The power of MVP

If you have an idea of an excellent service or application that solves some problem of users, do not rush with your hands full of money to the developers to get your product all done. It might cost you a lot in terms of time, effort, money and end up being useless. Why? Simply because the product holds no value for the market.

What’s the MVP?

The art of thinking twice and farsightedly is mastered through mistakes. But you can avoid by taking one step at a time. And the first step to make is to choose the MVP.

According to the concept of Eric Rice’s “lean startup” the development will be much more effective if you start with finding an answer to the question: “Is this product necessary for users?”. That’s what MVP is about.

The MVP is a minimum viable product that allows you to get a sound feedback from users, to understand what they need in order to save your time and money creating something meaningless, something that people are not ready to pay for.

Hypothesis

In the framework of the concept, the initial idea of your startup is a hypothesis. If you want to test it, you need to do the following:

  • Articulate the hypothesis.
  • Define the criteria by which its viability will be determined.
  • Make a minimum viable product to confirm the hypothesis and launch it.
  • Check the performance indicators.
  • Draw conclusions and test the following hypothesis, if necessary.

Don’t you (dare) think that MVP is a kludge. It is not a raw smth made in a hurry. It is something that consumes little time and features only key functions which are to be tested by potential users.

Studies show that 60% of the features are not used at all. And the purpose of the MVP is to minimize the time and resources spent on unnecessary creativity. You launch this, so-called, demo version –see the feedback – adjust – gain your profit. Happy users, happy you – the cycle of happiness driven by three letters. Not lol.

Feedback loop

A core component of Lean Startup methodology is the buildmeasure-learn feedback loop.

It means that successful features have to be studied and re-tested after receiving a feedback. If both shots reach the target, break into creation of a full-fledged product and enter the market.

At this point it could be quite obvious why the MVP is so cool. In case it’s not, there are some surefire pro arguments.

A startup may be cool as hell, but the idea is not the final result. The MVP can make it slay, because:

  • You save money since you don’t invest in a hopeless project.
  • You can check if your product causes curiosity among its potential users.
  • With the help of iterations, you can find out which direction of development will be best to choose.
  • You can collect the base of potential customers and find early adopters of the product.

Cases

If 5% out of 100% reading this blog are still wondering why they need the MVP instead of ordering it, let’s look at the real cases of some successful companies. Apparently, you know their names.

Spotify
Sounds familiar, right? Spotify MVP developers chose one key function: streaming music. The service now has 60 million users, and its cost is estimated at 8.4 billion US dollars. But back in the early days of its existence, it was the simplest prototype possible. Its developers simply downloaded music from their laptops and played it several times with no pauses, breaks and interruptions. Only a stream of songs. Back then nobody gave the damn about copyrights, interface and usability. The point was to introduce people to the streaming technology. Well, it seems they’ve done it well.

One more example of a less professional but still efficient approach.

Airbnb
Now used worldwide and enjoyed event by the choosiest users, this short-term rental service started by an accidental decision of its founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia to rent their apartment in San Francisco to some design conference participants. They took some pics of the flat, launched a MVP in the form of a simple site and soon hosted their first guests. A funky idea turned out to a huge network of hosts that often outshine the hotels.

Test to be the best

As easy as it sounds, the MVP helps to the concept of business into a real business without money, time and effort spent in vain. Nobody says it’s not a risk, but everybody says it’s the kind of risk you can control and kick off in case you feel like it. It doesn’t take a special kind of team to do that. It only takes some patience to be soon rewarded.

May the force and the Agile mantra be with you: Think It, Build It, Ship It, Tweak It.