In this post, we’ll be discussing why you should use Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) and what you should include in them. MVPs are most commonly used by Startups but also by product teams in established companies to prove an idea at a lower cost compared to a full product with all the bells and whistles. It’s a crucial stage that can make or break your product as well as save lots of resources. It is worth noting that the process of building an MVP is an iterative one of building, testing, and adjusting.
One of the most common reasons a lot of start-ups fail is a lack of market need. As a result, it is often a smart decision to de-risk the development of a product by testing the market with an MVP. The core aim of an MVP is to see if the product works and as such gain traction before further investment from any resources. If the MVP struggles to build any traction i.e. it can suffice the market it is much easier to pivot the product at this stage.
As a founder you may have a grand idea to disrupt an existing market however to build the full product would be extremely resource heavy and as such would most likely need investment from Investors. This is where an MVP becomes invaluable because it solves two big problems.
Proving a need and securing investment
The first problem it solves is that it shows whether or not there is a need for the product and if it can gain some level of traction even if it’s small. Once you can show this it will help with the second problem which is securing investment to grow the business. It becomes much easier to secure investment once you can show some sort of traction when talking to Angels and VCs.
Now we’ve covered some of the many reasons why you should be building an MVP first, we’ll explore what you should be including in your MVP. There are often many factors into what makes a product and MVP successful; however we’ve focused on some core things that you have to iron out.
There are some fundamental concepts to take into account and focus on when building your MVP, the most important being, what is your value proposition? How are you going to better solve your end-users problems? This should be the main focus and driver of your MVP.
What is a value proposition?
Using Just Eat as an example. An MVP would allow the user to find a restaurant, choose food, and pay. These are the core pieces of functionality that would make a solid MVP. Any additional functionality such as redeeming offers, reviewing a restaurant or having favourite places should not be considered for MVP because although they add value, they are not core to the app working.
For some products this is however only one side of the coin; some products may have multiple different types of users/customers that they need to cater for. For example, Just Eat and Deliveroo have the end-user app where you’ll order your food from however they also have the rider app where the people that deliver the food will use and the final side of the product is the app for the restaurants - all of these users have very different needs and your value proposition to them will be different however there needs to be a marriage between the solutions to each user groups problems. Focus on the sole value proposition for each group without any fluff, once you can get traction for each group you have the beginning of a great product.
If you have a project you want to collaborate on, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team.