Many software engineers (as well as product owners) face the problem of not having the final image of what they want to obtain in the end. It is true that some features and specifics emerge in the process of development, so how to secure yourself from unnecessary time delays and extra expenditures by moving to the product of your dream incrementally? Consider the minimum viable product for your startup (MVP)! It is a great solution for piloting products in the market, and a real game-changer in the field of agile product management.
What is MVP in Startup and Why It Is Important
MVP stands for the Minimum Viable Product; this term was coined by Eric Ries, the author of a ground-breaking work The Lean Startup, and one of the founders of lean technologies in its present-day meaning. Major benefits associated with developing MVPs for startups are:
- It helps prioritize a core set of product features and test them;
- Its pilot testing gives product owners a chance to understand what customers need from the product via a strong customer feedback loop;
- It guarantees you are creating a product with features considered valuable by the customers;
- It is a great way to show your product earlier and attract investors in the initial stages of the development process;
- It provides feedback and viability;
- It allows you to hit the market as fast as possible;
- It is more affordable than launching a product with full functionality and make changes after the release;
- It is possible to detect certain trends to follow when building the full-fledged product;
- It is an effective test to ensure that the product fulfills customers’ wants and needs and delivers business value.
MVP: The Core of Lean Startups
Making MVP for a startup is a great idea. As the benefits enumerated above suggest, MVPs allow effective testing of a business idea’s viability before you commit to it in full. Everybody knows that any startup in the form of full-scale product development may be very costly, while modern competition in the field of technology and apps is more than fierce. Thus, succeeding in the market is possible only when you know for sure what your customer needs.
It’s quite easy to clarify with the help of quick and affordable MVP development and testing. Hence, MVP has laid the basis for lean startup processes in the following way:
- Elimination of uncertainty;
- Smarter (instead of higher) work via user engagement in the product’s premise validation;
- Actual MVP development as a way of learning with minimum investments in trial-and-error;
- Validated learning and ability to change development paths as soon as a deviation from consumer needs is detected.
Test Your Value Proposition with MVP
Based on these considerations, many businesses develop MVPs now with the following set of purposes in mind:
- Testing a value proposition.
- Testing the value and growth hypotheses.
- Establishing how a business will grow.
- Pivoting (i.e., continuous product improvement).
Effective development of MVP for startups may be accomplished easier and quicker with the following checklist in mind:
- How do my potential clients use the product?
- What pain points might my target audience have?
- What do I learn from observing my potential customers?
- What do people say about the product?
- What do they like and dislike about it?
- How does the product differ from the competitors’ solutions?
- What issues does my product solve?
- Would the customers pay (X money) for the product?
- How do they want product owners to improve the product?
- What do I think about the necessary changes?
- How can I improve the product based on the available feedback?
Remember that using MVP for a startup saves months of work on a product that people may not necessarily want to pay for. It’s also crucial to know everything about your audience. You will have to provide the customers with a core set of product features that solve some of their issues. So, don’t hesitate to use this method for getting the most from your new product launch with minimum expenditures.