Start-ups: Unlock Success with MVPs

"A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort."

 

Understanding MVPs:

MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product – a strategic manoeuvre that allows companies to essentially dip their toes into uncharted markets. MVPs are new products that have been built with the minimum amount of features required to make them viable. In this way the MVP enables a company to collect large amounts of validated data and learnings about their target market without having to first develop a full-blown product.

Navigating the New Product Landscape:

Steering Clear of Common Pitfalls:
The common mistake many companies make when developing and scaling a new product, is that they invest substantial resources—time, money, and personnel—into building a finished product, hoping customers will embrace it when they finally launch. Lean start-ups adopting the MVP technique instead construct their products in small, incremental steps whilst at the same time analysing data and customer feedback at each stage. Companies like Dropbox and Zappos successfully employed this MVP strategy, which allowed them to refine their offerings based on this valuable real-time customer feedback.

In the end, embracing this iterative approach helps reduce the over-all development process, and sets the product up for success!

The Real Deal Behind MVPs:

Mitigating Risks and Streamlining Costs:
The journey of creating a new product can be a rollercoaster, fraught with risks and extensive development hours. MVPs are critical in mitigating the inherent risks and extensive time requirements associated with building a new product. Despite no guarantee of selling the final product, an MVP enables companies to initiate relationships with potential customers sooner, gathering valuable feedback for necessary adjustments. This approach reduces overall costs by preventing the inclusion of unnecessary features and staggering costs through iterative development.

Exemplars like Airbnb and Uber bear testament to the effectiveness of MVPs in shaping success stories by aligning their offerings with user expectations.

7 Steps to Develop an MVP:

For those working on a new product and planning to use the MVP approach, here are 7 steps, to get your product on its way:

  1. Understand the Market: Conduct market research, collect data, engage with industry professionals, define your target market and analyse potential competitors. This is all to create a clear picture of the environment your product will operate within, and the people who will use it. This understanding is critical as it will help you down the track to make decisions on the solution and how you will prioritise various features.

  2. Define the Problem: Once the market landscape is clear, carefully define the specific problem your product aims to solve. This may require breaking the problem down into a series of smaller problems. Understanding the context of the problem is also important, when or why it occurs, as well as the impact the problem is having on its target market e.g financial, time, reputation etc. 

  3. Design the Solution: Design the most efficient and cutting-edge solutions to crack the identified problem. Design by keeping the problem you are solving in focus, and also keeping in mind how the proposed solutions will add value to your target market. Consider your competitors and how the solution will stack up against theirs. 

    MVP Features Priority Matrix - iNNsite Web Development Melbourne
  4. Prioritise Features for MVP: List all of the features from the solution design. Using your knowledge of the market, your target customers and their expectations, as well as the problem,  categorise the features into the following buckets: Must-haves, Should-haves, Could-haves, and Won’t-haves. Based on the priority assigned to each feature, flag those that would be required at minimum to create a viable product for your target market, as these will form your MVP.

  5. Plan Your Iterations: Prepare a release schedule with high priority features identified for your MVP included in the earliest iterations of release. Other features should be included in later iterations, depending on their level of importance. Features listed in the won’t haves shouldn’t be included at all, and the could haves are those most likely to drop-off should compromise be required along the way, so if including them, plan to include them in later iterations. 

  6. Build, Analyse, Refine, Repeat: Build your MVP! Then gather data and feedback, conduct your analysis and arrive at your findings. These findings should then feed into review and adaptation of the the solution design and the future iterations release schedule.

  7. The Grand Unveiling: After travelling this strategic path, your product will emerge as a bespoke solution tailored to meet your customers needs. It’s time for the big, grand reveal!
Contact us to learn more about how to approach or structure your MVP, or to learn more about the web development services we offer at iNNsite. 

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