We at Tech387 understand that, as startup founders, you may not have access to high-quality resources when starting your entrepreneurial journey. That's why we've created a series of blogs specifically designed to help you transition from having no idea to gaining a solid knowledge foundation. We've already written about the challenge of choosing between a perfectionist and an agile approach, and by following our advice and drawing from our experience, opting for the agile approach can prove to be highly beneficial.
In today's blog post, we want to dive into the topic of MVP (minimum viable product) and provide you with all the essential information you need to know. We aim to demystify the concept of MVP and offer you a comprehensive understanding of what to do and, equally importantly, what not to do. So, without further ado, let's get started!
Minimum viable product - the essence
The term "Minimum Viable Product" (MVP) has acquired a negative connotation in product development, often implying a product that prioritizes "minimal" at the expense of "viable." However, it's unfortunate that the MVP concept got tarnished because it holds significant importance and usefulness. At its core, the MVP concept is commendable: an MVP represents the fastest and least resource-intensive product that remains "viable" and demonstrates market traction.
The timeline of the delivery of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can vary depending on several factors. On average, delivering an MVP can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 7 months.
Within that timeline, the development stage is a crucial component. The duration of the development stage itself depends on the approach taken. For projects that employ no-code or low-code development tools, the development phase tends to be relatively shorter, typically spanning from 2 to 5 days. These tools allow for faster prototyping and development as they provide pre-built components and visual interfaces that require minimal coding.
On the other hand, code-based development, which involves writing custom code, generally requires more time. In such cases, the development phase for an MVP can extend up to 6 months. This longer timeline accounts for various activities involved in coding, such as designing the architecture, implementing functionalities, debugging, and ensuring overall quality.
Here at Tech387, we don't like generalizations, so please note that these timeframes are general estimates and can vary depending on the complexity of the project, team resources, and other specific factors. The objective is to strike a balance between delivering a viable product in a reasonable time frame and optimizing the resources and efforts invested in its development.
A great MVP will be desirable, viable, and feasible. It will:
- Effectively address a specific problem for a targeted user group.
- Align with your business's capabilities, ensuring the potential for delivery and growth.
- Enable quick development, learning opportunities, and potential for scaling.
Have you ever wondered why getting the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) right is crucial, even when you can iterate and improve based on customer feedback? Recent studies reveal a staggering statistic: 90% of startups fail because they struggle to grasp the significance of effectively utilizing their MVP and creating products that truly resonate with customers.
Now, let's delve into why nailing your MVP is a game-changer for your startup's success.
Navigating the discovery phase and mastering MVP planning
It is essential to define the MVP correctly, as failing to do so can lead to outcomes you wouldn't want. Picture this: You release a product that doesn't solve any problems for your intended audience. Imagine the disappointment and frustration that would cause! On the other hand, there's the risk of launching software with a bunch of bloated features that users find neither user-friendly nor valuable. Talk about a recipe for disaster!
Here's where the agile testing approach comes into play, and let us tell you, it's a game-changer. Seeking user feedback reduces the chances of taking that huge risk significantly. Sure, there's a possibility that it might pay off, but more often than not, it's a risky gamble that ends up falling short of expectations.
Before you start planning your MVP, you need to create a good customer persona model and choose the first best user. If you decide to work with us, our teams will hold several workshops to understand your needs and build the persona model and first best user correctly. We want them to be early adopters and try out our solution.
Once you've defined your customer persona model and identified your first ideal user, it's time to outline your Minimum Viable Product (MVP). But how exactly is this typically accomplished? Well, a robust MVP should address the basic and performance needs while incorporating positive triggers, also known as value drivers, which offer innovative and fresh elements to deliver a unique customer experience.
Here at Tech387, we adopt a collaborative approach. We work with our clients and partners to define the MVP by creating a story map. All of these exciting processes take place during the discovery phase. Our collaboration with clients and partners has a clear objective: to sift through the vast sea of ideas and hand-pick the best ones. These chosen ideas will get transformed into tangible features that precisely meet the required specifications. It's an exhilarating journey of turning abstract concepts into concrete realities.
This collaborative effort enables us to align the product with the client's business goals, whether it's attracting investors or entering the market.
During this phase, we estimate the production of the MVP. We focus on crafting a story map that satisfies our clients and end users, ensuring their happiness and satisfaction. Once we understand the desired outcome, we break down the tasks and provide estimations. Our goal is to balance between maintaining high quality and efficient time management.
Building your MVP: Turning vision into reality
We've been in the market for quite a while now and have observed that functionality often takes precedence over form. However, the truth is that these two aspects should not be mutually exclusive. Decision-makers assume that a long list of features is more important to users than the user experience. But for most consumer products, a well-designed product is crucial for success. Instead of merely focusing on a feature list, consumers seek a digital product that effectively solves a problem while providing an enjoyable and stress-free experience.
If you're unsure about where to begin, let us guide you. An experienced venture builder possesses all the necessary tools to offer valuable insights and seamlessly combine form with functionality. This is essential to turn your vision into reality.
Beyond the MVP: Reaching the full potential of your startup
The magic begins once you've got your MVP out in the market. You can start iterating on it, adding new experiences, features, and other valuable elements until you achieve that coveted Product/Market Fit. This is when you can demonstrate that your users appreciate your product and will keep coming back for more.
Observing how users interact with your product in real-life situations is far more revealing than relying solely on expert analysis or abstract research. It's like having a backstage pass to valuable insights. And the sooner you can gain this firsthand understanding, the better it is for your product's growth. It accelerates your product's improvement, sets it ahead of the competition, and increases your chances of becoming the market leader.
At Tech387, we understand the importance of this journey to Product/Market Fit. Our experienced team is here to support you every step of the way. We have the expertise and tools to help you iterate, fine-tune, and create an exceptional user experience. Contact us now, and let's get started.