Why to build an MVP?
The definition of MVP is one of the most controversial definitions in the tech world nowadays. Even though there’s a standard one:
“A minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers and to provide feedback for future product development.”
Thus, an MVP is the minimum set of functionalities a product needs, to gain the maximum amount of information to make it better. This doesn’t mean that an MVP is flawed or lazy, but that the team considers that the first version of the product is ready to hit the market.
According to Techopedia, an MVP has 3 main characteristics:
It has enough value that people are willing to use it or buy it initially.
It demonstrates enough future benefits to retain early adopters.
It provides a feedback loop to guide future development.
One of the main purposes for creating an MVP is to test demand, as once you have reached your early users, the feedback they give to you is what defines if you move forward or if you need to go back and change your strategy.
So, why should I build an MVP?
To develop a digital product is time and money consuming. And the tech world is increasing its demand day by day: a product might be news today, and second tomorrow. An MVP allows going faster into the market and hit that first spot.
That’s essential to reach the target audience, known as “early adopters”. They’re the ones who will vouch for the product, as they’re who can capture its vision. Because of that, they are more tolerant of what might not yet be finished, and also are inclined to give feedback.
Building an MVP might be seen as a strategy with two different focus points:
On one side, avoiding the construction of a product that the clients don’t want or need. As the product can hit the market faster and reach the early adopters, the development team can gain priceless information with the feedback received by real-life users.
It can also be seen as a sales strategy. With a first version of the product out in the market, the product owner can very well look for investors, founding or sales to customers.
Misconceptions about MVP
Even though the concept of MVP might sound simple, there is a lot of speculation around its meaning. One of the biggest misconceptions when MVP is confused with launching a quick implementation or a draft.
Benefits of building an MVP
Once you decide to build and release an MVP, you need to focus on your business strategy. What this has to do with that? well, the value proposition of your product has to be clear for you as much as for your team. That forces you to define goals, needs, think about the target audience, most of the points that need to be cover on your business model.
As you revise your business strategy and work on creating a product your target audience wants, you can narrow down the functionalities to what it’s really needed, you can work towards keeping it simple, as the extra features can complicate the user experience. As a bonus, you (and your team) avoid procrastination, because you work for an achievable goal. Like a chain reaction, because your team is focused on the task, your product is ready sooner.
Launching your MVP to the early users gives you the chance to build a relationship with them. They are going to be the defenders or haters of your product, but it’s on their feedback that you can grow your product. Those real-life users are the ones who will help you find the mistakes and weaknesses faster. And, ass your product is being tested in real life and real time, you can work on your weak spots on every iteration.
There is also money saving. As you work towards a specific set of functionalities, your team maintains focus, and the first version of your product is ready faster, the team works focused. As you and your team focus on the right amount of functionalities and grow due to feedback, an MVP allows you to save money on development for features you don’t really know you need. The amount of time invested (and therefore, money), is less.
As a final benefit, it’s important keeping in mind that building an app is a process that works on iterations. The development team is constantly improving the product. With the launching of the product, the real-life user’s feedback and the time saved, there’s time left for evolution.