Minimum Viable Product vs the Optimal Product – what’s the difference?

Let’s say someone in your business asks if you’d like to develop better products – products that you know your customers want?

And they go on to say would you like to do it faster – and with less cost and less risk?

What would you say?


Of course, you would.

The usual response is then ‘”we need to use a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach”.

But unfortunately, the term MVP can mean different things to different people – depending on their agenda.

For some, it’s what’s the least amount of development we can get away with before resources are diverted onto something else.

For others, it’s what do we have to do to allow us to learn from the market, on the understanding that we’ll need more development to get to an Optimum Product.

Louise May – one of our senior Product Focus consultants – has produced a short video to explain the theory behind the Lean Product, MVPs, and Optimal Products. (the video is just over 7 minutes long).

Watch the video here.


Ian Lunn

Director, Product Focus

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That’s a lot of valuable insight in 7 minutes! Is minimal marketable product (MMP) somewhere on the road between MVP and Optimal product?


Hi Ronan.
Glad you found it valuable!
I have come across several acronyms for MVP, including MMP (marketable), MSP (saleable), MVP (valuable). They are all essentially the same thing: The product must have enough functionality to be of value to your first target market segment and must have enough value that they are willing to pay for it. MVP (viable) has a slightly different meaning in the agile development world, which is why I think other more commercially sounding acronyms have become popular.
Hope that helps.

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