How MVP Can Help You Save Time and Money while Starting a business?
2 November 2022 8minutes read
Reading Time: 8minutes
Psst, listen? Are you up most nights, questioning yourself about your startup business ideas? Wondering: if the market will accept it? Will the customers like it? What will your customers love the most about your product? What if they hate it? Soooo many questions! We know–we’ve been there too. But guess what! You can now get all your doubts cleared with one simple thing–a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)! How MVP can help you save both time and money, you ask?
Well, that’s what we’ll find out in this article!
But let me give you a one-line overview first: a minimum viable product (MVP) is the most fundamental working model of your idea. It’s like getting a cake, sans the icing.
I’m sure that’s already giving you a hint of how beneficial an MVP can be for your business! An MVP will help you find out whether your startup idea will float in the market. And for just a fraction of the cost needed to launch a full product. How cool is that!
If you can relate to the entire situation I just narrated, then I’ve got the perfect solution for you! And that is……drumroll, please….
get a sense of how/when your customers are using your product/service
understand whether your target market is ready and willing to adopt your product or not
And, if you ask me, the answers to these questions will make all the difference to your startup venture. Don’t you agree?
By the way, here’s a point to remember!
An MVP is different from a prototype or a PoC (proof of concept).
A proof of concept (PoC) and a prototype are both in the pre-product stage. An MVP, on the other hand, means you’ve already entered the product development stage. Now you have an actual product in hand instead of just an idea.
“Success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customer’s problem.”
― Eric Ries, The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
Popular American entrepreneur, author, and founder of Long-Term Stock ExchangeEric Ries‘ 2011 book The Lean Startup introduced various new concepts to the startup world. And of course, MVP was one of them. And the startup landscape hasn’t been the same since.
But in reality, MVPs have been around for much longer than that! In fact, some of the most successful startups (I’m talking AirBnB, Uber, Facebook, etc.) started out as mere MVPs. Hard to believe, I know, but true nevertheless!
And if their success is anything to go by, you too should consider building an MVP before diving headfirst into full product development.
Here’s a detailed list of reasons why:
➡ An MVP is a market-tested product
Tell me something, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just look into the minds of your customers and know what they feel about your product idea? All without spending an eye-watering amount of time, money, or effort?
Well, an MVP is the solution you’ve been looking for!
A minimum viable product is basically like the first airplane ever flown–just a skeleton of wood and fabric, but still flyable. You float it out into the market for early adopters and reviewers. In return, you get
some precious feedback about whether your product is fulfilling customer demands
valuable market data regarding your product (think: buying habits of users, key performance indicators, etc.)
Once you’ve got the hang of your market and target audience, you can then choose to proceed (or not) with a full-fledged product.
I mean, it’s always good to have options, right?
Hey, here’s a tiny real-life example for better understanding:
They started out by offering digital promotional deals to certain subscribers through PDF files. On a simple website.
Their idea was a major hit; they quickly grew their subscriber base. In short, Groupon was validated by customers and its founders (Andrew Mason, Eric Lefkofsky, and Brad Keywell) were assured of their products’ market potential. Consequently, Groupon’s founders could confidently expand the existing core elements into print-ready vouchers from leading brands of the time.
If you want your business to succeed (as of course, you do), the first step is to define your target market. For this, you have to identify potential users and gain early adopters who may be interested in buying your product.
And worry not, because the MVP will help you do this in a jiffy!
Facebook began as a simple website for college students to communicate with one another. Its MVP merely allowed students to connect via online message boards, which cost the company very little, to begin with.
After enhancing some existing features, Facebook took off right away among the college populace. As a result, Facebook validated its concept to its early adopters, growing a loyal base of users soon. As Facebook’s popularity grew, so did its features (after iterations via MVP)! Soon, it had its own app and was making inroads into the mainstream market.
And I’m sure you know the rest of the story from here on!
So hurry up and explore MVP for your product ideas too – Come on!
As an ambitious entrepreneur, I’m sure you want to see your product scale to enormous heights! However, launching (or scaling) a full-featured product prematurely is generally a bad idea. I mean I have been explaining this all along, right?
You will most likely have to pivot at some point in the middle of the product development process. So it makes sense to start by developing an MVP with just the core features.
After you’ve released the MVP and gathered user feedback, that’s the right time to incorporate additional features into your original product. You’re with me on this, aren’t you?
For example, take a leaf out of Amazon’s book: build on foundations that are already there.
As we all know, Amazon started out by selling just books. Delivering just one product to customers’ doorsteps quickly and conveniently propelled Amazon to the heights of fame almost overnight.
Now equipped with a loyal customer base and a sturdy supply chain, Amazon could expand to selling other items as well.
Want a springboard from which to launch your final product? An MVP is the way to go!
Nowadays, more and more investors prefer to invest in a working product. Say, one that has already gained some traction in the market. In this scenario, only an MVP can only help you get through. How you ask?
With a functional MVP, you’re showing potential investors that:
You’ve done your share of market research and have the data to show for it
Your idea has achieved optimum product-market fit
Trust me, these factors will make a world of difference when it comes to fundraising and pitching to potential investors. Basically, providing credibility for the same. Put yourself in the investors’ shoes and answer – wouldn’t you prefer the same?
Have a brilliant idea and want to raise funds to realize it? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Check out TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem–where you’ll get exclusive access to investment opportunities, fundraising guides, and much more!
However, he found an innovative way to go about this. Instead of buying inventory to assess his idea, he posted pictures of footwear he planned to sell to a simple website. He only bought the shoes when customers placed an order. As you can guess, this allowed him to save tons of money (not to mention time and effort) while testing out his idea.
In short, Swinmurn invested strategically in his business and expanded the functionality of Zappos.com. But only after he was assured of the site’s acceptance and the growing demand for shoes online.
Nowadays businesses are experiencing increased competition, consumer demand, and technological innovation. Each aspect of this is good and is welcome – I agree.
In these circumstances, it’s crucial that you present market-ready products/services in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Don’t you think?
Luckily for you, you can easily achieve all this by building an MVP!
Incorporating the MVP strategy will enable your business to enter the market with a sample or test product. In the process, it’ll help you save some precious time, money, and resources that you’d otherwise spend on full development.
From Instagram to Amazon to Uber, these platforms have transformed seemingly small and simple ideas into leading global corporations. Who’s to say…maybe you’ll be next!
And in the meantime, get your business venture rolling with full assistance from India’s first-ever ZERO EQUITY startup ecosystem! Get solutions to all your startup-related roadblocks–be it technical, financial, or legal–with TheCodeWork’s Startup Ecosystem!
Have a fantastic business idea? Get on a call with our team now! We’d love to discuss it with you!
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