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What is Minimum Viable Product? Know A to Z
Startup 101

What is Minimum Viable Product? Know A to Z 

L
atif and Rubiya two young brilliant girls once decided to solve the problem of unsafe food in the city. So, they created a platform where they could actually offer the solution to the people of the city.

In another city Atif and Namira, two siblings noticed the problem of a highly paid tutor. So, they decided to create a platform where they could offer students tuition at a very cheap rate.

Both the stories mentioned above are totally different. But they had certain things in common. Both of them created products at the initial stage that was neither a solution that was totally perfect for the consumers nor the product that was worthy of making profits.

But still, they made products and started to observe. From there observation, they not only did not learn the pros and cons of their product but also got some cash flow in their company.

In startup terms, we call these kinds of products or solutions as Minimum Viable Product or MVP. So, now let’s look at what is MVP? 

What is Minimum Viable Product?

Let’s be easy and clear about what’s MVP is and also forget all bookish language. MVP is the product or solution that is provided by a startup company at the very early stage only with the main features in order to observe the pros and cons of future development. 

 

 According to ERIC RIES, the author of the book “THE LEAN STARTUP” Minimum Viable Product is a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

Almost all the startups present there launched an MVP first. Lots of examples can be given now about MVP. SPOTIFY is a great example of MVP. Spotify was first used to be a Swedish music streaming company. Then it changed itself into an international music streaming service.

Their first target was the Swedish people and Swedish artists. Soon, they realized their opportunity and turned themself into an international streaming site.

Dropbox is the most renowned cloud-based storage system. At the very first stage, they just didn’t build the platform as we see today. They just made an explanatory video of what their dream was and what they wanted to do. This is how Dropbox started to gather people’s attention.

So, from this example of MVP, we can clearly deduce that not necessarily an MVP has to provide services at the very first stage. But must get feedback for future development. These are also the best samples of the minimum viable product however there are different types of minimum viable products present.

How To Build a Minimum Viable Product?

One of the most common questions that we get most often is “How to build a minimum viable product?”. Well, there’s no specific answer to this question. But there are certain tips and tricks in order to build a Minimum Viable Product, fortunately.  

First of all, a minimum viable product must clearly specify their prime features or services. It’s great to have a fully functioning product. But its not always easy to build something like that. Everyone in the very first place is not able to build a product due to lack of finance, lack of technical support.

In this case, the minimum viable product of DropBox is a great example. What dropbox did was made a video on what their product did and what they were trying to do. Though the customers and investors were not able to use the product everyone out there got the idea what dropbox was trying to do.

So, what I am trying to explain is you don’t even need to have the product in the very first place even if this seems hard or tough. 

From the above discussion and examples of the minimum viable product, we can clearly understand that a minimum viable product must show the features of the product and also clearly specify their objectives.

In the entrepreneurship world, there is nothing called perfect. It doesn’t matter if the product is perfect or not. There is nothing termed as ‘perfect’ in the startup world.

One must also know about the competitors present in the market. So, competitors must be noticed first. Without having a clear idea of competitors the MVP is more likely to fail in the long term. So surveying and analysis have to be done in the very first place.

So, always has to put their foot in the customer’s shoes. One must think of himself as a customer while making an MVP. What this means is one must always think of the customers while building a minimum viable product.

Most of the time people forget to think from a customer’s point of view. In this case, the MVP is bound to fail. If the product is not customer friendly, if the product is not satisfying the needs then surely the product will fail.

Last but not least an entrepreneur must think of the addition of value-added by the MVP to the customers. Most of the time startups fail just because they can not add value. Sometimes an entrepreneur tries to solve a problem that doesn’t even exist in the first place. So, solving an unrealistic problem is totally a complete wastage.

What is minimum product

MVP Vs MMP

Let’s look back again to the example of dropbox. Dropbox in the very first place did not make any product that could satisfy the needs of customers. They made a product that actually gave a description of their product.

The minimum viable product of dropbox couldn’t be marketized. That’s why these kinds of products are not referred to as a minimum marketable product.

There’s a difference in criteria of minimum viable product and minimum marketable product. A minimum marketable product means the products with the least features that could be marketized for sale.

In the case of MVP, one doesn’t have to build a product with a view to marketizing the product. These are the differentiating characteristics of MVP and MMP.

Problems With Minimum Viable Product

There are few problems with the minimum viable product. One of the major problems is often it creates a negative impact on the target customers. Secondly, for the very first time, people create an unnecessary product in the very first place.

Undoubtedly, this can be regarded as a serious problem. Most often the minimum viable products are very costly. But with proper planning and procedures problems of the minimum viable product can be minimized easily.

Purpose Of MVP

The purpose of the minimum viable product is fully explicit and specific. First of all, this gives an idea of whether or not the idea is worthy of satisfying people’s needs.

Secondly, we can know from the MVP that even if the problem is there is the product capable of solving the problem and is the product able to get the attraction of normal customers. 

Moreover, we can get some directions, pieces of advice, and also some guidelines from the MVP. One of the main objectives of MVP is to know consumer behavior. Knowing consumer behavior helps an entrepreneur to build a product that can sustain in the market over the long term.

Another major purpose of MVP is to get funding. People are often getting funding with the help of MVP from Venture capitalists even from banks. In order to get funding through MVP, one must build an actual problem-solving product.  

Minimum Viable product Vs Minimum Lovable product

Another term that is closely related to the minimum viable product, is the minimum lovable product. Let’s look at the term MLP explicitly.

MLP does not only solve the problem of a customer. It also gives pleasure and fun to the customer. For example, one wants to build a transport that has high speed. So, what he did was build a car that was way above the speed that we see in natural cars today.

Surely it was benefiting the customers but the problem was somewhere else, it was the safety issues that customers didn’t welcome.

So, what they did was solved the safety issues. Now this time the customers were satisfied with the services. They were not only satisfied with the services but also greatly admired and appreciated the whole service. Moreover, they could hardly wait for the service again. 

Moreover, we can see the first product that was satisfying the needs of the customers but it didn’t give any pleasure to the customers because people were more concerned about their safety.

So, when the safety issues were solved people felt more welcoming. The first product we can term as MVP and the second product can be termed as MLP or minimum lovable product.

In short, people will not only be satisfied with the service but also would love and feel great to use the product again and again. Building an MLP successfully is the way towards creating a prosperous company. This is what minimum viable product is!

Planning of Minimum Viable Product

 There’s always a question about the Minimum Viable product strategy. The strategy should be well organized and well defined. There are a few steps that can be maintained in order to build a minimum viable product.

Poster of planning mvp

Identifying The Real Problem

Identifying the real problem is one of the major concerns. Most often what happens is we identify problems that are not actually problems in the very first place.

Secondly, we often build products that are not clearly offering any solutions that mean products are not solving the problems of customers clearly.

Moreover, often products are unable to satisfy the wants and needs of the customers properly. That is why the products often fail as MVP. So, enough analysis and surveys must be done.

Have a Proper Business Model

Having a proper business plan is also important. After building an MVP first question that arises is how one is going to money through it. The business models should be well organized, well defined, and also relevant to the minimum viable product. In short, there must be a well organized Minimum Viable Product Business plan.

How To Develop In Future

A true entrepreneur always thinks of the future. One of the main purposes of MVP is to know what changes and modifications have to be brought in an MVP.

These are the common factors which has to be kept in mind while building an MVP. Also one has to keep in mind about various concepts so that an MVP can grab people’s minds in the long term.

Lots of discussions are given above but one of the common problems is what comes after an MVP. As mentioned earlier an MVP is designed for two common reasons. The first one is to attract customers and getting feedback. Secondly, through an MVP, one can expect to get funding.

So, when an MVP is built one has to identify the pros and cons. They have to turn this product into MMP and MLP so that they can start earning revenue. This how the minimum viable approach should be.

Therefore, I expect that it is clear from the above discussion that making an MVP is not that hard. A minimum viable product checklist should be maintained. To make a successful minimum viable product. In the checklist, the goals, dos, and don’ts should be mentioned clearly.

In some cases, people may find their minimum viable product safe or Simple agreement for future equity.

Advantages Of Minimum Viable Product

The advantages of a minimum viable product can not be described in short. First of all, MVP helps to find target customers.

Secondly, an MVP gives a guideline on whether to modify or improve the product. An MVP also allows presenting itself as a prototype to the venture capitalists

I hope this is all about an MVP one should know in the very first place. What is minimum viable product?? This is what minimum viable product.

At last, we have to say that no product is the last product for an entrepreneur. Any product can hardly be successful in the very first place. A good and well-organized MVP can be key to a successful product. Lots of effort has to be put on while building an MVP.

 

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