What is the Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Minimum viable product (MVP) is a a particular version of the product which presents sufficient features for the satisfaction of early customers for the purpose of collecting exclusive customer feedback manufactured for proper product development in future as per customer requirement at a comparatively lower cost than developing a new product with unwanted features leading to increase in cost and risk of failure due to the wrong assumption.
The term minimum viable product (MVP) was coined and introduced in 2001 by Frank Robinson. Further, it was popularised by Steve Blank and Eric Ries. It may also be understood as carrying out an analysis of the market beforehand. MVP has enough features to deploy the product effectively leaving no chance for further perfection. The products are deployed to a particular subset of customers such as early adopters who are more likely to give genuine feedback and can understand a product vision from an early prototype.
- It helps in accelerating learning. On the failure of initial product success, MVP helps in determining the pitfalls of the product and accelerates the learning process for developing a robust and viable product.
- Minimum viable product aids in reducing the wasted hours deployed in engineering the product. It gives a signal beforehand for improvements required, which helps in increasing production efficiency.
- A minimum viable product (MVP) establishes a builder’s ability to create products and justify its requirement. The builder’s ability gets improved with the help of MVP.
- MVP envisage the quick building of a brand as any flaw in the product gets dealt at an initial stage without reaching the masses. Hence improved version of the product is supplied in the market, which further builds its goodwill and popularity.
- Minimal resources are required for the improvement of large production of goods, and supply is sent to early customers as soon as possible.
- A feedback loop is provided with a minimum viable product to guide for the future development of any product.
- It has satisfactory value for which people are willing to buy it or use it initially in the early market.
- It helps in maintaining the early adopters of the product by demonstrating enough future-benefits. It can assess customer wishes and preferences as and when they use the product.
Minimum Viable Product Examples
- Airbnb – They used their own apartment for starting the business. The close-up interaction with first customers helps get them valuable insights about what they wish to had, and that people can actually live in other apartments at a cheaper rate than being at the hotel made the start-up of Airbnb that is airbed and breakfast.
- Groupon – Andrew mason started a website called the point which provided a platform to bring together people to accomplish a specific task which they cannot do alone. But somehow the site didn’t gain momentum, so he decided to try something else using the same domain and set up a customized WordPress blog called the Daily Groupon and began posting.
- Functionality – The features set in the MVP should be clear to the customers. The product set of functions/ features presented to the customer should serve the purpose of delivering clear value to the customer.
- Reliability – Thorough testing should be done to achieve the quality standard of the product. This helps in generating greater customer reliability for products manufactured in the future.
- Design – The design of the MVP must be unique and should possess the highest quality standard.
- Usability – The usage of the MVP must not be complex, and it should be intuitive in nature.
Why Build an MVP?
It works as a midpoint between the earlier stages of the development of a product and its final stage. It defines the direction in which the product will take its form. It becomes one of the most crucial stages in the entire product research and development cycle. Forecasted goals and approximated expectations are given physical form through the development of the minimum viable product. When real data is put in through the process, MVP comes into play. MVP is a full-scale test in the real market situation for start-up products at its basic level. It helps to build an interaction with the target audience and grabbing the attention of potential customers and fulfilling their needs.
Minimum Viable Product vs Prototype
The difference between the prototype and the minimum viable product is quite vague and generally depends on the context in which both are used. MVP is a type of functional prototype which is used specifically for the market to understand the consumer’s prospects and their reaction towards the product. It is used to compare the response of consumers in comparison with competitive products. At the same time, a prototype is a non-interactive version of MVP that is designed to understand what, where, how, and why the study of a product. It forms the outline of the product and generally not distributed to a large segment of consumers rather limited to few.
- Time-Saving – MVP concept helps in gaining early access to customer feedback and as a result organization starts developing a refined version of that product at a very early stage.
- Money-Saving – To minimize the budget, and overspending is one of the biggest challenges for the product or any software development, MVP helps to attain the same.
- Swift Check on Product Viability – A thorough check is done of the product by deploying MVP as it helps in examining the performance of the product in real market conditions.
- A Better Understanding of the Target Audience – With the help of MVP, what a target audience wants and thinks about a particular segment can be better understood.
- It requires a lot of upfront work to be done to get reliable feedback from the customers. Various product releases require development efforts which could be a tedious task to perform.
- Multiple revisions need to be worked upon based on customer’s feedback. This may take time and increased efforts for the product to get finished in its natural order.
- Features are generally fundamental. Significant dedication is required for small and frequent product releases.
- Functionality needs to be revised multiple times to reach the customized need based on the feedback of the customer.
This has been a guide to What is Minimum Viable Product & its definition. Here we discuss its purpose, characteristics, and how to build MVP along with examples, elements, benefits and disadvantages. You can learn more about from the following articles –