A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product that's good enough to be released for the early adopters. When you're building an MVP, you prioritize time to market and market feedback over impressive feature sets and availability. The goal is to learn early and fast and avoid building the wrong things.
Especially first time entrepreneurs and software builders struggle to identify what's good enough for their initial product release. Instead of learning through trial-and-error and fast feedback cycles, the feature set keeps growing and the release date is pushed further and further into the future.
We have a tendency to focus more on the number of features than the overall simplicity and usability of our product. Our projects also experience scope creep as new requirements are discovered throughout the development process. It takes effort to say no to non-critical features when we are building our very first MVP.
Because of this, a successful MVP project is a result of successful scope management. It's a result of defining who are the early target users and what is the minimum set of features that can create value for them. At the same time, it's a result of excluding platforms and user groups. It's a result of making difficult compromises between scalability and time to market.
Reducing the number of stakeholders inside your software project can reduce the influx of new requirements. User story mapping can help you define the minimum set of features inside your team and protect on-going development from scope creep. Using third party software and services as a temporary solution for some of the requirements can reduce the amount of custom code you need to write.
Less is faster.