Startups represent a multi-trillion dollar industry solving various consumer problems. And getting your minimum viable product (MVP) right gets you the keys to the thriving side of the industry. As of April 2022, several startups were valued above $1 and $10 billion:
- Over 1000 unicorns valued at $1 billion.
- Fifty decacorns, valued at $10 billion and above.
- Three hectocorns, valued at $100 billion and above like ByteDance and Space X.
Startups that get it right go bigger. However, the rate of those not making it into the list is worrying. According to CB Insight, lack of market need is the second leading cause of startup failures after cash problems. 90% of startups fail, and 20% do so within the first year of operation.
It is a grim picture for most startups that dream of achieving the elusive unicorn status. But, startups are up for challenges and problems. And the solution to the “lack of market need” problem is creating the best minimum viable product (MVP). In fact, MVP can solve three primary causes of startup failures: market need, aggressive competition, and a flawed business model.
What Is MVP?
As an entrepreneur, you may be familiar with the challenge of turning an idea into a business concept and expediting the production of a prototype. A minimum viable product (MVP) solves the complexities of product development and reduces its cost.
MVP is the most basic launchable product with limited features that you can offer to your target market. The essential elements are mandatory because they capture your value proposition, a solution to a problem. However, you can iterate and include extra features based on the user’s feedback.
An MVP is a detailed experiment that relies on your product’s early adopters’ feedback. But it goes beyond that. It test’s user preferences and can also help you redefine the business model. However, there are a lot of things you need to understand the user’s taste and the business model.
For a lean and expedited gathering of user feedback, a minimum viable product template comes in handy. It allows you to get valuable insights into your product and business model faster. So, you can iterate your innovative product quickly and reduce your time to market.
But how do you get the right MVP and make it to the elusive unicorn? Read along and learn ways of exploring the best minimum viable product (MVP) for your business.
- Create Proof-Of-Concept (PoC)
A proof-of-concept (PoC) is a way to give substance to your innovative ideas. So, before creating the MVP, you should build a PoC prototype to verify your business idea.
“Seeing is believing.” And the only way you can motivate and nurture confidence in investors and your team is through a working prototype.
Remember, PoC, prototype and MVP are different. PoC allows you to verify your business ideas, while MVP helps you validate and evaluate the viability of your product. On the other hand, a prototype is a launchable product that has not hit the market. So, PoC verifies the feasibility of your ideas, prototype tests a working model, and MVP develops a usable product.
|Minimum Viable Product (MVP)||Prototype||Proof-of-Concept (PoC)|
|Functionality||It verifies the viability of a product.|
It is an external experiment.
|Demonstrates a product’s visual form or basic functionality.|
It is an internal experiment.
|It verifies the feasibility of your business idea.|
An internal experiment.
|Benefit||Get market-proof and attract early customers (early adopters).|
Saves time and attracts investors
|Guides and can be part of the MVP or the final product.||Save time and attract investors |
Selects the appropriate technology for delivery.
- Understand the Market
Products do not succeed through prayers and luck. If you can not fix customers’ problems, then you will not fulfill a market need. Startups that thrive offer to meet market needs and solve problems.
Utilizing customer relationship/resource management software could help with giving your business a boost by utilizing your customer and business data more effectively. CRM software is about making the most of and organizing all data and functions in your business to allow you to make more potent decisions and to get an overview of the organization overall.
So, developing a minimum variable product template in the early stages is crucial in goal setting and identifying your target market. The next step is investing your time and money in quality and extensive market research. You should engage with the ideal users, subject matter experts in the field, investors, and other stakeholders.
You may probably have similar products on the market, and that’s fine. Your objective is to find what’s missing in the current solutions and offer your “secret sauce.” And your innovative sauce must show improvement and fix the problems that the existing products have failed to handle.
Having a specific niche can be a strategic move to achieve competitive leverage over rivals. So, focus on your product within a particular niche and run intensive targeting.
- Iterate the Basic Features
The market research insights gathered should help you improve your value proposition. As you roll out your MVP, consider the following:
- Basic and must-have features
- Nice-to-have features (compelling design)
- Extras to enhance value and user experience.
In short, ensure your MVP is functional, reliable, usable and evokes emotion through its design. At this moment, you should curate your unique selling point. Amplify what makes your product stand out or better from rivals. After fleshing out vital elements of significance, you know which products to build fast.
- Create Success Plans And KPIs
But before deploying your MVP, how will you gauge its success or failure. Remember, the essence of an MVP is to help fail or succeed fast with a product at a fraction of the cost. So, you must define the key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge its success or failure.
Knowing the success factors and indicators will help you include them in your MVP to improve your odds. You can know which product features need more time and resources based on the success indicators.
Run multiple tests to enhance performance and ensure its KPIs are in order. It will shore up stakeholders’ confidence and drive the needed traction for launch.
- Declutter But Have Clear Value Proposition
Despite being basic, the MVP should fix the user’s problems. Your MVP should have great basic but compelling features.
However, it’s an MVP and not the final product, so be minimalist. No need to overwhelm users with non-essential features at the moment. Let your solution to users’ problems speak for itself through your product.
Innovation consultancy can come in handy if you struggle to get the MVP right on its basic core features with the correct value proposition. It can help you build an MVP template faster and iterate based on niche market demands.
A MVP allows you to develop and test your products more quickly in the market. Although it helps you cut costs, the best MVP should fix existing user problems. So, if you want to develop the best MVP, you must listen to users’ pain points on current solutions.
Niching down your market and running intensive targeting can further help you in market position for success. Follow the above tips to maximize your MVP template.