Minimum Viable Product – 4 Things Every Startup Should Know
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) didn’t originate in the startup world, yet has gained a lot of popularity with startups, giving them an opportunity to get into the market quicker and prove out product ideas.
While the goal of MVP is to get a bare minimum of your product out to market for actual customers to try out, use, and find flaws, product owners tend to fear walking back from certain features. The most common argument is that these features are extremely valuable and the product becomes less attractive to customers without them.
In fact, a Minimum Viable Product is meant to be the quickest version of the product you can put out to the market to test product features on actual customers. Where the word ‘quickest’ means that the reduction in time to market is achieved by reduction of features, not quality.
Here’s a list of top things every startup should know when developing an MVP:
1) Have a product strategy
A product strategy is the very mechanism that is supposed to transform the resources you’ve invested into tangible results.
Meaning, you won’t be able to go far if your product strategy isn’t aligned with your goals. However, product owners often don’t have a real strategy and a vision of what they want. And that’s perfectly fine.
While building a product strategy, you need to try things out, make assumptions, analyze as much data as you can to finally decide what you will do, and then leave all the rest of your ideas behind.
In many cases, product owners are afraid to make a decision about the future of the product or are unwilling to remove any features from an app. Many think that doing everything at once will only benefit the product, but this can hardly be considered a ‘strategy.’
Here are 4 essential questions every startup owner should ask themselves when planning out a product strategy:
- What will your next step be after completing your MVP?
- What is the target audience you want it to reach?
- What channels do you plan to use?
- What budget do you think you need to attract the first 1000 users?
If you have trouble answering any of these questions, your product strategy probably needs work.
2) Focus on Minimum Viable Feature
Prioritize your features and don’t try to add everything in one release. Trying to achieve perfection in design and creating features that provide optimal performance from the very beginning at the expense of practicality and functionality is not a sustainable approach.
Just remember that you don’t need to respond to all users’ needs at this stage. Focus on the core functionality and stick to the actions that will provide the most value in the future. You need to be very concerned about the quality and smaller details but don’t get stuck on it.
Try reminding yourself that the goal is to deliver the product to the market as quickly as possible to get feedback.
3) Optimize your development team
For sure, it always depends on the product and the feature list. But in general, ask yourself what every member of your team does: Does it contribute to the core functionality of the product? Is it necessary for the product release?
Focus on a dedicated roadmap for each engineer and plan what exactly each team member will do within the next X months. Also, consider if you need this specialist full-time or part-time, for the whole product development cycle or only for some development stages?
4) Customers feedback is essential
One of the main purposes of a Minimum Viable Product is to generate user feedback to make the final product better. Feedback is important as it helps you understand the user better, adjust your product to meet the customers’ needs, as well as gauge the audience’s perception of your product.
Here are the top three things you should know about dealing with customers’ feedback:
Firstly, you need to decide on the feedback channel. Ideally, deciding on the channel to gather customers’ feedback should be a part of your product and user experience.
Secondly, the feedback needs to be collected and handled properly, which means you need to consider a policy, business process, and database or system where you actually store the feedback.
And lastly, and most importantly, you need to establish a business process regarding how to review, analyze and make decisions upon the feedback received. In some cases, it’s a good idea to discuss solutions with a client. Leverage that.
We hope this article will help you develop the app of your dreams. If you have any questions, make sure to contact us.
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