It’s a big leap of faith every time a business starts out with a product, service or a new marketing idea. Many ideas are based on gut instinct and assumptions, in few instances backed by some market research. Trouble is that often businesses deep dive into development and build the product with all the bells and whistles – and then find that the polished product does not have a compelling enough value proposition to make a buyer to commit.
This is why it is best to validate an idea by starting as small as possible. First build a minimum viable product – the bare bones – that can quickly pivot to take in feedback and change route quickly (if needed).
What is an MVP?
Whether you are a bootstrapped startup or a business sitting on a pretty nest egg funded by venture capitalists, there is no failsafe way to know which product you build or service you offer will meet with success.
This uncertainty is what makes a minimum viable product important. The purpose of an MVP is to prove or disapprove the fundamental assumptions that the product you build will be important enough to get customers to buy it. By validating your product early in its development cycle i.e. by building a product only with the essential features you can get early customer feedback and iterate the product.
Goals for your Minimum Viable Product
The goals of an MVP must be defined even before development commences. It should focus on
- Testing the hypothesis of market need
- Faster delivery of the product to the market
- Test products viability with minimal spend on development cost
- Quickly iterate and improve product features
- Prioritize future spends
Minimum viable product examples that prove its efficacy
An MVP could be a webpage, an app, a SaaS software or virtually any product or service. Here are a few examples of small businesses that nailed their MVP and have made it big.