Thinking about launching a product?
Wondering how Minimum viable product can help you out?
Let’s imagine an entrepreneur who made a shipment of stuffed cockroaches all shapes and sizes at the factory, and now he is trying to sell it to you. How much time do you think a stuffed cockroach seller needs in order to understand that he will be stuck with these merchandises? And how much money did he spend to find out that people are not so keen to buy them?
It looks a bit funny from the outside. However, things get extremely unfortunate if you were such a seller of an unnecessary product, to which you spent a lot of money, time and effort.
Developing a complex final product, running sales and hoping that it will be bought is the path to failure. This refers to all businesses.
Minimum Viable Product: The wrong way to launch a product
You started educational courses – “everything from the Japanese language to business promotion on the Internet”. You paid the authors, speakers, found and rented premises, launched a website and an advertising campaign. And when sales began, clients did not buy courses even after your appealing discount. Ouch.
There is another way to test the market and whether or not people want to buy your product. Building mvp before taking a change with a product will lead you to success.
Launching a new product in a right way
Before launching a new service, you, first of all, need to check the demand for it. Prepare a description of the service, draw illustrations and create, a promotional page. One approach is to only launch the product when the page gets 10 000 likes.
In this article, we will look at the minimum viable product (MVP). What it is and how can it help your business.
MVP as reconnaissance by battle
The concept of a minimum viable product is attractive since its essence is about investing less, checking value and only then optimizing. The creation and launch of MVP is not a prerogative of startups. It may be applied to any business spheres.
MVP gives you a great opportunity to try to interact with the market and learn about the problems and disappointments of potential customers, which is the best indicator of what product they will readily pay for.
If your “firstborn” even on the early stage is interesting for customers – the project is viable. The consumer literally chooses with a dollar the product he or she likes.
One of the best examples of MVP is Snapchat. Initially, it had only one feature – it allowed users to send each other images that disappeared after a while. Just one feature. The concept was tested, it became clear that it was a success, and only then the creators began working on extensions.
It’s not about you, it’s about your audience
Startup founders tend to forget that they are not the end users of their products. Their desires and preferences do not necessarily coincide with the desires and preferences of users. MVP is ideal for getting information on whether your app/service/product meets the needs of a target audience.
In fact, you test not the product itself, but how people treat it. And for that, it is important to determine your audience. Ask the classical questions like for whom is your product? – Housewives, students, parents or all at once? To begin with, the number of audiences can be large – gradually unprofitable ones will be eliminated.
Don’t guess, check
You need feedback from potential customers. Before buying, people try the goods themselves, look for its cons and may find issues and things you don’t expect or haven’t thought about yourself. Their awkward and unpredictable questions will help improve the product even at the design stage.
People will leave their feedback if they are directly asked for it. Give links to your accounts in social networks or add a block with comments on the page or ask them to fill in the form with questions. Even with a small traffic on your page, you can collect a dozen or more reviews that will help make the service or product better.
Reduce time development
MVP is the minimum version of the product which is launched to real customers to get the business idea validated. It is about leaving all design delights aside. It is about speed and simplicity of development.
It is always better to start with a minimum. Every new feature that you put into the product costs you precious time, time that distances you from the product launch.
If something is not included in the main functionality – it’s better to leave it for later. It is not that this functionality is useless, it just does not represent a lot of value at this point in time.
Yes, the product should have a strong starting position, however, it doesn’t need to have all bells and whistles for people to use it. The product must successfully solve some specific problem(s) and satisfy a need.
All you need to do is let customers know what problems your service/product solves and how it does it. People want to know what they get in exchange for the money spent. If they consider the problem worth more to solve than your solution costs, they’ll buy it.
Adjusting the course immediately
Most of the famous companies started with other products. Changing the course is absolutely normal. In the situation when customers did not like your product or loved it not for what you expected, there’s nothing to worry about.
Yes, customers didn’t like your novelty – the toothpaste with tomato flavor, however, they liked the package. They didn’t like new shoe line that you want to start producing, however, they liked shoelaces. Users liked your app for cool texting features, and not for its photo editing tools as you thought. Adjust, adapt and move on.
And with an MVP it is much easier to do rather than with a complex product.
It is easy to funnel millions of dollars into production, office, and staff, drawing a beautiful business plan, but these costs not always pay off. Thanks to the MVP and the reaction of your audience you will learn a lot of useful information that will come in handy to you in the future, and before investing all of that into your product launch that is a complete fail. If your idea was successful, you can safely proceed to the following stages of development and promotion of your product. This will ultimately save you a ton of time and money.
About the Author
Olga Veretskaya is a blogger and writer from Anadea – software development company. Olga writes articles on the topics related to digital technology for business.