InsightsFebruary 6, 2024

Your MVP isn’t actually your most valuable player

Creating a successful Software as a Service (SaaS) product is no easy feat. There are many important decisions to make that can make or break your product. There are different types of minimal products to consider for your project. Which one should you choose?

Opting for a minimal approach when developing a new product is becoming increasingly popular rather than going for something big and complex. However, entrepreneurs have different opinions on what constitutes a "minimum product". Are there any standards for this?

We will help you distinguish between a minimum viable product and a minimum lovable product and explain how they differ from a minimum marketable or sellable product. In this article, we’ll compare the MLP to other strategies like the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and Minimum Marketable Product (MMP).

We’ll discuss the unique aspects of each approach and explain why the MLP is often the best choice. This article will help SaaS innovators and entrepreneurs make informed decisions so they can create successful products that truly connect with their audience.

Let’s ensure we all understand the core concepts: focus areas for each approach and their ultimate goals


The MVP is the epitome of strategic minimalism, aimed at rapidly validating a product with the bare minimum features necessary to satisfy early adopters and test market hypotheses. Its goal is to build a basic product and create a dynamic learning platform. This approach prioritises essential functionality, seeking to validate the core concept with minimal investment while understanding user needs and quickly iterating based on feedback. The MVP approach is cost-effective and lean, reducing development risks and laying a solid foundation for future enhancements.


The MLP strategy goes beyond functional adequacy to forge an emotional connection with users. It focuses on integrating captivating design and intuitive usability into the product, creating a memorable and engaging user experience. The goal here is to transform a functional product into one deeply cherished and advocated for by its users. MLP strives to exceed user expectations by delivering a usable product that resonates emotionally, fostering loyalty and transforming users into brand ambassadors. This approach is about crafting a product experience that is as delightful as it is functional.


The MMP approach builds upon the foundational MVP concept and aims to enhance it for early marketability and revenue generation. It involves adding features and refinements that make the product functional and appealing to a broader market segment. MMP aims to create a version of the product that is ready for initial sales, balancing feature enrichment with cost-effectiveness. It focuses on market-driven enhancements and prepares the product for a successful market entry, aiming to generate early revenue while continuing to evolve towards a fully-featured offering.

ARIS Robotics' SaaS platform displayed in a browser.
While assisting ARIS Robotics with the design of their MVP, we operated with limited resources. Our focus was on establishing a solid foundation, enabling them to scale predominantly independently.

How do you choose the “right” approach?

Selecting the optimal approach for SaaS product development requires a keen understanding of your goals and the nuances of the market. An MVP is the go-to strategy when speed and agility are crucial, particularly for groundbreaking ideas that necessitate swift validation without heavy resource investment. However, the MLP approach emerges as the game-changer in a market brimming with alternatives. It transcends functionality by delivering a user experience that meets practical needs and forms a deep emotional connection with users, distinguishing your product in a crowded space.

On the other hand, while MMP targets the expansion of market reach and revenue with added features, MLP stands out for its enduring impact. It adeptly addresses users' immediate requirements while nurturing a bond that translates into sustained engagement and loyalty – a pivotal factor in the fiercely competitive SaaS space.

MLP’s commitment to exceptional user experience becomes its strongest suit in the SaaS sector, where functional differentiation is often subtle. This strategy balances the need for quick market entry, a hallmark of MVP, with pursuing a high-quality user experience akin to MMP's objectives. By doing so, MLP ensures that products are efficient in functionality and resonate emotionally with the users, creating a lasting impression and fostering brand advocacy.

MLP is the real MVP

The journey through the various product development strategies in the SaaS industry – MVP, MMP, and MLP – reveals a clear standout for today's market needs: the Minimum Lovable Product approach. While MVP and MMP have their respective strengths and ideal scenarios, the MLP strategy emerges as the superior choice in a landscape where creating a lasting impact on users is key to success.

MLP transcends the basic functionality of MVP and the revenue-focused mindset of MMP, focusing instead on crafting products that serve a purpose and create emotional resonance with users. In a sector where differentiation is often marginal, this emotional connection becomes a powerful differentiator, fostering user loyalty and advocacy that are vital for long-term success. The MLP approach is not just about meeting immediate needs; it's about building products that users love, advocate for, and remain loyal to over time.

Embracing MLP means investing in a strategy that balances rapid development with a profound understanding of user experience and satisfaction. It's a commitment to not just launching a product but launching one that has the potential to become an integral and cherished part of the user's daily life. In the competitive arena of SaaS, where enduring user relationships are the cornerstone of sustainable growth, the MLP approach stands as a beacon, guiding the way to market presence and market significance.

By prioritising MLP, companies in the SaaS industry can look forward to surviving and thriving, carving out a niche where their products are used and loved. Ultimately, this is the essence of true innovation and success in the digital world – creating solutions that resonate, engage, and endure.

This article is part of our monthly newsletter that serves as your compass in the evolving landscape of digital design and user experience.


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