MVP – Minimum Viable Product

A common question we often get, is how long does it take you to create a MVP? It varies – but usually 7-14 days. However, what the customer is asking for is usually an MMP/MVBP – which usually takes 6 months.

In all projects we work agile and lean, using a release early and release often development process, maximizing user feedback while focusing on establishing market fit. The concept is to get into a Learn⇢Build⇢Measure rotation consisting of many small MVPs until we reach the MMP level.

To define our process we use many terms: MVP, MMF, MMP, MMR, MVBP, SRP, MAP. Most people use the term MVP, but their definition of the term varies a lot, making miscommunication about the goal, all too common.

To avoid developing along the wrong path, we are very precise in our usage of terms. These are the definitions we use:

  • PoC: Proof of Concept – anything allowing you to validate user interest.

  • Pro: Prototype – a clickable mockup allowing user interaction in a PoC.

  • MVP: Minimum Viable Product – a test product demoing one or more features.

  • MMF: Minimal Marketable Feature – one of your core features.

  • MMP: Minimal Marketable Product – your first market release.

  • MMR: Minimal Marketable Release – the next upgrades to your product.

  • MVBP: Minimum Viable Business Product – your product with a viable revenue model.

  • SRP: Sales Ready Product, a product that allows the customer to find value in the product before payment, and therefore “sells itself”.

  • MAP: Minimum Awesome Product. The perfect product people will love! Unless you are without competition, you need to achieve this level to compete in the 2020-ies.


Founders want to see something working NOW!

We use our MVP → MMP → MVBP → MAP model. This is a common way, as it shows progress to everyone while we build and ensure that we receive important input along the way.

Consider the image below – an old-style waterfall process building the system, where the receiver is worried and not pleased along the way, but in the end, gets the product they wanted. But they only get the product they said they wanted, as there was no option to learn along the way.

But if you instead develop agile using the MVP ⇢ MAP model, refining as you build, you often end up with a product that is more than the customer asked for, due to the evolution in small steps. In the illustration below, the customer requested a car – but using the agile process, we ended up with a nice cabriolet, which the customer didn’t even know was what they really wanted.

Validating your MVPs

Before building your MMP, you need to validate your MVPs to see if they fit specific key areas. This can be done by mail, cold phone, or by adding a landing page with a mailing list signup button, that you can share on social media. Use all possible channels to help you gather input.

While you validate, keep this in mind:

  • Research!
    Is the idea original? Are there competitors in the market? Do you have a niche?

  • Solution!
    How does it help people? What is the customer’s benefit?

  • Why?
    What is the point? Why are you doing this? Why should customers trust you long-term?

  • Plan!
    Is your Business Plan solid? Have you considered all outcomes like not selling, new competitors, trend changes, etc.?

  • Resources?
    Do you have all the resources you need? Especially enough money to run for a couple of years? Building a SaaS takes longer to generate income than you think!

If you while validating your idea, manage to to get a customer to pay you to deliver a solution X months from now, you have successfully validated your idea.

Roadmap and User Story Mapping

To build the right MVP(s), it is crucial that you first story map your user’s flow.

We need to know what the user’s problem is, what the user gains from a feature, and how the flow of the customer is supposed to be, to solve the customer’s problem. We need to:

  • Identify your users, in segments and roles.

  • Specify the end goal of the user.

  • Identify the actions needed from the user, to achieve the goal.

Now we should story map the users to learn which features are MMFs and which features are for the backlog and roadmap “future versions”.

To story map, you need to:

  • Put yourself in the user’s place – and note the actions of the user.

  • Note the pain points and why these places in the flow were inconvenient.

  • Compare the gains you had and the pains along the way in pain-gain maps.

You may now prioritize your story maps into a roadmap.

  • Use pain-gain maps to prioritize opportunities.

  • Decide on which 5 most important opportunities should be validated in an MVP.


MVP – Minimum Viable Product

Our MVP is a release of the product, with a single feature or minimum set of features needed to get early adopters to start using it, provide you feedback, and allow you to make sure your model has market interest.

Our MVP is intended to ensure that there is market interest for the product. This is not the same as potential clients willing to pay, and therefore payment model may not be defined yet.

The focus in the MVP is therefore to get users to start using the product, to allow us to get input we can respond and build upon. Your MVP should:

  • Effectively solve a key problem.

  • Serve at least one specific customer group/segment.

  • Have a well-designed UX.

An MVP can be built in many ways, the emphasis is to explore and get user input on whether or not the feature is marketable and if the feature should become an MMF. The MVP can be built into any kind of solution, as long as it lets us test if the user wants the feature. Examples:

  • A landing page, describing a feature, and allowing people to sign up for a newsletter.

  • A clickable mockup (interactions to move between pages).

  • A clickable design (interactions to move between pages).

  • Paper sketches.

  • A system built with a no-code builder (ex. Makerpad)

  • A WordPress page with plugins building the feature.

  • A custom-built page/app.

  • A human delivering the service, which the SaaS may later automate.

  • Humans secretly mimic the service.

  • Direct personal emails or phone calls, testing a sales pitch of the feature.

For all your MVPs always get the user’s phone number, allowing you to later interview the user and get more input on features.

Also remember, that failing to validate a MVP does not mean the feature is wrong. It only tells you that the way you built the feature, was not viable for the specific segment you tried to validate it on. Maybe the segment was wrong?

MMF – Minimal Marketable Feature

Using our MVP or a series of different MVPs, we now discover our MMF which we need to build our MMRs and MMP.

  • An MMF is a minimal version of a feature, that is tested and market-approved using an MVP.

  • As a rule of thumb, try to build your MMP with 5 MMFs.

  • An MMP is a minimal market-ready product, consisting of a minimum of the MMFs. The MMP is the first release to market.


MMP – Minimal Marketable Product

The MMP is your first market release. This is what you probably have heard a lot of people referring to, as the MVP.

When you have enough MMFs to release your product, you release the MMP.

  • For each sub-sequence iteration of the MMP, it is named an MMR (ex. release, 1.1, 1.2, etc.).


MVBP – Minimum Viable Business Product

Moving on from the MVP, we use the input gathered to decide on the revenue model, sales model, and payment model.

We might A/B split test different payment models running at the same time for different segments or in round robin (random), or we might start with a single model, according to the input we get from potential customers.

The emphasis in the MVBP is to be absolutely sure that the final product is something that customers will pay for.

Thus the MVBP means to avoid time-consuming Pivots (reverting payment model).

SRP – Sales Ready Product

Now that our product has a payment model, we might deliver it with a strong sales department or focus on a Sales Ready Product. SRP is defined as a product that sells itself by allowing the customer to find value in the product, before payment.

The emphasis of the SRP is to keep focus on delivering real value to your customer, it must be obvious that the product is valuable for the customer. Keeping your focus on your product and staying Sales Ready will limit your feature battles and price wars with competitors.

A great product can become an SRP by displaying its features on a web page, though usage of a freemium model or an affiliate system often makes it easier.

MAP – Minimum Awesome Product

In the current world, the design is paramount – both UI and UX must be awesome, the millennial customers expect any SaaS service to look awesome. Minimum viable, means minimum features – not an ugly and hard-to-use UI/IX.

Note that in some cases, your MVP may provide so much customer value that the customer may consider it to be a MAP. In the 2000s this was common for SaaS services, but at the current age, where we have a SaaS for most anything, you usually need to get to the MAP level, to stand out.

  • Does your product have zero competition? Then customers may perceive your MVP = MAP!

  • If there is a lot of competition within your product domain – you will need to become MAP.

  • While it may take you a year to get from a coding start to a sales-ready product – expect another year of relentless nitpicking to get to the awesome level. Only then, are you ready to add more core features. Now the real battle begins, and this is where unicorns are born.


The building process







Validating ideas


Market ready

Sales ready








Story mapping

Preparing materials


Stepping up



Preparing website

Testing revenue models


Team up

Long-term operations

So you have built your product, it sells and you have got traction – now what?

  • You will be threatened from above, by larger competitors with more money and more resources.

  • And you will be threatened from below, by swift, lean, and agile newcomers.

The key is now to keep doing the same thing that got you here. Stay swift and true to your values. The competitors may copy your features, but they cannot copy the knowledge that got you here and made you build the features as you have implemented them in your system.

With a MAP, you are now ready to provide the best possible CX – the Customer Experience of all the ways the customer interacts with your company. Measure your CX, keep it high, and you will keep your customers.

The future of SaaS

A 2017 study by BetterCloud interviewing 1827 US business leaders shows this historic and estimated progression in several businesses using SaaS for 80% or more of their business software. The projection shows all US companies will use SaaS for almost everything in 2025!


  • What is an MLP? Minimum Loveable Product – means the same as MAP.

  • What is MAP also an acronym for? Some use MAP as a Minimum Acceptable Product, which means an MMP with some more features. The correct agile term is MMR.

  • Is the M short for “Minimum” or “Minimal”? It depends on the term. Minimal means “barely adequate”, while Minimum means “lowest amount”. The features should be built minimal – while the product should include a minimum of minimal features.

  • What is the difference between UI, UX, and CX?
    UI is the design, the way things look – the User Interface.
    UX is usability, how easy things are to use – the User experience.
    CX is the feelings of the customer towards the product – the Customer Experience.
    A good UI makes your product look nice. A good UX makes your product easy to use. Keep UI and UX great, and you are close to a great CX. But the CX also involves the feelings from the customers’ experience with your support, invoicing, etc.

MVP (Minimum Viable Product)


Send download link to: