Building a startup today has a cool factor to it. The term entrepreneurship is on everyone’s mind. It seems like almost everybody wishes to become an entrepreneur of some sort. And yet, 90%of startups fail. Most business ideas are ignored and overlooked by investors due to the risk of an associated loss. Both investors and entrepreneurs get discouraged from putting anything into an idea that indicates their investment might be wasteful.
To solve this problem, Frank Robinson coined the term Minimal Viable Product (MVP). This term describes a system that gave startups a chance to test their products in a legitimate market environment with their everyday customers. With that in mind, this blog covers what MVP is, What are its types, and what makes it a necessity in today’s market.
So What Exactly Is MVP?
Technically, A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product that gets created upon a concept which focuses on providing just enough features usable by a customer. In return, the customers can then provide feedback for any future product development. It gives the company a chance to test the product in a legitimate market environment, with everyday customers to evaluate its performance.
An MVP allows a team to gather the maximum amount of authentic user feedback and analytics without the extra efforts that might go into it otherwise. That is done by having customers test and provide feedback about their experiences before actually purchasing the product. That feedback, in turn, is used to observe user behavior with the product and use the data acquired for the product development process further on.
The Types Of MVP
Essentially, there are six types of MVPs. They are as follows:
Concierge MVP: This type of MVP helps directly solve problems that might take place with potential customers. It encourages testing product ideas using manual assistance. Instead of providing the product straightaway to an actual user, it goes to a manual service that undergoes the similar steps that a customer would go through when using your product.
Wizard Of Oz MVP: With the term inspired by the famous children’s book, Wizard Of Oz MVP goes contrary to Concierge. It refers to a form of MVP that seems like a legitimate product, but its tasks are carried out manually in the background. It does the job in ways that the end-users go unaware that humans are working behind the whole process. While not a scalable operation, it does help validate an idea.
Piecemeal MVP: This type helps deliver a new service or a product by using already existing solutions. The utility of the already existing products gets combined with the resolutions. That helps provide additional value to the initial customers. It’s similar to Concierge in a way that you go through the same steps that you would while using the actual product.
Landing Page MVP: A Landing Page is a website where a customer lands after they get invited to, using an email, a social media post, or other channels. A landing Page MVP can be used to present the product or a project idea to potential customers. The main aim behind creating such a page as an MVP is to address customer concerns and feedback.
That is done by collecting any information that one can before launching the product. Such actions could be taken by the potential customers by subscribing to the company newsletter, inviting friends, or buying something directly.
Crowdfunding MVP: If a company has its research sorted out, and has a strong pitch for its products ready, then it’s prepared for Crowdfunding MVP. Crowdfunding MVP often gets used for physical devices such as electronics, fashion, or lifestyle products. But it also can be used for software products such as video games and other applications.
Single Feature MVP: Not every product is for everybody. Thus, it is crucial to not merely add every feature in the application that a customer might request. Instead, it is better to channel the focus on a single key attribute that might bring the most value to the customer and make them test it.
The Importance Of MVP:
A Minimum Viable product reduces any risk associated with the introductory or beginning part of a unique project. An MVP initially gets introduced to a limited number of users to test its performance and then to the masses later on. This process helps identify specific areas that need critical improvements.
Below lie some more of the reasons that MVP became a necessity in today’s market:
- It helps test the products in legitimate market conditions. Without which critical evaluation of the product becomes impossible.
- It focuses on the key features of a product. If not done so, deciding which features should get implemented (without bloating the product) and which ones shouldn’t become a ludicrous task.
- It helps reduce product cost and time by focusing on the main features of the product. This one comes to no surprise as overspending or underspending on any product leads to an inevitable demise.
- It speeds up the team’s learning curve by helping the team realize and understand the user experience and feedback in modulated steps. Something that is not achievable through internal research and testing.
- A quick turn happens with the team: from linear to agile and iterative processes. Instead of a traditional, internal research process, the company releases the MVP and lets the customer test it. It then collects relevant feedbacks to fuel the iterative loop. This loop, in turn, is used to develop any future version of the product.
It is safe to conclude that implementing and deploying a Minimum Viable Product in today’s market is an absolute must. First coined as a term in 2001, it has now become the standard method of deploying and releasing products in the market, be it of any kind. Without this method, a lot of risks come into play. And with it, a lot of them get aversed.