Every start-up has five main stages: idea development, MVP, verification, working prototype and validation. There is no doubt that every process of a startup is essential to the product development. Today, we are going to talk about the second, vitally important stage – Minimum Viable Product (MVP). So, what does MVP mean?
MVP is the simplified version of the project that leads to the learning and validating with the least amount of effort and resources. It means that MVP is the most convenient time to show to your target audience the main function of your product/service.
Why is it so important?
First of all, MVP helps you to reach out to the audience and get useful feedback from them. It answers the questions like “Who is the customer?”, “Do they have a need relating to your idea?”, “Does your product fit that need?”, “Will the customers be able to pay for it”. These are four simple, but definitely vitally important questions to ask and to test at the early stage of any startup. When you test the MV product, you really have a great opportunity to reach out to your aimed audience, talk to them, let them experience the facet of your product and get their feedback.
Secondly, with the help of MVP, every startup is able to know whether it delivers the true value of the customers or not. And actually, it asks directly “What’s the Value or what you are offering?”. Usually, the MVP is based on the interaction in the understating of the customers’ needs and gains. To understand the audience’s attitude to your product and the feelings that people experience helps any startup to build the community of the potential customers.
And thirdly, MVP is the product prototype which can be tested in so many different ways based on the goal and resources. For instance, crowd funding by demonstrating videos and photos of the product, A/B test by asking different groups of customers about different versions of the product at the same time, landing page test by launching the website of the upcoming product. All the examples of the test ways will help you to observe behavioral changes in customers according to the product variations. Overall, the testing evaluates is the initial goal is solved in a manner that it makes reasonable to move forward.
Minimum viable product examples
Dropbox has done the fascinating job with its MVP. Before even their working product, they launched a three-minute video that explained that showed the value they wanted to offer. The people who watched it were so excited that Dropbox gained almost 75000 customers overnight. It makes you really think how MVP can influence the audience, lead to success and build your knowledge.
“Dropbox’s explainer video served as a brilliant validation of the market before the founders ever had to invest in the infrastructure and development needed for a high-tech product like theirs to reach a functional level in the real world. It walked potential customers through what the product is and clearly demonstrated how it would help them, eventually leading to why they would want to pay you for it.»
Airbnb is the second bright example of the most successful MVP. The idea developed after the day Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbie opened up their loft as the alternative cheap accommodation for those who attended the conference in 2007. They had some customers and it led them to try out the so-called “concierge” MVP that helped them to validate the market and prove the fact that people would be interested in the service.
Apple, Tumblr, eBay, Kickstarter etc. are the companies that started their development from MVP and that led them to a successful outcome. And still, they use different MVP prototype tests every time they launch a new product/service to be focused on what’s valuable, important and building that.