What is an MVP and why is it important for your startup?

Oct 2, 2022 |
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Are you aware that almost 70% of startups can go wrong and fail before it even reaches its final form? There are numerous reasons for this and the most viable one is yet to be determined. So how does an entrepreneur prevent his/her innovative startup from biting the dust?

The minimum viable product, otherwise known as the MVP, is one such concept that helps to receive user feedback before the final product is set in motion. This feedback highly reduces the chances of future failures.

These days, especially in the IT industry, the use of MVP is common practice. And we will get to know more about it later in this article. So, if you have an amazingly innovative idea but feel a bit uneasy to proceed with it, this article is just for you!

What is a minimum viable product?

The minimum viable product (MVP) is a new startup concept that allows users to substantiate and validate the product before it reaches its final phase in the development cycle. This agile methodology was brought forward by Eric Ries in 2011 with the hopes of minimizing startup failures.

The core concept of an MVP is to make sure that the product is at least solving one of the significant customer problems while it has all the other necessary means to showcase the product accurately. This method is quite profound in the sense that it allows you to comprehend your product idea beforehand, saving precious time and money in the final design and development process.

MVP lays out the draft for the innovators to perceive where to move and what to improve while working on the product’s development and design. An MVP with thorough precision works on receiving crucial information regarding user interactions with the product.

Why do we need an MVP?

The primary focus of an MVP is to set up and launch the earliest version of the product so that the customer can see whether it can decipher and solve the problem in question. The procedure may sound quite simple, but in practice, it is rarely used by most products.

No matter how vivid and accomplished the final product may look, the primary focus should be to cater to the target audience and be able to solve their specified issues.

Advantages of MVP for your startup

There are numerous advantages of integrating the Minimum Viable Product approach for your startup idea. These perks will not only improve the success rate of the final product but will also attract more investments in the future.

1. Time and Money

With the MVP approach, it is easier to release the product early. As a result, you will have more advantage in the market space while competing with the rest of the companies. In such scenarios, you are more likely to score more engaged users and brand ambassadors.

When you test a simpler form of a product with the help of real users before its final release, you save a significant portion of the budget that would have been required in the whole development process. Therefore, an MVP is substantial as it helps you realize which project is likely to be more successful in the long run.

2. Knowledge and Awareness

MVP allows you to gain more knowledge regarding the preference of the customers. With the help of successful MVP phases, companies can proceed to develop complete versions of their products which will have a lower rate of failure.

Product failure is a critical concern. Thus, companies need to have a proper database of what their target audience prefer and what they do not. Once they have a thorough understanding of this, it decreases the product failure risks.

Awareness is the key to the success of any potential startup. If you are aware of the market trends and what resonates with your target audience, you will know which direction to proceed with your startup. The user feed that you receive will show you the way and lead to the successful development of the full version of your product.

3. Investment

A good number of investors will be more than interested in a product that has a functioning MVP. An MVP with loyal early adopters will be more than enough to convince them of the product’s potential. And when your product gets funded, this will reinstate that it will bring value to the target audience.‍

Steps to building an MVP

A discovery phase is essential when it comes to building your MVP. It will help to point out what is crucial for the next MVPs and their success standard. This process allows you to manage the workflow around the essential elements specifically.

During this stage, you can conduct research and go through dynamic and motivated communication with the clients involved. As a result, a plethora of data is collected in the process which gives way to more insights that the development team can work on.

Step 1: Research

It is futile to proceed with an idea that has no demand in the market. Intending to cater to the market needs, you need to run many surveys and conduct research in the specific field. Collect as much information as possible that will determine the success rate of the product. The more you know, the higher the chances of fitting into the market needs.

And to stand out from your immediate competition, it is also pivotal that you keep a close eye on what your competitors are working on in order to conduct a thorough competitive analysis. The more your product stands out, the better the chances of you having a strong grasp on the market.

Step 2: Specify your idea

Before you proceed with your product, you need to ask yourself a few important questions. Will your users be able to benefit from your product? If so, what value does it offer? These may seem like simple questions, but they go a long way when it comes to communicating the product to its users.

You need to know what the target audience entails so that your MVP is built surrounding that innovative and specified idea.

Step 3: Relate with the users

The design and development of the product is a critical stage and should be monitored thoroughly. The design must be suitable for the users. And you cannot let personal preference get in the way of user satisfaction.

The user’s sentiment and opinion of the product should be the primary concern. Thus, you must put yourself in their shoes and take measures accordingly.

Step 4: Prioritize Features

Before you build a particular MVP, it is important to have a record of all the features that you wish to add to the product. This is when you must ask yourself what your users need. Whatever you are providing needs to be valuable and should stand out from the rest of your competitors.

Once you are done listing out all the features, put them in a tier list of: low, medium, or high. This will help you to draft a basic version of your product. And afterward, you can move on to building the MVP.

Step 5: Build an MVP

Now that you have researched the market, know about the users’ needs, and have prioritized what features need to be highlighted, you can now start the building process.

Your MVP does not need to be at the top of the game as it is meant to be a version that is handy and engaging to the users involved.

Step 6: Test the Product

Once the product is completed, it needs to go through the testing process which is carried out by Quality Assurance (QA) engineers who also work to make further improvements to the product.

The end-users are the ones who will be able to detect what the product lacks and identify the features which are deemed useless. Their feedback will help to improve the product which will then go through many tests until it has been polished to the max.

MLP: the new MVP

Corroborating to your client’s needs is a given. But at times, it is not enough to grab their full attention. To impress them, it is better to step things up a notch.

MLP, otherwise known as minimum lovable product, focuses on building an audience that stays loyal to the product. In a sense, it is always better to have a group of people who love your product than to have many users who simply like the product. The latter might shift to something better when the time comes. But the ones who remain loyal will always stay and also bring new customers along the way.

Checklist for building MVP

It is essential to build products with a clear goal in mind. The same goes for any MVPs. It is important to connect with the target audience. In order to do so, the following strategies can be taken into consideration:

  • Including emotion in the product as most of us rarely use logic while purchasing anything.
  • Staying true to one specific feature helps to navigate your product and communicate it better to the audience.
  • Being ahead of the competition with the help of competitive analysis.

It is always easy to replace any product. And in today’s modern age, you are expected to come up with an innovation that is not only useful but gives an overall amazing experience.

With the help of MVP, not only will your chances of failure decrease significantly but it will also save you time, money, and other resources. This approach is groundbreaking as it helps you to launch your brainchild with negligible expense so that you can find the targeted audience who’ll provide the insights based on their experience resulting in further improvement of your product and the final launch when the time comes.

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