A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a development technique that allows businesses to create a basic version of their product with minimum features and functionality. The primary goal of an MVP is to test the product idea and its market potential with the least amount of effort and resources.
The MVP approach is particularly useful for startups and entrepreneurs who want to test their product idea before investing significant resources in development. By creating an MVP, they can quickly get feedback from users, test their assumptions about the product, and make improvements based on that feedback.
In this blog, we will explore the concept of Minimum Viable Product in detail.
WHAT IS MVP?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a product is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The complete and final set of features is designed and developed only after considering all the feedback from the product’s initial users.
An MVP is a crucial step in agile software development. This methodology depends on the validation and iteration of products based on user experience. Its purpose is to validate your idea in the early stages of product development. MVP can help the product team from many software industries to receive user feedback quickly, then iterate and improve the product.
HOW DO YOU CREATE MVP
There are many minimum-viable product frameworks that you can follow to find your MVP. Let us dive into the actual process of creating an MVP
- Define your ecosystem – You’re likely to have multiple categories of target users using your product, define more specifically what your users will receive when using your product.
- Determine value propositions for your stakeholders – At this stage, you should think about what high-level benefits your stakeholders will receive from your product.
- Hypothesize final MVP – Visualize the basic functionalities of your product to identify the final MVP, that you want each stakeholder to achieve.
- Identify the risks – Determine potential blockers where your product might fail. Outline the risks associated with your business models and order them from highest to lowest.
Design your value path – The final step you need to visualize in the customer discovery process. Identify the core assumptions you need to test and start validating them until you get your final MVP.
HOW DOES MVP WORK
An MVP is a simple way to save time, and money, and test your product. Here is a brief guide to help you develop it:
- Identify and understand your business needs – Identify the need for your product in the market and analyze your competitor and establish a roadmap to make your product stand out.
- Outline user journey – A proper way to ensure that your product is convenient to your users is by continuous iterations and mapping out user journeys to draw user flows.
- Design pain and gain journey – The pain and gain map allows us to identify all pain points and the gains the target audience achieves when each is addressed.
- Decide and prioritize feature to be implemented – Asking the question of what my user needs versus what my user want, can help identify and prioritize features.
ADVANTAGES OF MVP
The concept of MVP was introduced by Eric Ries, as a part of his Lean Startup methodology. It allows the developers to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort.
An MVP can be an excellent starting point for any business as it helps to minimize time and resources.
- Minimal risks in product development – MVP allows businesses to launch products with minimal resources and efforts at lower risk.
- Spotlights the core functionalities – It helps businesses develop a better final product with the features and functionalities that users need.
- Create a relationship with your initial users – It’s always good to engage with users and stakeholders during the initial stage of product development. Validated learnings and specific research of your target audience give you priceless feedback for software development.
- Quicker and easier releases – MVP prevents you from cluttering your initial product with unnecessary features. It’s good to test the UX and usability of your core product before adding more features.
TRAITS OF GOOD MVP
- A good MVP is a functional robust product with no fluff. Brands usually fail in MVP development because of neglecting the core goals and building a product with unessential features.
- An MVP includes legitimate functionality to get feedback from potential users. Customers accept a product that works, even if the product is not fully polished, and won’t reject an MVP
- It’s important to conduct market research to know your target customers and come up with solutions that fit the consumer persona
- A good MVP can help save time, money, and resources as you carefully craft the minimalist version of your solutions
TYPES OF MVP
There a different type of MVPs, and if a certain type of MVP works great for some projects, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the same type will work for you. Let’s examine the types of MVPs to find out which one would be your go-to.
- Physical MVP – If you’re planning to create a physical product, then you’ll have to develop a physical MVP to test your product’s features.
- Product design MVP – A product design for digital products can serve as an MVP if it gives customers a reliable idea of the product’s core features. It includes sketches, mockups and landing pages, wireframes of apps, and demo videos
- Concierge MVP – These are the prototypes of a digital product that are performed manually for testing
- Piecemeal MVP – It combines different existing products to create a working prototype.
- Single featured MVP – It focuses on one most important feature, it makes it easy to use the product and saves time.
- Landing page MVP – It is a webpage or the first page of your website used to test the product.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF MVP
The concept of MVP is widely adopted by many industry verticals. The whole focus of MVP during product development is by collecting information from customers that are validated already.
- The essence of product development idea – An MVP must showcase the set of core features of your product idea.
- Low-cost production – An MVP helps businesses launch quickly and receive feedback without spending a significant amount of money and time building it.
- Valuable – When developing the MVP, consider the target audience for the product and the potential pain it can address.
- Iterative design – An MVP must be a good starting point for future development with core features that can be iterated continuously to create a product that has a broader user base.
WHAT FAILS AN MVP?
The Minimum Viable Product strategy helps you to keep a perfect balance between the product features and the customer needs. However, some factors would result in MVP failures
- Lack of knowledge to understand the buyer’s problems and inadequate project strategy
- Missing the essential needs for the product
- Implementation of many unnecessary features.
- Lack of techniques to validate MVP idea
- Lack of reliable market research
- Lack of customer feedback integration.
- Overemphasized technical quality
- Negligence of prototyping stage
- Fail to offer something unique to the customers
- Improper marketing of MVP by targeting the wrong audience
- Picking the wrong project development methodology and an unprofessional team
The majority of startup failures are because of premature extensions. One must be reasonable and cautious while investing in startups.
An MVP is an efficient core piece of your experimentation strategy to evaluate whether your startup is worth investing in and find out all the possible issues you need to fix.
You assume that your customers have certain needs, and you come up with a product to help them. The final MVP is developed after getting feedback from the customers. Later you can either adapt it, work on it or move on to your next innovative project.
The most important factor that influences your decision will be your budget and the type of MVP you want to work with. You can estimate the cost of the product based on the features you will be integrating into it.