While part one of this blog, “What to Keep in Mind When Creating an MVP,” discussed the inception and definition of MVP as well as all the aspects one needs to consider with respect to minimalism, viability, and product quality, part two of this blog will discuss the features, why you need to create an MVP, development of an MVP, and other relevant takeaways.
So, let’s start by answering a very pertinent question – “Why do you need an MVP?”
In 2011, Ivaylo Kalburdzhiev had a brilliant idea: iPad racing wheels. He launched Kolos, secured bank funds, and built his product in isolation, thinking it could not fail.
After three years, $50K, and no customers, he confessed. Nobody wanted his product.
In a Tech.eu guest post, he said, “Before I spent a penny, I should have put together a MVP and gone to an Apple Store for feedback.” Realizing early on that there were no serious challenges to tackle would have saved me a lot of pain.
This remark from a McKinsey report might apply to Kolos or any number of other products that failed because they did not deploy an MVP: “We’ve noticed that when new-business launches fail, it’s frequently not due to technological feasibility issues.” Rather, failure is usually the result of incorrect assumptions about the new product’s or service’s acceptability to customers.
The IPad racing wheels that Kolos worked so hard to design are an example of a product that could have been avoided if an MVP had been created and tested before its release. An MVP helps you
- Invest time and resources in a successful endeavor.
- Determine if the product is appealing. A good example is the job and investment platform AngelList. It began with just the team’s own contacts, and the initial contacts were all made by email. This demonstrated the viability of the strategy and enabled AngelList to develop into the much larger platform it is today.
- Identify trends that you may use to your advantage when creating the finished product.
- Find early adopters and potential users.
- Three persons initially developed a simple website and posted an advertisement for renting an inflatable bed. Then three guests arrived, wanting to share their apartment. When the developers realized that the initiative had found its target audience, they began to explore for a way to restructure the platform. Airbnb now has 150 million users, 4 million listings, and is worth $30 billion.
- Save money and time on final product development
- Develop a working model of your business idea. Did your investor pitch just get easier? Following customer interviews, the Uber team discovered three things:
- Yellow cabs were difficult to find and expensive.
- People detested having to wait in the street for cabs.
- Customers would want to make a ride reservation while at home.
After addressing these issues, Uber was able to comprehend and meet the expectations of its customers. We are living and breathing the incredible success of Uber even as this blog is being authored.
So, if I create an MVP, how do I tell if the MVP has the right features?
MVP is a product’s smallest, least-featured avatar, which
- Is a basic, launchable version of the product with minimal, must-have functionality.
- Shows a product’s basic functionality and problem-solving ability.
- Built for speedier time-to-market, early adopters, and product market fit. The company will fix faults and add features based on customer feedback.
Conclusion – MVP slices the development process rather than adding layers.
MVP identified in Mobile Flight Search
Image adapted from : https://careers.webjet.com.au/2021/11/23/vertical-slicing/
Minimum Viable Product – key takeaways
- MVP success does not guarantee product success
- MVPs can be used to validate the proposed solution. The early version of Twitter lacked features like Twitter Spaces, Fleets, and more, allowing developers to evaluate the product idea before launch.
- A top-notch viral campaign can carry you far. People like to share things that made them laugh (like Dropbox’s videos).
- If you can relate to the problem you are trying to solve, you will succeed. Personal experience inspired Dropbox. Drew Houston, the company’s co-founder, and CEO was tired of transferring information with a flash drive and emails. The day he forgot his flash drive at home for the umpteenth time was the day Dropbox’s code was developed.
- Reduce time-to-market. Others may work on a similar idea. First-mover advantage may be your competitive advantage.
- Iterations and pivots are totally fine. Remember iPhone 1?
- Scale slowly, gradually evolves the product whilst maintaining usability.
How is an MVP developed?
Diagram: The answer is Simple. Keep it S.I.M.P.L.E
Sushant Tarway, Senior Product Analyst at Tavisca, is a passionate product thinker and the author of this blog. He is driven by the need to design and construct an adaptive product ecosystem that enables people to think imaginatively about how to address their problems. He currently works with engineering teams to design and create products that provide them with the resources they need to develop solutions for a variety of user needs.