A Simple Guide to Formulate an MVP Approach
A minimum viable product is built on the lines of having a bare minimum product out in the market in a short period. To quote a formal definition, “A minimum viable product (MVP) is the most pared down version of a product that can still be released.” – Investopedia
By a bare minimum product, we mean that the MVP will have only those basic features to get the attention of the consumers. These specific features will help you get feedback on the product before you plunge into a huge investment.
Types of Product Owners
Even before we try and cut down the guidelines on how a team can decide on an MVP, let’s be aware of the two different personalities of a product/concept owner.
It is important here in this article to not connect the term ‘Product Owner (PO)” with that of the Agile framework. A PO here is just an individual with an idea who wants to get it materialized.
Let’s divide the two kinds of POs as below:
A. The PO who understands the need for an early feedback
B. The PO who wants the whole product delivered at a go
In this blog we will have our focus on the PO of type A; i.e. the PO who is well aware of the need for initial market feedback on a product.
Importance of Collecting Early Feedback
You may be feeling that the idea that is born in your brain is a killer one. You might be assured about its success. But if you really want to launch a product for which users will go crazy, soliciting early customer response is essential.
Let’s look into the reasons why collecting early feedback is beneficial.
i) To add business value – The idea that is present in the early stage would be an unpolished one. There wouldn’t be any clarity about the business value required. Short and quick spurts of visible work can do a useful job in collecting early feedback from early adopters. This could go a long way in deciding on how you need your product and what business value you can attach to it.
ii) To know the pulse of a volatile market – Whether your idea is a fresh one or an existing one with a new twist, you can’t be certain about a definite demand for it when it is launched. You are going to face an unpredictable market as user expectations keep changing. It is therefore essential to tap the prospects’ feedback.
iii) To save your budget – An early peek into user behaviour could help in saving an enormous amount of money that would have gone into building features a user does not use.
What Defines a Viable Feature?
The selection of must-have features depends on the nature of the product that we plan to get into the market.
a. Is it an existing concept with a better approach? Does it offer a better user experience?
If so, this unique selling point (USP) is what you would need to churn out and highlight in its simplest form as an MVP.
b. Is it an existing concept, but for a different market?
If so, the core function would need to be included in its simplest form to test the waters. A rich design interface not a priority here.
c. Is it a fresh/unique idea?
Don’t wait around, get the idea out in a very short time as a working prototype, which helps gather feedback. The UI/UX can be a basic but friendly on. You can then build on the feedback you get from actual users. What’s important here is to put your idea out in the market, in a short time, with very less investment. The early market response you get will either pave your way to a successful startup or help save you millions.
It is important that the features you choose as viable should have the element of intrigue to be noticed by a market. Just pushing out a “been there, done that” feature in a short time will give you no valuable response.
They key here is not just “early to market” but rather “early to market with your USP”. The more time you spend building complex features, the more the probability that what you are building is not what the user wants.
I would be coming up later with another chapter, where we’ll see how to deal with the Type B product owner who would want to put it all out there at once. We will look into how to sell the MVP idea and how to find out the “viable” or “valuable” features in this scenario.
Want a dependable help to launch your idea into market?
Bridge Labs is a great solution that handles all your ‘idea-to-product transition’ worries. It is a collaboration of marketers, financial & sales experts, developers, designers and QA working together in an Agile way. We understand and validate the idea, and suggest low-cost MVP plans to bring out the best results.