What is MVP and Why Your Startup Needs It

Often, companies spend years developing products, then internalizing that the hypothesis is actually wrong. A carefully designed product that took a lot of time and money to design, turns out to be unnecessary for anyone. In many cases, the reason for the failure of the startup is the absence of market demand. MVP helps to make sure that the product is really needed. It can also help to abandon the unprofitable idea.

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MVP is a minimum viable product. MVP helps to test hypotheses and helps to get a consumer response. The functionality is usually limited, but it is enough for consumers to start using it. It’s great to utilize MVP for startups, as it can help solve many problems at once. So, let’s have a more detailed look at what MVP actually is.

What MVP is needed for

The key idea of MVP is that you create a real product that can be offered to customers. And then you watch the reaction to it and finalize the solution taking into account the preferences of consumers. So the company will not create goods that customers do not want to buy.

The main task of MVP is to reduce the time and effort to test the idea before you launch a full-fledged product.

How to create an MVP

It is quite difficult to draw up detailed instructions for creating an MVP. The procedures vary depending on product type, market peculiarities, team capabilities, etc. But in general, creating the minimum viable product can be represented in the following sequence of steps.

  • Define the main product task

For a product to be in demand, it must solve a specific consumer problem. It’s essential to know why potential customers need it and why they should purchase it. The detailed response will help you understand which tasks MVP should solve first of all.

  • Set a “narrow” target audience

A huge mistake is to create MVPs for a wide audience. A large amount of information and too many contradictory reviews from users make it difficult to find a working model of the product. Therefore, it is necessary to narrow the audience.

At this stage, try to describe a portrait of the ideal buyer – a person who will definitely be satisfied with your solution. The more precise you describe the customer, the better. Try to come up with the following:

– age;

– education;

– income level;

– interests;

– habits and so on.

During the MVP testing process, offer to the audience the product that fits the image of the ideal customer the best.

  • Explore the market

Even if you come up with a really new product, there may already be similar solutions on the market. Examine the market. Find out what exactly competitors offer, what market share they occupy, and how they attract customers. Third-party experience can be useful in adjusting your own solution.

  • Build a client path map

After you have analyzed the future product, it is high time to evaluate it from a consumer’s point of view. You need to understand a client’s path.

The client path should be short, simple, and convenient. A detailed description of all customer activities will help you understand what information you lack or what details will help you present the product.

  • Select basic functions

It is possible that your final product will solve several problems at once. But a large number of options at the test stage will only confuse consumers. You will not be able to fully test the idea and will get lost in a huge volume of reviews.

First of all, select the basic functions that solve the main product task. There should not be too many of them. Sort all the features according to importance – you will add those you lack after you launch the product.

  • Create an MVP

There are several software development methods applicable to MVP development. Those are scrum, kanban, lean, XP. Select the one that suits you better and create an MVP.

Read more: How to Get Money for a Startup Business?

MVP benefits

A minimally viable product makes it possible to do the following:

  • test the hypothesis based on real data and prove the viability of the idea;
  • reduce the possibility of financial losses when starting an unprofitable product;
  • reduce development costs by eliminating unnecessary functions;
  • identify customer needs that were not taken into account;
  • optimize product testing and accelerate error detection;
  • assemble the initial customer base before full-scale launch;
  • enter the market and attract investors.

No matter how brilliant a business idea is, it is not a final result yet. It is difficult to understand whether it will be successful or not based on assumptions. An MVP makes it possible to check whether the idea will interest potential consumers. As a result, MVP will prevent financing of failed projects, help to choose the best area of ​development, and allow you to collect a base of potential customers in advance.