This version can evolve as customer feedback and usage is analyzed. This is an agile approach to product development because it is iterative and aims to validate market interest before investing more resources than are necessary during early stages of the product life cycle.
MMP vs MVP
A minimum marketable product (MMP) is different from a minimum viable product (MVP). An MVP is the threshold at which the smallest form of a product is thought to validate whether a concept is valuable to a customer.
It is often validated through a prototype or a closed beta where a limited number of users can test the product or feature before the broader market has access to it. In a MMP, the threshold is more stringent. It comes after the MVP has been validated and the business (Marketing, Sales, Product, UX, Development, Support, etc) is ready to fully sell, market and support the new functionality.
For example, a team developing a video game app might not know what features customers are willing to pay for so they might release a MVP version as a closed beta to a few hundred users. Then, after several cycles of adjusting their product according to customer feedback, they will discover a threshold at which the MMP is clear. Once the MMP is built and the beta group is responding positively then it is ready to be released to the broader market.
Some questions to ask when determining where to draw the line between MVP and MMP
- What minimal functionality can we deliver to customers that is still valuable on its own?
- Will early adopters think we’re wasting their time if they try to use this product?
- What is the smallest experiment we can perform that we believe will validate our hypothesis?
- What features are we intentionally leaving out for the first iteration because we believe customers can still find value in the product without those features?
- At what point do we feel comfortable selling this functionality to the broader market?
- Which features need to be released before we believe the product will sell?
- At what point do we think we’re ready to fully support this new product as a business (development, customer success, etc)?
- At what point do we think this functionality is noise-worthy with the broader market?
- At what point will we feel proud to show this to market influencers?
- If we release this as is, will customers be excited or will we be damaging our brand?
While the objectives of MVP and MMP are different, a key similarity is that the business is attempting to define a minimum threshold at which both business goals and customer needs are being met. Neither the MVP or the MMP should include every feature the product could possibly have. Delivering minimal, incremental value requires discipline. When done right, this approach ensures that resources are efficiently allocated and that future objectives don’t delay time-to-value.