Entrepreneurs and innovators are always looking to create products that can help solve specific consumer problems. Extensive market research and analysis goes into the creation of a single product. In a rapidly evolving market defined by continuous changes in consumer preferences, your product needs to be tested in real world conditions with actual consumers.
This is where the concept of a Minimum Viable Product comes in.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Every product begins with an idea that is directed towards solving a problem. Minimum Viable Product is the ‘bare minimum’ version of your final product. The idea is to create the smallest and quickest version of the product so you can begin testing it repeatedly.
MVP can be described as “smallest version of a new product that can be utilized to collect the maximum validated learning about customers response with the least effort in shortest time”.
Why Use a Minimum Viable Product?
For some entrepreneurs, the launch of a product is a make-or-break situation. There is more at stake when dealing with product development and launch.
Real Market Product Testing
Consumer behavior may differ from factory-controlled tests. Even after rigorous internal testing, any product still requires real market tests, allowing to identify areas for improvement.
Core Value– Key Features
Concise and direct nature of MVP allows developers to improve core features that solves customer problems. It helps to avoid more features, that disrupt the user experience.
Cost-Effective and Efficient
It allows developers to release a low-budget version that meets core features, without any frills. Based on the customer response, the plan can be expanded or revised or worst-case dropped.
Defining MVP – Key pointers
It is difficult to ascertain the bare minimum value to the user that will persuade them to use your product, to arrive at MVP.
Here are some pointers that can help you:
Remember that your product should be targeted towards pre-existing buyer personas. The best way to start is to focus on one, preferably the most dominant persona.
Avoid an MVP clustered with unnecessary features. Include those that are truly central to the product, covering unique aspects of your product that sets you apart from others.
Demand for potential features
This helps to assess the features that truly resound with your target audience. You can add incomplete, or even dummy features that can be tested in the future.
Overall idea and development
This prevents investing time or effort in developing unwanted features. This helps to get overall idea of the features that should be further polished, and those that need to be scrapped.
The core reason behind creating an MVP is to assess your product in real market conditions, without investing significant money in the development process.
The prompt market feedback allows you to modify your approach, thus saving time and effort. The result is a product that has been thoroughly tested and judged against the market forces.
4 step MVP process:
- Identify and understand your business and market needs
- Map out user journey(s)
- Create a pain and gain map
- Decide what features to develop
3 step MVP process:
- Start with a simple product solving a tiny problem
- Keep iterating, while constantly solving bigger problems
- Constantly communicate the vision of the grand problem
Benefits of MVP
- Focus on core value proposition
MVP helps define the value proposition clearly and narrowly. It helps define goals, needed functionality, and spend time and money efficiently.
- Reduces remakes
Extra features may only complicate user experience. Keeping it simple will guarantee minimum remakes of the product features.
- Builds relationships with customers
First users may provide you the needed feedback on the desired changes or additions. This builds customer relationships, creating a community.
- Defines critical drawbacks
It allows to find weaknesses fast and improve it, ensuring all the functions work properly before going further.
- Spends money efficiently
As the product development cycles are iterative, there is no need to search for a huge amount of money at once.
- Innovative ideas
Innovative ideas qualify as MVP that make a difference towards what was before.
In the end, if your idea is proven to be a failure, still lot of money is not spent on it.
Advantage of developing an MVP
- Test the demand for your product – before releasing a full-fledged product
- Your product does what it says on the tin
- Avoid failures and large capital losses
- Reduce implementation costs
- Release your product to market in the shortest time
- Gain valuable insight on what works and what does not work
- There is room for evolution
- Work directly with your clients and analyze their behaviors and preferences
- Grow with your customers
- Gather and enhance your user base
Additionally, you may find out more problems you can solve or hit on new ideas and exclusive offerings, that means more chances to improve your business.
Lessons you can learn from MVP
- Validate the idea, problem, or solution
- It helps to analyze different parts of your startup plan
- Look for growth opportunities on your own
- A successful MVP does not mean a successful Product
- A good Product with no promo is a bad Product
- Have a personal relation to the problem you are trying to solve
- Keep your Time to Market short
- Pick a niche
- Test your idea before you even start coding
- Keep your MVP minimal
- Pivots and iterations are ok
- Scale gradually
Minimum Viable Product Presentation
- What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
- Fundamentals of MVP
- Benefits of MVP
- Building an MVP
- Reasons why MVP fail
- Measuring Success
MVP is designed to get a simple basic product to market in shortest possible time. The MVP strategy is an ideal design approach for startup enterprises. Established corporations do apply MVP on high-risk designs in terms of investment or capital standpoints.
It helps to examine the feasibility of the product and to determine which features should be added in the next iteration. It is a user-focused design approach which gathers valuable feedback constantly to provide an improved product at each iteration.
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