As a startup, there are a lot of buzzwords and jargon that you find online in different resources. One of the most important and relevant words in the business is MVP. So what is an MVP?
What Is An MVP?
The MVP is a minimum viable product. It’s the smallest iteration of a product/service that you can build that will deliver some form of customer value. Whether you can get paid for this MVP is a different story.
The MVP acts as a tool to get you the customer validation you need. It can get you feedback with minimum effort. That’s the great thing about MVP. So how does that help your startup?
One of the big things about an MVP is that you get market validation for your product or service. For an example, let’s talk about a SaaS business. Web application development is tough work. Creating an in-depth and intuitive software is tedious and requires a lot of work and time.
That’s where the MVP comes in. Instead of fleshing out an entire system, you build the key features with a basic UI. You create a minimum viable product that still offers value to your customers. You can then release it to your customers and they’ll be able to offer you feedback.
This market validation is a great indicator of where your product should go. The feedback they offer will be invaluable in your pursuit of the next iteration of your product. For example, while you might think that Feature X is a good idea, your customer base might feel that Feature Y should be your main priority.
You have a direct line to your customers and when they tell you about a feature they want, you should give it to them. Remember: you’re testing your products in real market conditions.
An MVP offers up a lot of different stats and figures for you to look at. Having created a product that offers up the bare minimum, it acts as the perfect platform to learn more about your customers. You can loop in analytics from your project to create a better product.
An MVP’s main goal is to deliver on customer value. When you’ve built and delivered the MVP, your next task is to follow up by sifting through your data. You need to have data collection techniques in place so that you can iterate through to your next version.
What was good about your product? What’s missing? What did people spend the most time on? Where did engagement drop off? What are some features that are missing?
While you’re able to, make sure you dig into the statistics that you’ve weaned off your MVP. The information will come in handy when creating your next big update.
The great thing about having an MVP is the flexibility it offers to your startup. Since an MVP lets you validate your product with your target market, it should also let you pivot when necessary.
Pivoting is when you redirect your efforts into a different goal. This could be in the form of objectives, target market, features, or even your entire product. An MVP is the perfect way to stay flexible because your product isn’t fully formed yet. You still have space to pivot into another focus if you choose to do so. According to CB Insights, one of the main reasons why a startup fails is due to a lack of market need. An MVP can save you from this danger.
For example, if you find that your target market actually cares about X more than Y, but you’ve been focusing on Y this entire time, it’s a good chance to pivot. Now you can redirect your energy into creating a version that highlights your X feature.
Build A Client Base
An MVP can get you started in building out your client base. Having a group of early adopters is a great way of jumpstarting your business. The MVP phase is the perfect stepping stone to developing a larger audience.
Once you’ve built your MVP, it’s time to start marketing your product. There are a variety of ways to do this, but the goal is to get an initial user base. You want these people to try out your platform and provide as much feedback as possible. You want to watch their behaviors and either foster it or change it.
It might sound straightforward, but it isn’t easy. Getting a customer base is a tough challenge for most startups. Marketing and convincing a customer that your product is something they should buy is a tough sell. But having an MVP will save you a large headache later on down the road.
Examples Of MVP-Born Companies
Now that we’ve gone through what MVPs are, let’s talk about some examples of companies that developed an MVP first.
One of the biggest companies to do this is Instagram. They started as a photo filter app that would suggest filters for different photos and save them in an album. Now they’re a world-renowned social media platform with over 1 billion active users.
Another example is Airbnb. In 2007, they designed a website to host their own loft as a cheap form of accommodation for conference attendees. Having a direct line to their guests helped them forge what is now a leader in the tourism industry.
Lastly, DropBox was also developed from an MVP phase. Instead of building out an entire product with a server, they created a 3-min video. That video was enough to boost their signup numbers from 5,000 people to 75,000. They were able to portray the value of their product and it translated into a large number of signups.
Keep It Simple!
You might think that you need to create something perfect before you release it to the masses. The truth is that you need to create something simple to test and reiterate upon. Rome wasn’t built overnight. Instead of spending too much time on your project, get the ball rolling and see what comes in.
So what is an MVP? An MVP is something that will help your startup be the best. If you need help with creating your next project, our service will ensure you have a strong MVP foundation to build upon.