The concept of MVP may not be clear to most of the aspiring entrepreneurs out there, am I correct? So let’s start with the obvious, the definition.
In layman’s terms, a minimum viable product is a product with just enough features to validate a product idea by attracting early-adopter customers. Eric Ries, the American entrepreneur, and author came up with the concept of Minimum Viable Product (MVP). He described it as the initial phase of the product development cycle. MVP helps receive customer feedback on an idea or product, without draining resources.
Building MVP for your final product is the best way to move forward in startup culture, otherwise, it’s a mess of trial and error method where you end up losing a lot before gaining any insight, leave alone profits!
How cool is that? Also, do you realize the amount of time, money, and resources that you get to save by implementing the MVP approach? If not, stay with me to get a full grasp over the concept of MVP, and then you can decide for yourself.
And hey! If you are an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, then this is something you don’t want to miss. So, follow up!
Introduction to Minimum Viable Product
Wondering who we are and why the shining confidence over the concept of minimum viable product?
Then hi! We are TheCodeWork. An agile team of developers from India, we try and add value to your startup venture, right from ideation to the goal of post-production.
We strongly aim to deliver minimum viable product (MVP) Development with a great product vision.
Gained some confidence in us I hope? Then let’s swiftly move on!
Fundamentals of MVP
Before we talk about building MVP and its various benefits, how about knowing the fundamentals of MVP? This will make the flow of your understanding in a smooth way. So, here we are!
Take a look at this visual summary before moving on to the details.
An MVP should have the following basic elements as listed below:
Functionality encompasses the qualities of complying with a specific purpose. The included features of an MVP should be providing value to customers. Are you getting my point?
An MVP is the early phase of a product development cycle, where you build on the core functionalities. This in turn helps solve a particular problem and simultaneously satisfies the early adopters as well.
The MVP design should be of the highest quality, matching the industry customary. Didn’t you see that coming? Design is like an anchor holding the customers to your product. Yes, the other fundamentals are equally important! But “the first impression is the last impression”, remember?
So as I was saying, the design is the most vital part of a product, be it a fully functional one or an MVP (minimum viable product). With MVP, the static ritual is to keep the design clean and simple and also lay emphasis on the core functionality.
Do you know the benefit of a clean design? It helps you test ideas using the least amount of effort, time, and money. Now, who doesn’t want that?
Okay, now this one is pretty important from the view of brand identity. Let’s talk. See, consistency is the only fragment of your or MVP which connects with the brand identity. This is where you build the foundation of trust and loyalty with your customer base.
If you ever happen to tamper with the consistency of your product, then the customers may stop relating to the brand and slowly fall apart. You surely don’t want that, so let’s take the consistency of an MVP seriously, shall we?
The MVP should be user-friendly as well as intuitive. That’s like the mother-rule for developing any and every product right? So obviously it had to be one of the fundamentals of MVP.
The usability of your product should make things effortless for the users. They should be able to complete a given task smoothly with the help of your product. Isn’t that why they are using the product in the first place? So deliver the required fundamental– A smooth, usability service.
Are we clear with the fundamentals of MVP? If you want a more in-depth view of this segment, hop on to the video on Fundamentals of MVP (link) on our YouTube channel. Go ahead!
How to build an MVP
So what do I mean by “building an MVP”?
Well, an impeccable MVP is the one that showcases the core functionalities of a product. It avoids crowding the product with too many features for the initial phase of the product development process. After all, MVP is about holding up the core features anyway, right? So that’s about it!
Now let’s jump into the various methods to build an MVP. Check this out:
Detecting the problem which needs to be solved: Businesses frequently start their market study and research through various investigations and meetings with clients. Yes, this is how you do it! It helps you get first-hand feedback on what a user needs, wants, or is stuck with. Collect this data and feed the relevant solutions into your MVP. Sounds good?
Examine the competitors in the market: This one is really important! Keeping an eye on the competitors and their products is the underlying key to success.
Once you understand the features of the products that your competitors deliver, you can work on their loopholes! See where I am going with this? No? Why so innocent? Wait I will explain.
Develop the solutions to the loopholes in their products and channelize them into their niche market. See the customer base shifting already? Yes, that’s all you need!
Ideate on value addition: Now, what is value addition? It’s simple. Tell me why should a customer buy your product? Obviously, because he/she is getting some kind of value out of it, right? So that is all I am talking about here.
Before delivering a product in the market, build the MVP around the value that it adds to a customer. This is how you channelize and market the importance and validity of your product. Smart move, I know!
Map out user flow: After you successfully define a work profile, start moving towards the growth and development of the MVP. This is where user flow jumps in!
User flow is a pretty significant feature of MVP. Want to know why? See, when you are building an MVP, you may be so engrossed in the core features that you unintentionally ignore the users’ perspective of the product. This is nothing new. It happens.
So the user flow actually ensures that you do not miss out on anything and build the MVP keeping the final product and user satisfaction in mind. See how important this is?
Prioritize the MVP features: Hey, this one is an exclusive pointer. Suppose you are building an MVP and you have all the features listed out clearly. Now, don’t you need to set a priority on this list? Oh yes, you do! That’s what we will talk about now.
The best way to do this is by asking yourself, what your users want from the product. That’s all. Once you find the answer, set it out as high, medium, and low priorities, and you are done.
Go ahead and build the MVP.
Go ahead and build the MVP.
Also, I would like to add, if you find yourself a bit confused about the whole approach of building an MVP, you can always reach out to us.
We have been talking about MVP for a while now. It’s about time we check on the benefits of MVP. I am sure you were waiting for this bit, right? So, read along.
Suppose you are learning about a new concept in mathematics. You somewhat get a hold of the concept, practice sums around it, and off you go for an examination. But when you get the results, you see that you have failed although you were confident in your approach.
Why so? What would have been a better way to sit for the exam? I am guessing the best way would be to get feedback from your teacher on the approach that you adopted, right? Then you could work on the loopholes and generate a better result without wasting time and energy. Right?
Well, this is exactly what MVP does! MVP helps you get user feedback on the first version of your product. With that data, you can work through the loopholes and generate a better product suited for the users without wasting time and money. Love it, don’t you?
Now let’s check on some of the added benefits:
Quicker client feedback: An MVP enables you to get a hold of the user needs and expectations from your product. This also helps you build a product that serves the needs of your customers.
Save time and money: MVP prevents the drainage of your resources. You must be wondering how so? See, it’s simple. You are testing the product before finalizing it. You have used only a part of your investment in building an MVP, not the whole of it. Also, you get to utilize the time that you save in the process, in a much better way. That’s a win!
Authenticate market drifts: MVP helps you understand and evaluate market demands. this further helps you improve the product that you have already built.
Draw investment: If your product is promising in the MVP phase, then it will surely attract the investors. How great is that! Didn’t see that coming, did you?
Success stories of start-ups with the MVP approach
A Minimum Viable Product is the groundwork of a huge number of prosperous businesses. When talking of MVP, users are frequently skeptical about it. They keep asking for examples of successful businesses that had started with an MVP approach.
So now let me walk you through the fun part! Here are the top 5 MVP success stories which will further seal your trust in the MVP approach.
Check this out, you don’t want to miss this!
Here are a few examples of start-ups that followed the MVP approach:
Twitter is the prime microblogging social media platform in today’s world. The original prototype of Twitter served the purpose of sending messages among the internal employees at Odeo.
Twitter finally became public in the year 2006. It has been growing and expanding since then. We all know about it pretty well now, don’t we?
Groupon is a major global e-commerce platform linking subscribers with native vendors. The founders had suffered a failure and soon resorted to building an MVP.
Their very first sell included just 20 people, after which they popularized the idea through blogs. The response was pretty much compelling enough to go ahead with the idea and here we are now!
Zappos is an online shoe as well as a clothing merchandising market. Initially, it was a basic platform with some photos of shoes that the founder had taken himself.
His application of MVP was to test the product idea and not to make profits then. See how well it worked though!
Buffer is a social media management tool aimed at handling the growth of content on the internet. They started with a simple MVP that consisted of a landing page.
Soon they had people subscribing to it and waiting for updates. There, they had the validation of their product idea and went ahead with it.
Dropbox is a contemporary workshop on the internet providing a file hosting facility. Now Dropbox started with a video that they released on the internet. It simply showcased their idea even before handing out the product to the users.
The video was flooded with comments and feedback which further encouraged them to move forward with the idea!
So as we see, MVP is like the safety jacket to stay afloat in the competitive market and flow of the startup culture. I am sure you are with me on this. To build a product that your clients will be attracted to, it is important to know what they want. It is that simple.
This is exactly where the concept of minimum viable product comes in to save you from confusion, trials and errors, and even a major loss of time and resources.
If you are still reading this, thank you for hanging on! I am sure you needed this. And if you are new to the market and desire to build an MVP, then reach out to us at TheCodeWork.
Till date, we have worked with several brands and startups to turn their ideas into validated actions through our MVP program. Check out our portfolio to have a glimpse of our work.
Till then, happy brainstorming!
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