The contemporary business environment is increasingly receptive of innovative ideas. With increasing advances in technology, it is now possible for entrepreneurs to come up with products and services that meet their customers’ expectations. In the modern set-up, both startups and big brands are relying on the easiest and affordable concepts to drive their products to the market with the intention to improve them with time.
The idea of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) has changed the way product development in the modern business is done. It is no wonder then that some of the biggest brands have adopted this as a starting point to develop their products. If you are an entrepreneur, it is important to get more insight on Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in order to leverage the benefits that come with this approach in product development.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in Details
The term was coined by Frank Robinson and today, it has come to be adopted as one of the most effective approaches in product development. An MVP is a product built from the smallest set of features with an aim to gather more information from early adopters to help refine its development. This version of the product allows developers to collect as much information as possible from customers with the least effort.
Saying a product is minimum shows only basic features are included and the fact that it is viable means it is suitable for the market. The product is thus not refined but the developer feels it is valuable and can be made better by contributions from real users.
To appreciate this approach, consider the time and money it would normally take to develop, test and launch a new product in the market. In most cases, there are bottlenecks to overcome and as an innovator you might be starting at failure even before the project starts.
Say, for instance, you are developing a mobile app for your Minimum Viable Product company and you have a go-ahead from the top. If you spend months on the same, there is a high likelihood your boss will eventually dump it. This is where a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) comes in handy. With an MVP, you can test the mobile app with real customers and the invaluable feedback you receive will help you to complete the product development much faster and using fewer resources.
MVP entails solving a problem using the most basic solution. This approach borrows from the lean startup theory, which emphasizes quick development and measuring and analyzing all iterations of your product as you progress. The idea is to make many changes to the MVP as you progress instead of developing the product away from sight using minimal knowledge.
Steps in Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
The success of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) lies in rapid feedback from your target customers. To achieve this, consider the following factors:
1. Define and capture the goal of your product
2. Use video content to save money
3. Use SaaS to save valuable resources while at the same time providing a good user experience through live chat, billing issues, rely on data and much more.
4. Scribd for paperwork
5. Leverage cloud resources for easier scalability
6. Capitalize on Facebook resources including Facebook Connect to find better feedback
7. Leverage mobile traffic using bootstrap.js
8. Create a landing page for your MVP.
9. Wizard of Oz product to put your product in front of customers without actually investing in an ecommerce website.
Benefits of MVPs
In summary, a MVP gives the following benefits to an entrepreneur:
• High ROI without risking a lot in terms of investment
• Cost reduction in product development
• More customer engagement from early stages
• Identifying early adopters for future purposes
Examples of Successful Minimum Viable Products
The idea of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) might seem too much removed from the realities of product development. Well, you will be surprised to learn that some of the popular products you are currently using started out with a Minimum Viable Product which was later refined to give users a better experience. Some of the successful MVPs in the market today include:
These startups used the Minimum Viable Product approach to test market viability and gain rapid customer experience. Others went the crowd funding route while others wanted to get ideas on how best to improve their initial offerings.
There is no need to invest in a product people will not buy and this is why you should adopt a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach. It is the first step as you prepare to go to the market.