning can be flexible, just like the MVP’s was.

So what is a better approach in practice?

Henrik Kniberg introduced the terms of Minimum Testable, Usable and Lovable Products.

Ref: https://blog.crisp.se/2016/01/25/henrikkniberg/making-sense-of-mvp

Other Minions oops Minimums 😄:

  • MVF (Minimum Viable Feature): An MVF is the smallest possible feature that can be added to a product to deliver value to customers.
  • MVF (Minimum Viable Funnel): An MVF is the smallest possible funnel that can be created to test the viability of a product or feature.
  • MUF (Minimum Usable Feature): An MUF is the smallest possible feature that can be added to a product to make it usable by customers.
  • MVE (Minimum Viable Experience): An MVE is the minimum experience that a user must have with a product in order for it to be considered viable.

To successfully launch your product, you should be one step beyond the MVP concept now. As such, it’s better to use the minimum lovable product approach to find out what your customers really want.

To achieve this, you should put more effort into the emotional aspects of your future product. Notably, it’s important to craft a well-designed, intriguing solution that will become an everyday habit of your customers.

Yet, it’s also vital to concentrate on the functional purposes of your solution and the minimal set of features to start with.
- Dmytro, CEO @ Codica

The friendly scope dialogue

Let’s say you are in the planning phase of your project and you receive a user story that is too broad in scope.

PM: We need to develop a new feature for our mobile app that allows users to create and join local interest groups, share information and resources, and organize events and meetups.

Engineer: That sounds like a great idea, but it also seems like a pretty large scope. Can we break it down into smaller parts?

PM: Yes, you’re right. Let’s start by defining our MVP. What’s the minimum set of features we need to make this work?

Engineer: At a minimum, we need a way for users to create and join interest groups, as well as a way for them to share information and resources within those groups.

PM: Okay, that makes sense. So our MVP will include the ability for users to create and join interest groups, as well as share information and resources within those groups.

Engineer: And what about the MMP? What additional features do we need to make this marketable?

PM: For the MMP, we could add the ability for users to organize events and meetups within their interest groups.

Engineer: That sounds good. And what about the MLP? How can we make this feature lovable and create an emotional connection with our users?

PM: For the MLP, we could add features that enhance the social experience of using the app, such as personalized recommendations for interest groups and events, as well as in-app messaging and notifications.

Engineer: Great, that sounds like a solid plan. So what would our user stories look like for this feature?

PM: Here are some potential user stories:

User Story 1: As a user, I want to be able to create and join local interest groups so that I can connect with others who share my interests.

User Story 2: As a user, I want to be able to share information and resources within my interest groups so that I can learn from others and contribute to the group.

User Story 3: As a user, I want to be able to organize events and meetups within my interest groups so that I can meet other members in person.

User Story 4: As a user, I want to receive personalized recommendations for interest groups and events so that I can discover new things that match my interests.

User Story 5: As a user, I want to be able to communicate with other members of my interest groups through in-app messaging and notifications so that I can stay connected with my community.

So, when you’re working on a project, there are usually a lot of stakeholders involved, not just the Product Manager and Engineer. You’ve got designers, developers, testers, marketers, and leadership all putting in their two cents. Everyone has their ideas and expertise, so it’s important to listen to what they have to say.

This chat is not exactly how it happens in real life, because there are a lot more things to consider and people to talk to. But the main goal is always to make something that people will love and that will do well in the market.

I’m a product manager myself, and I know how hard it can be to find good resources on the topic. That’s why I started writing this blog.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below. And if you’d like to stay up-to-date on my latest articles, please follow me.

See you in the next one 👀
Happy PM-ing! 🚀

References: 1️⃣ | 2️⃣ | 3️⃣ | 4️⃣ | 5️⃣ | 6️⃣ | 7️⃣

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Bhavya Singh

Product Manager Generalist | B2B/B2C SaaS | ISB | Hyper focussed PM on Growth & UX. https://www.linkedin.com/in/bhavyasingh | Comment on any blog for a 1:1 call