Guide to MVP
Up to 80% of the new products fail in the technology industry.
In today’s technology & experience-driven Darwinian digital era, speed is one of the predominant factors that draw a line between digital predators and digital prey. To outsmart the competition, savvy businesses need to be first to the market with new but effective products and services.
Therefore, businesses must rethink their processes for designing, building, and growing new digital products to cut down the design cycle time and time to market. Businesses need to move with the shifting paradigm — moving away from slow legacy approaches to digital product development.
Agile has been a part of software development methodology and mainstream thinking for quite a while. Still, its importance and application to the business strategy came into limelight with the instigation and popularization of the Lean Startup movement by Steve Blank and Eris Ries. The idea was to start small with a bare-bones design and then tested on the market to analyze the products’ potential to succeed.
Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
A minimum viable product is a product built and launched with minimum investment and enough features (which may be just a landing page) to attract the eyeballs of early-adopter customers with a single aim — to validate the product idea and get feedback early in the software development life cycle.
5 Ms: MVP Product
In the digital economy, businesses that have the potential to deliver high-value products the fastest, survive, and thrive — Speed is supreme. However, delivering a new product that delights your customers demands a transformation — elimination of waste and embracing processes that could accelerate product delivery.
Delivering a product better and faster at the same time, demands a different way of thinking — a lean MVP way of thinking. The MVP approach focuses on the ideology of a lean startup, implying a product built with a minimal budget in a given time.
1. More Focus on Building the Core
Rather than coming up with a feature-heavy product, offering the core set of features help businesses to verify their product concept — whether it resonates with their target audience or not.
2. Meteoric (Speedy) Product Development
Speedy means designing, building, and releasing the basic application quickly, iterating fastly, and validating along the way.
3. Market Validation
What if we found ourselves building something that nobody wanted? In that case what did it matter if we did it on time and on budget?
4. Minimizing the Product Development Cost
An MVP approach helps avoid mediocre end-user satisfaction, schedule slippage, and cost overruns by not letting you spend your entire production budget on all the features right away.
5. More Feedback = Improved Product
How to Build an MVP in
The MVP development process is a top-down, iterative, and test-driven approach that focuses on the customer at every stage of the MVP process. The purpose of a minimum viable product is a quick release, quick iteration, and continuous validation to make the final product launch easier and successful at the later stage.
Understanding the MVP development process and steps involved in it is vital to its and product’s success. The following are the necessary S.I.M.P.L.E. steps required to build an MVP.
1. Start with Market Research
I have an idea, bingo. Alas, not all ideas are worth bringing to the market — maybe your idea does not fit the customers and market needs. To evaluate, it is vital to set up market research and conduct surveys to gain more insights before embarking upon an MVP Development process.
42% of startups failed because their idea had no market need.
2. Ideate on Value Addition
You cannot sell an MVP of an air conditioner in Antarctica. No matter how good your idea is, it will fail if you are unable to answer the following questions:
- What value does your idea add to its target user base?
- How could your idea benefit them?
- What will make them buy your idea?
Beautiful product development in an ugly market segment simply makes no sense.
3. Map Out User Flow
It’s almost impossible to build a car without referring to its visual design. Impatiently jumping to the MVP development process without highlighting the design and user flow leads to a ‘Failed MVP.’ Keep the future product and target audience in mind to design a user flow, which is convenient for users.
Design Thinking + Lean UX + Agile = Successful MVP
4. Prioritize MVP Features
List down all the features (major & minor) that you want in your product before building the minimum viable product. While shortlisting the features, follow the MoSCoW approach.
- M — Must have features
- S — Should have features
- C — Could have features
- W — Won’t need features
5. Launch MVP
Customer needs may vary, but their bias for quality never does.
J. Willard Marriott
6. Exercise ‘B.M.L.’ — Build, Measure, Learn
The Build-Measure-Learn (B.M.L.) is one of the most important steps of building an MVP. It deals with measuring the acceptance of the built MVP and its enhancement as needed. Based on the customer need hypothesis, keep iterating the product in relatively small increments.
Note: Don’t be embarrassed by your first MVPs’ results. As Reid Hoffman said, “If you are not embarrassed by your first product, you launched too late.” It often takes 3-4 MVPs, with regular iterations, before the product is set for full deployment.
Step by Step Guide to Build a MVP
5 Key MVP Development
Talking to budding entrepreneurs about launching a business, most of them have massive dreams of starting a big, successful company that would be the next Facebook or Instagram or Amazon.
Maybe it will be, maybe not.
The best way to test the worth of a product without constant outflow of money or time is MVP Development. However, for its success, it is critical to understand and avoid a few major MVP Development mistakes that can result in a fiasco.
1. Choosing the Wrong Problem to Solve
Analyzing the pain-point on which your MVP will be built is important for its success, else building a beautiful key is useless if it can’t perform a job to open the right door.
2. Skipping the Prototyping Phase
The ideal prototype should be of Goldilocks quality. If the quality is too low, people won’t believe the prototype is a real product. If the quality is too high, you’ll be working all night, and you won’t finish. You need Goldilocks quality. Not too high, not too low, but just right.
3. Targeting the Wrong Set of Persona
‘Everyone’ is not your targeted audience when it comes to validating your MVP prototype. So, it’s not worth asking your friends and relatives for feedback if they are not your intended audience. You need to target the right market and get the right feedback.
4. Inappropriate Development Method
There’s a way to do it better find it.
Thomas A. Edison
5. Confusion between Qualitative and Quantitative Feedback
10 Ways to Validate Your
You have built an MVP product and launched it, but the MVP approach does not end there – testing and validating it is equally important. You can never be sure whether your product meets the customer’s needs until the MVP test is run. The following are a few validating techniques that can help you gain reliable data from your target users.
It is one of the popular ways to validate and test whether your product is worth launching in the market or not. Websites like IndieGoGo or Kickstarter are some of the best platforms where you can test your MVP and raise funds from interested people.
2. Pre-Order Pages
You can validate your MVP by offering your product directly to your potential audience through pre-order pages. If users like your MVP, they can pay for your product prior to launch — what could be more validating than this?
3. Customer Interviews
In a startup no facts exist inside the building, only opinions.
4. Piecemeal MVPs
It is one of the smartest ways to validate your MVP business by investing no to the minimum amount of money in a product and introducing it to the target audience by using existing services, platforms, and tools.
5. Landing Pages
Building a landing page that explains your product’s features is a perfect marketing opportunity to test your MVP, where you analyze your target audience’s interest by the way they interact and behave on the page. Use tools like Hotjar and Google Analytics to track visitor’s analytics.
6. Explainer Videos
A story-driven video explaining your product’s features is an excellent way to test your MVP and increase the number of signups. The video helps demonstrate the ways their product or service will resolve the target customer’s pain points.
Leveraging video to market your product increases revenue 49% faster than those who do not.
7. Ad Campaigns
Ad campaigns pave the way for user engagement even before the product is launched. Platforms like Facebook and Google can help you run the ad campaigns for your built MVP to analyze the engagement, impressions, and clicks.
8. Social media Surveys
Once you have segmented your target audience thoroughly, you can use social media surveys to obtain quick, effective, and honest feedback from potential customers.
9. A/B Testing
A/B Testing is a perfect way to check the effectiveness of various versions of landing pages, email campaigns, apps, newsletters, blogs, and so on. Tools like Hubspot and Google Analytics can be used to gain insights from the data collected.
A/B testing your landing pages can help you generate up to 40% more leads for your business.
10 Ways to Validate Your Minimum Viable Product
How Much does an
Undoubtedly, an MVP costs much less than the entire product. Still, it’s imperative to consider and analyze the MVP cost before starting the MVP development process.
Whether you are developing a mobile app or a website, the MVP cost development varies, depending on different factors, like the idea, design, features, technology stack, and time taken to build an MVP.
1. Initial Budget to Build an MVP
You can follow different approaches to build an MVP for your business — hiring a product development company, freelancers, or managing the development inhouse. Choose any option — it needs an investment of money and time.
2. Time Required to Build an MVP
The time consumed to build the MVP’s first version should not exceed more than two weeks. The first version contains basic features of an MVP like Empathy Map, Prioritised MVP Backlog, Ecosystem Map, User Journey Map, and Stakeholder Map. The cost ranges from $15 to $75 per hour, which can vary depending on the project’s complexity.
3. MVP Cost of Design
The MVP cost also depends on the design complexity. The best approach is to evaluate the User Interface (UI) to analyze the MVP cost of design. A seamless User Experience (UX) relies upon a simple, easily understandable, and navigational UI. Main components that decide the MVP cost of design are:
- Interactions within the Page
4. Number of Features and Complexity
Prioritization of features and its complexity are the two most important factors that define the cost to build an MVP. It’s not easy to list down and prioritize the features for your next MVP, follow the following two approaches to segregate the right and much-needed features for your MVP:
- Blue Ocean Strategy
- MoSCoW Method
In this age of information abundance and overload, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s important to them.
Austin Kleon, a Renowned Novelist
How Much Does an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Cost?
5 Minimum Viable Product
Examples for Your Digital
This philosophy teaches us to leave safe harbor for the rough seas of real-world experience, and to accept that a rough copy out in the world serves us far greater than a masterpiece sitting quietly on our shelves.
Here are these top minimum viable product examples of successful MVPs, focusing on their key feature set.
The facebook avoided spending too much on development and came up with an MVP that connected students of colleges and schools by letting them post messages on their boards. The idea gained a lot of traction, and this MVP example further turned out to be the dominant social networking platform.
An idea to build an SMS based messaging platform for internal use took birth in one of the hackathons held by Odeo, a podcasting platform. However, its employees started spending a lot of money from their pockets to post messages on the platform. Finally, Twitter was released as a final product in 2006.
Because of our emphasis on the long-term, we may make decisions and weigh tradeoffs differently than some companies…
Using a simple WordPress website and PDFs mailed to subscribers, Groupon started to share and socialize vouchers and discounts. Their idea turned successful, and they gradually built their backend and voucher system. The initial website of Groupon is one of the best MVP examples for startups.
4 Steps to Move from MVP
to Full-Scale Product
For most of the business, the MVP development process ends once the MVP is launched into the market. After analyzing the result, businesses then launch a stable and final product, which fails — 90% of such projects fail.
What went wrong? They failed to understand that MVP is not a product to be worked upon for 2-3 months and then hit the market. MVP development is an iterative, virtuous cycle of building, measuring, and learning, which ends when the right product finds its right market
1. Collect Feedback
By gaining real user feedback, you can analyze which of your assumptions went wrong. Quickly learn from your failures and act upon them to get constantly better.
2. Prepare to Scale
Play by the rules, but be ferocious.
3. Get Your Pricing Right
Test various monetization approaches — introduce premium features on top of the basic free version or go with ads, once you see a little spark in your MVP.
Digital product development businesses are at a crossroads, where they need to deliver their products and services at lightning-fast speed to hone their competitive edge. Delivering digital products quickly enough to meet market demands requires a change in processes, methodologies, and behaviors.
Traditional waterfall development methodologies do not fit in the current business environment and are too slow to keep pace with the ever-evolving digital economy. To keep a laser-like focus on satisfying the changing customer’s desires, changes and updates are to be delivered iteratively, with new features launched as an MVP, getting fine-tuned over time.