June 15, 2023

Minimum Marketable Feature(MMF) as a Strategy for building your product

When trying to build a great product, one of your goals is to constantly deliver features that meet user needs and provide value to the business.

When trying to build a great product, one of your goals is to constantly deliver features that meet user needs and provide value to the business. In order to achieve this, it’s vital to understand your user’s goals, motivations and pain points, in order to come up with solutions that resonate with them and are useful. 

The most common strategy to define new features is the linear approach, which consists of gathering user requirements, designing and building a solution that aims to fulfill them and then delivering to users once it’s done. The problem is that this means you are not delivering value until the full solution is finished, nor getting user feedback, thus creating situations where large efforts can be spent building a solution that was based on a flawed idea. This can be partially mitigated via demos or MVPs, but it’s hard to know if users will find value in your product until they are using day-to-day trying to achieve their own goals. 

This is where the concept of a Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF) comes in. MMF is a strategy that emphasizes delivering the minimum functionality that can be provided to users as a standalone feature, instead of aiming for a complete and exhaustive solution to all their needs. Doing this will not exempt you from the risk of the initial idea being flawed, but it allows you to capture feedback early and respond quickly to user demands, validating (or invalidating) assumptions and ensuring that value is often and constantly delivered to the users*.  

How to use MMF to define new Product Features 

  1. Gather requirements. 
    • Start by analyzing user requirements and pain points. 
  2. Define Minimum Marketable Features to build. 
    • Identify the features that will provide the most value to users. Each of them should be sufficient to address a requirement with a complete and usable experience. 
    • Prioritize features based on their expected impact and value add. 
    • Take into consideration factors such return on investment (ROI), impact on customer retention / acquisition, and strategic goals of your company. 
  3. Develop each MMF. 
    • Develop and release the minimum marketable features in incremental iterations as they are finished.
  4. Get feedback. 
    • Gather feedback, analyze behavior and run usability testing with users.
    • Validate assumptions and make informed decisions to refine the list of features. 
  5. Repeat Step 2. 

Sample use case

Let’s say you are building a fitness mobile app. After gathering requirements and doing market analysis, you determine that users want an application that gives them the following: 

  • Personalized workout plans.
  • Tracking of daily activity and calories. 
  • Nutrition tracking and recommendations. 
  • Personalized training regimes. 
  • Integration with smart watches. 
  • Social interaction with other users. 

With MMF, you make the determination that the minimum marketable feature includes personalized workout plans and tracking of daily activity. By delivering these core features, you begin to get early adopters who start tracking their progress on the app. As a consequence of people using the app, you also begin to receive feedback and user data, which you can use to shape future iterations of the application. 

MMF is not the only factor to determine if the app succeeds, but it gives you the flexibility to make informed decisions early and constantly.


In order for a product to succeed and become useful for its intended audience, there’s a lot of things that have to go right, be it styling, software or hardware design, costs, user/market status and even external factors, so it is our responsibility to get information as early as possible to optimize efforts and gain a competitive advantage. 

Adopting the Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF) approach can significantly enhance your ability to deliver value to users and drive business success, especially in cases where you are looking to validate assumptions and ensure that users will ultimately find value in the product that is being built.  

Related Sources

By Jorge Orenday.

Case Study from Arkusnexus
ArkusNexus is a nearshore software development company. We advance the IT capabilities for US companies interested in leveraging nearshore software outsourcing.
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