Not every idea we have can turn into a profitable business. Launching a new product on the market is always high risk, and you have to be aware of that. We do not know whether a given product or service will be of interest to consumers and whether it meets their needs. However, you can't give up - market verification of a business idea can be conducted with an MVP help.
MVP (minimum viable product) – definition
A Minimum Viable Product is a basic version of a product that provides only a limited set of features. Creating such a product focuses on key functionalities that solve customers’ problems or help them achieve their goals.
By creating an MVP, we gain the possibility to release a product on the market with a minimum amount of functionality, in a relatively short period, without significant financial outlays. What we get in return is customer feedback. If the reactions of end-users are positive, we get a clear signal to continue working on our product, develop it and at the same time build a customer base.
How to build a minimum viable product?
- Identify the objective and define the target group
The first step in building an MVP is to find a business idea. Then ask yourself two key questions:
1. How can my product help users?
2. Why should someone buy my product or service?
The answers to these questions help determine the primary purpose of a product launch accurately and define the product features so that they solve real user problems.
- Research your competitors
The next stage in building an MVP is competitive analysis. Sometimes we think that our business idea is innovative and the market will accept it with great enthusiasm. Unfortunately, reality is often completely different. Remember that market success is not determined by a belief in the uniqueness of a product. It’s essential to rely on hard data and know your competition.
- Identify the product features and the required steps users need to take
Next, define the user flow and step into your customer’s shoes. Focus on the key functions your product is supposed to perform. Match them with the tasks the product’s users will have to do to use it. This list will help you prioritize and rank product features. Think also about the must-have product or service functions and those that are “nice to have”.
- Start working on MVP and launch tests
Once you have prioritized all the features, you can define their scope for the product’s first version. Then you can start working on the minimum viable product, which by its standard should not differ significantly from the quality of the final product. You cannot forget about testing as well. First, they are performed internally by the team working on the MVP, and then the tests are carried out by users in the real environment.
Minimum viable product vs minimum valuable product
Both start-ups and established companies should look for ways to minimize risk when launching new products. This approach has been taken by Uber, Spotify, Groupon, Snapchat, Dropbox, Airbnb or even Amazon.
A minimum viable product is a product that is ready to market in a basic version with a minimum of features. It shows your potential customers its value and allows you to measure market interest. Subsequent iterations of the MVP should illustrate the target product.
Minimum valuable products are, in turn, an extension of the MVP concept. Rather than creating a minimum version of a product, developers work towards a minimum iteration of a product that provides real value to end-users. In this approach, user requirements and expectations come first. Notably, there may be more than one idea of how to meet user needs.
Presenting successive MVP prototypes gives a view of which version of the product is best for them and is an essential step in creating a minimum value product. A minimum viable product example here might be the first iPhone, which conquered the market even though it had limited features. Although it did not give users the ability to copy and paste or send text messages to multiple recipients, it met their needs. It wasn’t until subsequent phone versions added more features that the brand gained many satisfied and loyal customers.
So, before you take on the challenge and launch a new product, prepare an MVP. This way, you will not only validate your idea but also save time and money.
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