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MVPs: A Deep Dive (part 2)

Welcome to part two of our MVP deep dive! Nona CEO Mike Scott and COO Ed O’Reilly caught up with Will Green, a veteran entrepreneur who is the program director at The Grindstone Accelerator.

Grindstone is a structured entrepreneurship development program that assists high-growth, innovation-driven companies to get the fundamental building blocks in place to scale quickly and become sustainable and fundable.

This is part two of their in-depth analysis of MVPs, so if you haven’t read part one yet, click here.

Time to build your MVP

So, you’ve formulated your hypothesis, done the research, and have proof of concept. Now it’s time to build your MVP.

What is an MVP?

For those who don’t know, an MVP is the abbreviation for minimum viable product, which describes the minimum amount of features your product needs to test its viability. It’s the first usable version of your product.

What does an MVP need to look like today?

In the past, there was a lot of focus on the minimum part of an MVP. Businesses were presenting skeletons of products to stakeholders, but in this day and age, your MVP needs to be a lot more sophisticated.

Consumers expect more in less time, so your MVP needs to be able to keep up with user expectations, especially in such a competitive market. “There’s a connotation that an MVP is a very small and simple thing,” says Mike “where an MVP can actually be an absolutely enormous, massive build if it truly is the minimum viable version of what’s going to work.”

Which features should I exclude?

“To generalise it, in the true MVP sense, it’s anything that isn’t necessary to prove your viability”, explains Ed. “There are going to be products where certain levels of sophisticated security are necessary for viability. There are going to be products where there are not. It really depends on the market that you’re entering, in terms of what are the competitors in that market, how sophisticated all the existing competitor products in that market are, and what are the base set of function features that people expect?”

He uses a hypothetical blogging app as an example. “You probably can’t get away without the ability to create a blog post, but you can get away without some kind of recommendation feature.”


Once you have sustained viability, you need to work on marketability. This next phase is described by another acronym: MMP, your minimum marketable product. 

“We’ve assessed viability, but that product is far from marketable at this point,” says Ed. “You now enter a very different stage of business that requires a very different set of business processes and support services. Now you need to attain something that is actually full-featured enough such that it can be marketed to a broader audience.”

This is the move from viability to monetisation or profitability.

What is the next step?

How do you know when you’re out of these stages and have an actual product?

“Pretty simply, when you start making money,” laughs Will. “I would bookend an MVP with a financial model, because that does dictate exactly the viability moving on and the sustainability of that. So for me, when it actually starts sustainably making money would be my answer.”

From formulating your hypothesis to building your MVP, we really hope you found this deep dive insightful.

Let’s chat about your business idea and help you build your MVP. Click here to book a consultation with us.

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