Lean Startup Principles 101 What is MVP ?

05 11 2014


7 months ago, I stumbled upon a book, that radically changed my view towards Entrepreneurship. Reviewed and testimonies made by Startups and Companies that adopted this principle. It has proved to work and more the reason why if you are already an entrepreneur, or intend to being one you should read the book.The book is readily available on Amazon and you can read more about it here.

The Lean Startup

While reading the book, I got to learn a lot of concepts. There is one word that I have heard all over and I think there is a lot of misconception around the term. Clearly, a sign that most people still haven't read the book and still claim to understand what Lean Startup is. While talking to most entrepreurs or aspiring entrepreneurs about the word "MVP", I found out that most of them did not understand what it was and why we have to use it.

To clear it out, here is my definition of what MVP means.

What does MVP stand for ?

MVP clearly stands for Minimum Viable Product . It is simply a concept adopted from the Lean Startup Methodology.

Some Concepts

Before arriving to the definition, lets get a few concepts from the Lean Startup.


When coming up with your startup, most startups seem to be solving an already existing problem. Lets look at the problem from a scientific approach. Whenever you look at problems in this ways, you will have to deduce a hypothesis that you will test.

Leap of Faith

Hypothesis are most of the times a set of assumptions, that we test and try to validate. According to Ries, this is one of the riskiest elements that every Startup encounters. Why is this the case? This phase solely depends on leap of faith assumptions made by Startup members.


When the leap of faith assumptions are made, we enter a new phase. This phase is called the Build-Measure-Learn loop process.

Build Measure Lean Loop

As explained in the above diagram, this loop is a continuous process. The process simply involves the following:

  1. Build a product
  2. Release and test it with Users
  3. Measuring those test and learning from them

After this loop, iteration are made and the product improves gradually.

Definition of MVP?

MVP, is simply that version of the product that enables a full turn of the loop with the minimum amount of effort and least amount of development time.

Ben Lyon When asked during the First Startup Grind Nairobi meetup what MVP was he defines it as "The iteration of the product that gets the product market fit qualifies to be the MVP"

With that definition of MVP , I hope many of you who had misconception will understand what this popular term means.


Eric Ries' Lean Startup

With many of my friends wanting a piece of the book I will share my copies that I purchased

  1. PDF
  2. Audio

This entry was tagged as Lean Startup Lean MVP Entrepreneurship

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