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"I'm a light bulb" Learn from your marketing experiments so that you can hone and refine how you prospect. (Image: Shutterstock)

Technology companies and start-ups in general often launch what is called a “minimum viable product” or MVP. An MVP is designed to be the most basic version possible of the end-product they envision for the market. The idea is to get something built quickly so that you can begin testing the market with it as soon as you can.

The goal of the MVP is to learn as much about what your target audience wants before you bet three years of development and all of your funding on a product. For example, Groupon, the daily deal website that took the internet by storm a few years ago, actually began as a daily flyer distributed by hand and grew into a web application when the founders saw what — and why — their audience reacted to.

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