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What Is MVP And How You Can Build it?

So many startups fall into the trap of perfecting their product before launching it to the world. The problem arises when they haven’t tested their idea in the market and dumped their whole investment into it.

What if it isn’t as ground-breaking as you thought it was? What if your idea, even if good, isn’t converted into a product your target audience would have liked? That’s a waste of money and time.

To overcome this risk, many startups or even big businesses create an MVP first - Minimum Viable Product.

What is MVP?

MVP means a product just enough to solve the problem it was meant to solve - nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t yet have the complementary features or add-ons to make it even bigger and better.

MVP is developed to test your idea. How? By letting your target audience use your MVP and see what feedback you receive. Does it solve the problem? Does it work the way it was supposed to be? Is it easy to use, or are your customers facing any issues?

This helps you save time and money and ensures that you are investing it in a winning horse. MVP also lets you present your product to your investors to see it working in real life. This makes them more likely to invest if they see the potential in your product.

Examples of MVP

Facebook

Do you know the social media giant we see today was once just a way for Harvard University students to connect with each other? This was the humble MVP of Facebook. Who knew it would connect the whole world one day?

Uber

Uber started in 2009 as Ubercab. To test whether the idea of shared cab service had a market, they launched their service that can be availed by an iPhone app or SMS only. The service was also limited to San Francisco. Fast forward to 2021, it generated a revenue of over USD 17 Billion.

Common issues with developing an MVP

Many startups created a reliable MVP and used it to test their product/service, identify demand, and get feedback to make it even better. However, if you get it wrong, you may have to face the consequences.

Here are some common issues that you need to keep in mind before even starting to develop your MVP.

  1. Right Positioning

    What does your MVP need to have, and what needs to be skipped, at least for now? You need to strike a balance between a bulky MVP loaded with unnecessary features and a fiasco that fails to solve even the core problem.

  2. Keeping the launch time short

    Let’s say people loved your MVP but also experienced some glitches that you cannot ignore (it almost always will). How long will it take you to work them out and fully launch your product after that?

    If you take a lot of time, competition can pop up even before you start and you may have to share a significant share of the market that you have identified. The point is that don’t take too long to launch or else you may lose your first-mover advantage.

  3. Developing a quality MVP

    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a poor-quality MVP will do. Developing an MVP is about having a powerful product that properly serves its main purpose rather than having an awful product with 10 features.

    People don’t care at what stage of development you are in. Thus, you cannot get away with masking your product’s failure by calling it an MVP. It has to be good. Period.

A question will definitely have passed through your mind, “How to build MVP that helps you enter the market without putting in a lot of money?” Let’s have a look at the process in depth.

Step-by-step process of MVP development

  1. Find the exact value your product provides

    Every product either solves a problem, fulfills a need, or both. What about your product? Which exact problem it solves or need it fulfills. How does it benefit your target audience? Answering these questions helps you find the value it brings to the lives of people.

    Here it is essential to know who exactly are you targeting. You cannot have a product that serves everyone. Define your exact target audience

  2. Conduct a market research

    One of the purposes of MVP is to understand the needs of your customer. However, it is a good idea to conduct market research even before developing an MVP to see if the gap you are trying to fulfill really exists.

    One of the main reasons why startups fail is that they build a product that wasn’t needed in the first place. Conducting market research can be as simple as creating a form and sending it out to your target audience. You will definitely fetch some unexpected insights

  3. Map user journey

    Take it as a movie where your target audience is the protagonist. A movie has a story, and a story has a problem. You already know the problem of your hero. Thus see what steps he takes to solve that problem via your product.

    Start from your customer finding you and go till he performs your desired action - usually, it is purchasing or subscribing. Determine what steps come in between. From which pages does he have to go in your website, web app, or mobile app?

  4. Find which features you absolutely need to have

    Your vision with your idea may be very wide. But you need to take it step-by-step. Remember the MVPs of business giants I showed you earlier? So start humble and grow.

    So list out all the features you desire to have in your product at every stage. Then categorize them as per the priority they demand - high, medium, or low. Just focus on your high priority features that are an absolute must to have to solve the problem your product is trying to solve.

  5. Develop your MVP and launch it

    Now begins the real game as you will be building the first real version of your product. Here you have two options:

    1. Develop it yourself
    2. Hire someone professional to do it for you

    As I said earlier that MVP doesn’t mean that a poor quality product will do for your audience. They won’t have any mercy for you. That is why it is a better option for you to hire someone professional unless you are a skilled developer having any experience in building such products.

    You can find a freelancer or remote developers. Once done, launch it with your eyes, ears, and mind open. Then move fast to make it even better and keep on adding the secondary features.

Conclusion

Nobody starts with a perfect product or service. It is how you improvise and adapt to the market that determines how long and impactful will be your journey. Here are some reasons why developing an MVP is a must: -

  1. It helps you to understand your target audience - their needs, behaviors, etc.
  2. It helps you ensure that there is a need for your product/service without wasting a fortune.
  3. Attracts investment once the proof of concept is done.
  4. Gives your audience a first-hand experience of your product. It is more likely to bring you concrete and actionable feedback.
  5. It helps you to focus on the necessary and shed the rest.
  6. It is easier to build an MVP than a full-fledged product which makes it less overwhelming.

If you are looking to start your own startup or bringing in a new product to your already well-established company, it is important baby steps that help you take giant strides, and building an MVP is one of them. So what are you waiting for?

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