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What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?


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Minimum Viable Product (MVP), in its most basic definition, is the first version of a product that contains only the most basic features. I also refer to it as the first monetized product. This product must be sufficient to meet the basic needs of users when it is released. The purpose of the MVP is to gather feedback from the market and identify aspects of the product that need to be improved with a minimum of resources. This concept is often used in software development and entrepreneurship, but applies to all types of products and services.


To understand the importance of MVP, one must first examine its role in the product development process. With traditional product development methods, it takes a long time and costs a lot of money to develop a fully featured product and bring it to market. Mistakes in this process or targeting the wrong user needs can lead to a huge loss of resources. The MVP approach minimizes these risks. Launching a version of the product with the most basic features, gathering real user feedback and developing the product based on this feedback offers benefits in terms of time and cost.


MVP enables rapid feedback and an understanding of the actual needs of users during the product development process. This helps to ensure that later versions of the product are more user-oriented. For entrepreneurs and product managers, the MVP is a crucial step in testing the marketability of a product. Seeing how users use the product and which functions arouse the most interest determines the future development direction of the product. This increases the marketability of the product and avoids wasting time and resources on unnecessary features.


An example of an MVP from Turkey is Yemeksepeti. The founders of Yemeksepeti initially worked with a few restaurants in Istanbul to develop a simple online platform for ordering food. With this simple version, they were able to test how users would react to online food ordering. Based on user feedback, they gradually expanded the platform and added more features. Today, Yemeksepeti is one of the largest online food ordering platforms in Turkey, serving millions of users. This success is based on a precise understanding of user needs and rapid adaptation thanks to the MVP strategy.


Another successful example is Sahibinden.com. Sahibinden.com was originally focused on real estate listings only. A simple platform was created that focused on the ad and search experience of users. Over time, to understand users' interests and needs, different categories such as vehicles, job ads and used goods were added. Continuous improvements based on user feedback ensured the growth of the platform. Today, Sahibinden.com has become a platform that offers a wide range of listings and appeals to millions of users. This expansion and growth is a successful example of the MVP approach.


Another successful example of MVP is Getir. Getir initially only offered a fast delivery service in certain regions of Istanbul. This simple model was used to test whether users could access food within 10 minutes. After the service was well received by users and they showed great interest, Getir quickly spread to other cities and countries. Today, Getir is an innovative provider of fast delivery services that even operates internationally. Getir's success is based on a precise understanding of user needs and rapid growth with its MVP strategy.


Why "viable"?


The main reason why the word "viable" is used in MVP is that it is not enough to offer the product with a minimum set of features; this product must also be viable on the market. The term "viable" means that the product can be accepted and used by users. In other words, when the product is launched on the market, it must provide a useful and valuable solution that meets the basic needs of users. This viability means that the product must not only work, but also fulfill the users' expectations and solve a real problem in their everyday lives. The word "viable" therefore emphasizes that the MVP should have both a minimum set of features and that these features should be meaningful and functional for the users.


Minimum "valuable" product


I prefer the term "Minimum Valuable Product" instead of the term "Minimum Viable Product". In this context, it is not enough for a product to have a minimum set of features; these features must also create value for users. The term "valuable" emphasizes that the product must offer real value to users. This means that the product must solve a problem for users or make their lives easier.


From this perspective, the Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) aims to identify the key features that create the most value for users when developing the product. This approach allows us to better understand the needs and expectations of users during the product development process and prioritize the most valuable features accordingly. For example, if you are developing a mobile application, you can identify the features that users need and value the most and include these features in the MVP. This increases user satisfaction and increases the chances of the product being successful on the market.


Therefore, the concepts of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Minimum Valuable Product (MVP) are important strategies that complement each other in the product development process. While the term "Viable" emphasizes that the product should be functional and usable, the term "Valuable" emphasizes that the product should create value for the users. Both approaches help product developers to be successful on the market with a minimum of resources. By combining these two concepts in the product development process, it is possible to deliver a product that is both functional and valuable. This strategy increases user satisfaction and supports the long-term success of the product.


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