Minimum Valuable Product: Where to Start and What is Next?

Proof of the concept is a necessary stage of any product creation. When it comes to tech startups there is always software development involved. Actually, most non-tech companies has IT needs as well. It can be a website, web application or mobile app development. We all know that it’s pretty expensive to hire developers on site or engage a remote full-time dedicated team.

When we work with startups or established businesses who want to launch a new product, we analyze their risks and understand that there is always a probability of failure. There is a common myth that around 80% of new products fail. The truth is not that scary but still 30-49% of new products don’t reach a commercial success. To minimize financial risks for people who choose us as their development partners, we offer to start with Minimum Valuable Product (MVP).

Why would you like to start with MVP?

Risks reduction

MVP serves to secure a startup from a huge waste of time and money in nowhere. You can conduct a marketing research to get an idea if your product will succeed or not. However, the market is changing on daily basis and some factors will not be counted in research anyway (or whole product budget will be spent on analysis only).

Feel the market

Working with beta testers and launching MVP to early adopters help entrepreneurs to get honest users’ feedback. Again, you will never know what people think before you give them to play with your product. Don’t count of family and friends thoughts because they will try not to hurt your feelings. Only your target audience can respond your message and evaluate your idea.

Flexibility

When you are just starting to build a product, it’s much easier to make corrections. So your MVP will be polished during this stage a lot. After the first portion of customers’ response, you can understand what is your real advantages (if there is any) and what you should add to the product.

Designing MVP requirements

MVP requirements

Define must-have features for your product’s idea. Only the most important of them are going to be included in the first round of development. A product should provide the value to customers with minimum efforts from your side. Include only key functions to deliver it to a market in the shortest period of time possible. Cut off everything that is extra to core functions. If a product works and the value is the same for a user without some cool features – then just leave them for the next stage.

This strategy is also good for your marketing efforts. Since the product is developing and you can excite users.

So when it comes to technologies for your MVP – start with easy one, ask your IT partner what is the simplest way to build it. Developers love to complicate things and they tend to create something huge. They don’t love to go the easy way. So make sure you have like-minded IT people who understand what is the idea behind Lean Startup and MVP.

If you have a chance, don’t start with a custom solution, use available layouts, open source frameworks, and ready components.

What is worth investments, it’s your design. Make sure it’s neat and that your product applies best UX practices.

Then you need to write down specifications (requirements) for your product and try to create some simple wireframes (mockups) to visualize how you think your product should look like. You can use Balsamiq for sitemap and mockups creation.

How much money to spend

Planning MVP budget

What is good about MVP is that you don’t need to spend all your budget on it. Start with minimum investments, around 10-30% of your planned budget for product development. start a

Start a pre-launch promotion campaign and build your own community. Find out opinion leaders in your area, involve a bunch of beta testers who are ready to spend some time and provide feedback for an ability to play with a unique product. There are a lot of tech geeks who love to have newest things before they are available for mass market.

What’s next?

MVP development

Just launch your MVP and see what happens. Gather as much feedback as you can (make sure you know who is your customers from the very beginning). And then analyze if it’s worth to continue. Compare expected and actual results, envision threats and opportunities for your MVP. If there are no attractive opportunities but you feel that the concept or some elements are successful, you may make a pivot.

If you have proven the concept go ahead with updates to your MVP, expand the product step-by-step, the market will not wait another year for the next update.

If you are searching for IT partner for building your MVP – say “hi” to Trust Sourcing business development team hello@trustsourcing.com.

Elena Buzovska
Elena Buzovska
Sales and Marketing Manager