Got a startup idea for which you are passionate about? Lets help you do this successfully without wasting tons of resources and time.

While it’s true that a good idea is the soul of a successful startup but not everyone gets to convert their idea into an actual business. The reason is that building a successful business out of an idea or a startup takes a lot of courage, struggle, hard work and resources.  A majority of startups fail because they waste a lot of time and resources on creating a perfect product before launching it in the market. This is where MVP comes into play.

Eric Ries who helped popularize the concept, defines Minimum Viable Product as the ‘version of a new product which allows you to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about your customers with the least amount of effort.’

Always start by building a minimum viable product to get something quickly and cheaply into the market.  Cut back on any unnecessary features and functionality, that add up on costs and slow down the launch.  Don’t try building a “Rolls Royce” product out of the gate, when a “Toyota” will work just fine to start.

Techopedia lists three key features of an MVP:

  1. It provides enough value that people are willing to use it and/or buy it after its launch;
  2. It demonstrates sufficient future benefit to retain these early adopters; and
  3. It provides a feedback loop that helps to guide ongoing development

With this process, you can verify the following:

  • Product viability
  • Assumptions the team has about the product itself
  • Usability
  • Market demand

It provides immediate value, quickly, while minimizing development costs. Ultimately, an MVP allows you to build a product with minimal features and iteratively build it up to create a better, more polished product, while leveraging user intelligence to make the best decisions possible. With every release version, the product evolves to maximize ROI and move towards a fully mature application.

How to Build an MVP

1. Strategize:

a)Determine the long-term goal of the product and write it down.

Having a clear goal will help you chalk out a good plan for your idea.

b) Answer the question “Why are we doing this project?”

Understanding the why is very important. Answer this question from the customer’s perspective by writing down what is the value that you are providing to your customer. You want to answer a simple question: Why are we doing this project? A coffee shop chain, for example, may have the long-term goal of reducing time-to-checkout by 30%.

c) Identify a criteria for success:
This criteria will help you determine whether or not your product will be successful or not in the future. We recommend using more than one metrics for determining this i.e number of users, revenue etc.

2. Define the main process in the product:

This step includes identifying users, mapping out the user experience and finding out pains and gains at each step of the user journey. This will help you in building a list of features for your product at each step in your product.

3. Decide What Features To Build

After identification of features, it is time to prioritize and decide what features to include in your MVP. This is possible by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Question 1: How important is this feature for finishing the process?
  • Question 2: How often will the feature be used?
  • Question 3: How many users will use this feature?
  • Question 4: How much value will the feature bring to the customer?
  • Question 5: How risky is this feature?

After answering these questions, you must categorize the features in three categories: 1)Ne Features 2) Nice To Have Features 3)  Won’t have features. The diagram below will help you decide features for your MVP with an example.

4) Define Your MVP:

Now after selection of features you must be able to define your MVP which is a skeleton of your working product with minimum features.

5) Build, Measure, Learn:

After defining MVP you must  start building your product and then start improving it based on the market validation.

Building an MVP will help you test your idea in the market without wasting your valuable time & resources. We hope that this guide increased your understanding about MVP, its benefits and the process of building it.

 

 

About the author

Rafeh Umair

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