Developing a Minimum Viable Product

Usually abbreviated as MVP, minimum viable product refers to the initial process of analysis a product or service as a prototype at a small cost before it officially launches to the market.

With increasing need to generate income, there are numerous individuals and companies bringing new ideas to the world. Many of these product developers usually face the challenge of coming up with a product that lacks acceptance.

This is despite the fact that they have spent a lot of resources such as time, money and energy in building a new product and service. As you want to introduce your product or service, ask yourself these questions. What if it doesn’t succeed as expected? What other competitive companies are similar to yours and what do they charge for it? What are the needs of the clientele? Answering these questions needs a careful examination of the prevailing market situation as compared to your new idea.

Prototype

Conceptualized by Frank Robinson and popularized by Eric Ries, it is a phenomenon successfully used for quite some time now. Entrepreneurs test their ideas to a small target group who offer feedback on whether the product is viable or not.

Additionally, let them say what is wrong with the product after careful analysis of its pros and cons. Similarly they should define what should be improved on the sample model to make it complete and satisfy their preferences. With this intelligence, you will know whether to go ahead or to go back to the drawing board.

The Need for Minimum Viable Product

Testing it on a small audience saves you money. Ensure the target people you use are honest and will give open description after trying out your product. If they don’t effectively open up, you may launch the product to the wider audience only to be disappointed by poor sales. In this regard, let the sample group consist of people who are not close or related to you.

The danger of trying it out on people who know you is that they may give you sympathy votes of confidence. Get the product to be used by early customers at the earliest opportunity. For example, you can launch a mock website and direct traffic for audience to view the product. Next, observe the behaviour of visitors to the website to measure their demand or lack of it.

Benefits of Developing a MVP

Not only does a minimum viable product indicate the acceptability of a product, it also helps you to forecast future trends and expectations. The people who use the prototype will tell you what they like, and indicate what other people in their social status like, dislike and prefer. Armed with this knowledge, you will enforce strategies in the service to suit their expectations.

Similarly, if they like the pilot project, it is highly easy for you to maintain them for future business engagements. So ensure that you take that advantage to fully establish personal relationships with them. Track the customers’ variables such as their addresses and demographics. After promising them the finished product, you will then contact and offer it.

How to Implement the MVP

Probably the easiest way to enforce the pilot product is putting up a demo. This is a short video that describes the general idea in short, but specific detail. The video is then posted to online platforms for audience to watch. Such tools as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are free to use.

Remember, you are running the minimum viable product at the lowest possible cost. At the end of the demo, invite them to give feedback and comments on what they think.

Usually, online viewership attracts diverse criticism and applause alike. There are those people who will be unforgiving, rude and too straightforward. They will shoot down the idea in near-insulting nature.

Whether they are being honest or just venting out their frustration, take their advice positively and try to better on the weaknesses. Luckily on the other hand, others criticisms will be soft and offer kinder words. Similarly, you should treasure their views and opinion.

Set up a Landing Page

Following up on your advertisements on social media and elsewhere, set up a landing page. Just from its name, it is the web page that opens after a person has clicked on an online link. The next step is to campaign for it on Google AdWord. This directs them to the landing page so that they can read additional information on the sample product. Here, have a more extensive description of the product or service including its price.

Similarly, let the landing page have options to interact with the visitors. It should have a live chat service where they will ask questions and you will answer them directly. Based on the number of clicks made on the link, you can already start to measure the amount of interest generated. Here, you will look at how many people sign up to your idea.

Typical MVP Campaign

Imagine you are the CEO of a vehicle manufacturing company that wants to launch a new model of some car. Wouldn’t it be too foolish for you to produce half a million cars of the new model at once? What if clients do not like the model? Your resources would have gone to waste.

The idea of minimum viable product dictates that you manufacture one or two cars, then market it and evaluate how people receive it. This approach is called the sell it before you build it”.

Your company would then produce more cars based on the demand generated by that first production and campaign. You may be amazed by the number of prospects requesting for them even when you have a very short supply. It is far much better to have a long list of clients on a waiting list than to have very many cars lying in showrooms with little or no demand.

Conclusion

MVP enables you to avoid many pitfalls that are otherwise not foreseen. You will be operating with a clear mindset of what the business demands are. Moreover, saving on costs allows you to have comfortable advantage over competitors. Developing a minimum viable product sets your product or on a clear path of success.

bnr19

Mark Silver
Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.
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