Minimum Viable Product is the phase of validation of a project, and it answers the question, ‘’Is my idea worth realizing?
In the competitive world of business, every product produced by an entity has as principal aim to succeed. The need for different business is being implied by a startup that boosts the production and the evolution of the product with time. The startup has developed other business models; in this article, you shall be completely informed on the MVP product management and production. This article will answer all your questions about :
What is MVP?
Minimum Viable Product is a product with features that satisfies the customer in its early stage and gets updates based on the customers’ feedback reports, thus increasing the performance of the product depending on the needs of the customer and the trend.
The MVP concept was created and tested in 2001 by Frank Robinson. This business model was later polarized by Steve Blank ( Entrepreneur from Silicon Valley, teaches Entrepreneurship at Columbia University); he developed the Lean startup concept, which is very successful. Another central character that led to the popularizing of this method is Eris Ries (entrepreneur, author of the book << The lean startup >> and blogger )
The Concept Behind MPV?
This conception went viral; Henrik Kniberg drew it in 2016. It shows the development of two products, one and 2. Since Henrik Kniberg drew this concept, it has gone viral, and it is since used in almost all presentations and articles on the topic. Even in the book User-story-Mapping by Jeff Patton. Below is the description of each product development.
The top row shows the evident misconception or misinterpretation about the development of a product known as Agile.
Many projects or products are unsuccessful not because they are not realized properly, but because of the Big bang effect. Most Agile products are classified as being unfinished because the product is presented to the public in its final state.
Let’s call our client Henry. Mr. Henri ordered a car from a vehicle constrictor or manufacturer. The manufacturer delivers a tire as an iteration.
Production team: “Mr. Henry, here is the iteration of your car, a front tire. What are your impressions ?”
Mr. Henri: why do I need I tire, sir? I ordered a car !! what will I do with a tire?
Processes 2 and 3 increase Mr. Henry’s anger because in stage 2, he has got four tires, which is not useless. Stage 3 shows a useless car because the car is not completed yet; there are many lacks. This causes an increase in the dissatisfaction of Mr. Henri with time.
Stage 4 shows the finished car which is delivered .this is the car he ordered. He is happy in the end but not satisfied because the car has not been tested and evaluated. A lot of time has passed during which the client was not satisfied by the service offered to him because all products delivered in this time frame were useless. The type of car is designed based on an incorrect assumption on the needs of the customer. The smile at the delivery of the product is idealistic.
Technically, the Car may not be modified at the end because the client has received the final product. Unfortunately, the Agile product cannot be satisfactory at the final delivery.
In conclusion, the top row is a very bad product production model and delivery for a product.
The second row: presents the ideal approach of product delivery.
In this case, our customer Mr. Henry orders a car – the same context as the one above but the focus, in this case, is to fulfill his need, which is the transport from point A to point B.
-Mr. Henry, aka customer: I need to be able to transport myself from point A to point B faster. Remember, in this case, the car is just a metaphor.
So the team of manufacturers produces a product that satisfies the customer’s basic needs (Mr. Henri), thus resulting in the progressive amelioration of the product with the feedback given by Mr. Henri during the use of the product. During the testing process, Mr. Henri will give regular feedback on the product, leading to the product’s customization and development, resulting in the production of the perfect product Mr. Henry will always be contempt with.
This second example exemplifies in a metaphoric manner the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or the earliest testable product.
Production team: sir, we have a product in its initial stage which can help you move from place A to place B “the skateboard version “
The customer (Mr. Henry ) is not happy at this stage; at this stage, the purpose is not to satisfy Mr. henry but to provide him with the final product’s initial or basic function. Mr.Henr may be unsatisfied at this stage, but he is able to move from point A to B by kicking his skateboard.
The production team explains in advance this approach so as not to disappoint the customer
Production team: our aim is for you to use this transport and send us feedback so we may ameliorate the product during its evolution so as to get the ideal product at the end.
Feedback – Example, Mr. Henry does not like the color. It will be easy and cheaper to repaint Mr. Henry’s skateboard and understand the trend to follow the color trend needed to satisfy as many as possible future clients.
Another question is the possibility of delivering something even earlier than a skateboard-like, for example, a bus ticket.
The real question is, will this satisfy the basic needs of the customer? Maybe, maybe not, the actual fact about this is the data collection or customer feedback. Lean Startup offers different types of models listed based on the hypotheses about the product’s systemic validity or invalidity.
Testing your product should not be necessarily done on all your users; a limited number of users can take part in the development and testing of the product giving feedback leading to the development of the product, i.e., like the feedback given by a jury in a beauty contest. Testing a prototype even on one customer is better than a crowd of customers.
The next iteration is to solve the issues and learn more about the product. During the used product, he may not be satisfied, but the production team makes sure that the feedbacks are taken into consideration, and ameliorations are done on the product.
On the accounts of the issues in stage 2, the skateboard can morph into a bicycle.
Production Team: Now, the bicycle can be used by Mr.Henry, our customer.
The bicycle may even turn out to satisfy the customer more than the car initially intended to have.
In fact, during product development, the customer may realize he saves more money and time with a bicycle.
At this part of the development, do some upfront analysis before developing it to the next level. The development should be rapid so as to always surprise the user.
At step 3, the customer is satisfied to a certain level, but he experiences some limitations.
Feedback: The product is ok, but there is a need for Mr. Henry to travel to other cities or make very long distances; therefore, a bicycle is not very convenient to travel from one city to another. So the bicycle is being morphed to a motorbike.
Stage 4 is very suitable for software. Hard wares are very difficult to handle because they are difficult to update. The software can be updated at every stage. However, hardware projects have a huge advantage when it comes to prototypes to observe and study how the client uses your product. Car companies like Tesla, Toyota, and Mercedes produce a lot of prototypes, i.e., 3D models, models, structures, etc.
But in some cases, the project or prototyping may stop at the motorbike, so the project may end or finish earlier. Some utilities may be removed as well because they may be useless, i.e., finding the easiest, fastest, cheapest ways to solve the issues of the prototype.
If the customer “Mr. Henry” wants to stop on the motorbike, he may stop and modify so as to remove the useless utilities.
In stage 5, the motorbike can be morphed to a Car.
The customer is satisfied because, finally, they have got his product with the fullest potential. During the development of the product, the production team and the customer will maintain a pleasant relationship resulting from the client’s satisfaction from his desires.
He finally received his car, and better than the one initially expected.
Benefits of Building an MVP
The startup sphere has been experiencing a boom for a long time already; of course, only the most popular are known because there have been many failures and little successes on the way. A Christian expression says, “Many are called, but few are chosen ” this is just to say the most popular we know today have developed different strategies to ground their performance.
The majority of unsuccessful startups collapsed simply because the market didn’t need them. To understand the needs of clients or customers, we must adopt the MVP model.
MVP costs less, creates a relationship between the customer and the production team, permits the production team to follow the trend, or ameliorates the trend and follows the products’ market. This approach is being made by giants like Spotify, Amazon, Facebook, or Dropbox.
A brief intake into the MVP model results in the description of the following goals :
In a nutshell, we can divide it into three simple explanation
As clearly outlined above, the MVP model has more advantages than the Agile model; these advantages clearly led to the success of the most popular startup and products we know today. MVP model of development can be compared to a shield and a sword in a sense it can spark users’ interests or protect your business or project from major looses. Outlined below are some advantages of the MVP business model.
1-Viable Product research
The earlier the product reaches the customer, the faster you will be able to collect and analyze the feedback, the easier you will be able to ameliorate the product. It is an amazing advantage for the production team to know the situation of the market. This may help the coding team to easily modify the product conception.
2-Researching and Testing process
One of the most important advantages of a minimum viable product, especially software, is that the coding team or production team allows you to test the product and give your own feedback. Launching an app with many features may be very difficult to satisfy a specific audience.
While developing the app, a small number of features may be available; if they satisfy the customers in a specific amount of time, other features could be added, creating a satisfactory relationship between the coding team and the customers.
The cost of production depends on the work of the software developing team or the coding team. The MVP costs less because of the step-by-step development of features. During the researching process, some profit could be made so as to be reinvested on more advanced features, thus reducing the cost of development and increasing the satisfactory index of the customer. In addition, this may lead to a gradual increase in the number of subscribers.
The business model of an MVP at the initial stage may involve outside investments. Some companies rely totally on outside investors, but that isn’t always the case. For businesses that need investments, there is a great challenge to finding an investment. To attract investors, we may have to interest them. MVP model is the best method to interest investors, a graph of statistics on the satisfaction and increase in subscribers’ numbers. This info is interesting for investors, implying trust in the production team with the investor. MVP is a perfect model because reaching investors with a project on paper can look so beautiful, but the reality is different on the field. Investors will trust if they have a preview on the evolution of the product and services.
Here are the main interesting info taken into account by investors :
Check out the interview with Don Hatch the Global Head of Demium incubator about what should startups do before applying to the incubator.
How to Build an MVP?
The failure to build a successful product is evidence, and building an MVP is a challenging task that involves a list of steps in the developing process. The main stages or steps on the development of an MVP can be listed as follows:
Market research and analysis
Intending to induce into MVP involves a thorough study of the market, i.e., your idea may be amazing but not suitable for the market. Before embarking on the journey of MVP, make sure you fulfill the necessary target needs. You may conduct research or a survey. The deeper you learn from what people need, the more you are on the way to success.
CB insight conducted a survey about startups and came to a conclusion 42 percent of startups experience a failure in the product simply because of a poorly studied market; from this survey, we received these results
Top Reasons for a start-up failure
From the survey above, we can clearly see that understanding the market is the Top reason for the failure of start-ups. Of course, all the other reasons should be solved.
Define your Background idea
The second stage is defining your background idea; for a successful product, you must answer a list of questions as follows:
Design a list of features
You should create a convenient initial product which can be easy to use. Make sure the production team internally tests the product. For instance, if it is an online shop, make sure you test the product’s choice to the ordering process and even the delivery. You wouldn’t like to offer a useless product to your audience. User The user flow must be defined by stages, giving the initial perfect offer of the product.
Building a prototype and launch
At this stage, the initial prototype must be defined, i.e., a list of features incorporated in the initial prototype must be defined. This should be done before building the initial prototype of the MVP.
Once this process is finished, make sure you verify the MVP features to not deliver an impaired product.
Analyze the feedback and offer the appropriate answer
Everything is a process; before the product launch, some process must be made by the product development team. The prototype must be sent to the Quality insurance Engineers for thorough testing. This team will work to improve the quality of the product. This is called the first testing stage. After launching the first prototype, create a relationship with the clients to get regular feedback from the clients to correct the bugs and the imperfection as fast as possible. This process will lead to the constant satisfaction of the client.
Why some MVPs Fail?
The MVP description may sound like a fairy tale where the story ends with they got married and had many kids, but some startup sometimes mixes the bad ingredients leading to the fall of their MVP. Here are some common mistakes in MVP development that may cause the fall of the project.
It’s always beautiful to receive feedback, but they must be well interpreted. Asking the right question, and receiving the appropriate feedback is a thing. So most MVPs fail to properly interpret the desire of the customers derived from the feedbacks.
Presence of Excess Features
The presence of excessive, unnecessary features can either annoy the customers or make the UX poor. If the features are excessive and unclear to the user, clients’ feedback becomes fragmented, thus deteriorating the data quality.
Lack of Iteration
Another major factor is the lack of iteration; spotting the problem is not only a thing but finding the right or appropriate solution is another, thus increasing the numbers of meetings of the developing team, brainstorming sessions, sketches made by designers, maintain contact with customers, etc. All this should be done in a limited amount of time to satisfy the clients as fast as possible.
This is another factor that can destroy an MVP project leading to its immediate failure. The cohesion and goals of the team should be settled prior to the development of the project. We may also have situations of a team focusing on the wrong problems and leading to time wastage and loss of customers.
Time is another very important factor to be taken into account while developing an MVP. Usually, MVP projects may last from 1 to 5 months, depending on the project’s complexity, thus finding an immediate time frame for responses to feedback and inquiries. If the feedback is being treated in a very slow manner, it may lead to the client’s dissatisfaction, causing the client to turn his back from your MVP.
These factors may be understood and prevented prior to creating an MVP, or else it will lead to its failure.
Almost all the successful high-tech giants have followed these product production model. Here are some memorable examples of the success MVP can bring to startups.
DROPBOX: found in 2007 by MIT graduates Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston at the CEO. With the boom of the clouding sphere, there was a need to create an effective MVP. The advertisement was made by a video that went viral, receiving tons of comments online, thereby creating an audience. Dropbox ended up receiving more than 70k potential users’ email in a day, giving them the green light to start the launching of their successful MVP venture.
AMAZON: Founded by Jeff Bezos in 1994 in Washington. Originally designed in 1994, Amazon was a small company aimed at selling books at low prices online. Of course, Amazon started as a minimum viable product with books in the U.S to become the world’s best retailer of online products in the world. Amazon is a clear example of a successful MVP.
Twitter: created by Noah Glass, Bizz stone, Jack Dorsey, was launched in 2006. But before the was Odeo, a start-up project aimed to win the iTunes market by proposing audio and video products. This project failed, and the team thought of a new project. They thought of a microblogging site name – Twitter.
This microblogging was used by the Odeo employees, thereby leading to the product’s internal development before the official launch officially. Twitter became an MVP project and now is one of the most successful MVP projects ever, making over $4B in revenue.
Many companies involved the MVP model, such as GOOGLE, Facebook, Buffer, Zynga, Groupon, Airbnb, etc.
By now, I think it is clear that Minimum Viable Product AKA MVP is the best way to produce and develop a product for the customer. There are more advantages than disadvantages starting and adventure; the main factor is to have an appropriate audience and good ideas. The rest will be history. Now our days most android apps or games use this product model.