What Is A Minimal Viable Product?
What is a minimum viable product?
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is an established concept for the rapid development of new products in order to shorten the time to market. Many business development consultants and software developers swear by it, but there are voices that say the concept of MVP is now irrelevant as end customers are looking for full-featured products rather than product offerings in progress.
Since we see many startups releasing products quickly and then failing as quickly as they appeared, we should investigate the feasibility of the MVP concept in terms of product quality and customer expectations for new products.
Is faster development better?
Since the MVP concept has proven successful in the past and still works for many startups today, many founders repeat the mantra that minimally viable product development is the core of agile and lean development.
The accepted view is that you create an MVP by adding new features and tweaking features along the way, and continuously collecting feedback from your customers in order to expand the MVP into a fully featured product. This concept may no longer work for many products as consumers now have more choices and a new generation of end users expects a new product to be ready.
Of course, if you have a unique product idea and this product really solves a problem, you can go for an MVP as you don’t know exactly what additional features your customers will need. Faster product development and release is justified in such cases. However, you need to take into account that without adequate and analyzable feedback, you run the risk of developing the wrong features for the wrong reasons.
If you can collect and analyze reliable feedback data from your customers, the MVP concept works for you.
The catch of the “minimal” product
Having an idea of how to improve an existing product doesn’t mean an MVP will work for you. Competitive competition with existing products by releasing an MVP with some novel features can turn into a catastrophe as your competitors are also working to improve the product. In this case, it is better to enter the market by introducing a complete product that, while similar to similar products, has all of the existing and new features and has a complete look and feel.
In any event, you cannot afford to hold onto a “minimum product” as competition in most markets calls for “viable” products. You need to develop your product very quickly when betting on an MVP in a crowded market.
So that MVP works for you
You don’t need to see MVP as a universal approach and method, but rather as a tool to accelerate the development of a viable product idea while receiving financial support.
Startups will have fewer initial funds that can use the development of an MVP as a stepping stone to attract a critical number of clients and then turn to investors to help them with further product development.
If you can manage to show investors metrics that show the number of users is increasing by 30% per month, there is a good chance they are interested in your product. In this case, you also need an MVP where the cost of user acquisition is lower than your income per user (i.e. you need to get some profit, or at least break even, from your MVP).
One way to get it right is to focus on designing a perfect user interface / UX and paying attention to the innovative features that you offer. That way, you have a better chance of getting a viable product, rather than just a minimum product offering.
You can also use prepackaged code to speed up the product development process and time to market. However, this won’t work in the long run as the cost of maintaining third-party programming code is higher.
Using MVP is a bad idea
Overall, you develop an MVP when you have a unique product idea and want to get into the market as early as possible. Using MVP to locate an existing product is a bad idea, just as developing an MVP is a bad idea when you have a service that is performing well.
Developing products with minimum viability is difficult because you have to strike the perfect balance between minimum and viability while your MVP is doomed if it doesn’t offer unique features and / or functions.
Call developers if you’re not sure if you need to develop an MVP for your product or service idea.