The driving factor behind a startup in most cases will be a great idea (well..good idea if not great), a solution for a gap existing in the targeted domain. An idea which will be shaped into a product. But all good products/ideas might not take off.
There is a key factor called user adoption which determines your success chances. You need to caliberate your product to improve its user adoption chances. What’s the best way? Any guess… Well getting feedback from your pilot customers iteratively is a good way.
It is always better to start engaging the customers early and validate your product with them.If you agree with me so far, spend some more time to understand the keyword MVP.
A Minimum Viable Product ( MVP) is a practice by which a startup can reach there pilot customers with the core of your new product developed with minimum effort (cost/resource) and in a very short time instead of complete solution in one shot. The product can be validated with its real users by this way and evolved further with the customers feedback iteratively. Let’s try to understand the advantages one by one .
Startup need mvp to reduce the cost of iterations
Suppose the product that you are planning to implement needs $10000 to be spent in development and other related stuff to be completely ready for your customers. Till you hit the customers all you have mostly is a prediction based on your market study about what the customer want and how he wants it.
There is always a chance that the product still has flaws which might repel a major percentage of the targeted customers. And you might need a much larger time span to get this product finished for the customer. It is painful, if you realize that you need to pivot for user acceptance, at a later stage after investing a lot of time and money.
Save time and money from early mistakes
A Startup need mvp to save your valuable time and money here and yet helps to minimize customer rejection. Identify your pilot customers and identify what is the minimal core feature of the product that you can give to them for a review. It can be a mock up or a video or few basic use cases and a lot of detail about what you are planning to do. The target is to keep the cost and effort less and launch the mvp fast.
It might need only $500 or $1000 to get an MVP ready and may be a few weeks and you are ready to go live to your pilot customers for validation and feedback.
The customers can give you feedback about what they liked , what they think need to be changed, what more they want and how much they are willing to pay for the service.
You can build your product iteratively further with the early customers giving valuable inputs. Some of them can become product evangelists who can seriously contribute in giving direction to the product.
Startup need mvp to attract investors with less initial effort
You can attract investors
who can help you with the funding much needed to take your startup to the next level. Also you can attract good talents to work for your startup which is otherwise difficult. And the best thing is if a majority of the early customers think that the idea is not worth putting money on, you can think of pivoting with $9500 still in hand.
Hit the market faster and start to evolve and mature
Your MVP will not be the final product but the core basic part of it which you can create quickly for your early customers. An mvp will need only a fraction of the time needed for actual product execution. The early adopters are tolerant to problems and missing functionality and they can give you valuable feedback which can be used as the direction to drive your further evolution of the product.
Keep the system lightweight so that the changes will be easier
In the early stages of your product. One thing that is almost 100% sure is that you will have to change a significant amount of functionality over the initial period. A heavy system with lot of functionality and architectural skeleton will be more resistant to change and need more hands to do that. Keeping the technology architecture and code minimal helps here. A startup need mvp to provide the easiness to make changes very fast which gives the advantage to hit market lightining fast gain with the changes and start measuring response.
MVP or Minimum Viable Product is a very effective business strategy.You can consider it as a communication channel rather than the product. As it helps the product evolution in an agile way with customer involvement, it ensures higher market adoption and increases success chance.
So if you are an entrepreneur at your initial steps plan for an mvp rather than an enterprise solution as your first target.