It’s the same old story; you have a product that you want to sell. You know that there are going to be takers. After all, field tests do not lie. So you do what makes sense in this day and age; you take your product to World Wide Web. But how do you market it? The businesses of today use MVPs.
What is an MVP?
MVP or Minimum Viable Product is a term in web development. It basically defines a process in which new products or websites are developed according to specific features that will attract early adopters.
The term itself was coined by startup consultant and writer, Eric Ries who defines it as “…a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
In other words, an MVP is an elementary version of a product.
In order for an MVP to have any affect at all, it must have at least three basic characteristics –
- It has enough value to attract buyers or users
- It has enough potential to retain early adopters
- It has a feedback loop that provides data for future development
Of course, you also need to ensure that your product gains the feedback you need to guide development.
Starting a new service or promoting a new product as an MVP has its benefits –
Less is More
While you may be tempted to perfect your first product from the get go, the decision may come back to bite you especially since you don’t know how it will be received by your target audience. You aren’t alone. Most new businesses tend to overbuild new releases in a bid to outrun the competition. This is often accompanied by a fear; a fear that underbuilding might set the product up for failure.
But can such a product guarantee its success? The beauty of an MVP is that it actually improves its chances of success. Here is how –
- It doesn’t need to be reworked as much
- It allows you to focus on core value propositions and efficiencies
- It brings focus to critical business functions
- It allows you to create relationships with customers immediately
Let’s explain the concept with an example. Let’s say that your pizzeria just started a home delivery service. You decide to design an app that has basic functions and allows users to place their orders online. You get in touch with them once they select their choice and provide their contact information. Keep in mind; you still don’t know how successful your idea will be until you test it out. If your customers are happy with the app, you can add some more features that will make it even more valuable for paying customers.
By allowing you to create relationships with early adopters sooner, a Minimum Viable Product makes it possible for you to authenticate your value propositions early as well. Testing basic functions before you scale ensures that the weakest are improved and that any feature that you add in the future works perfectly for your target audience.