The concept of a minimum viable product (MVP, minimum viable product, an early version of an offer with minimal functionality that solves at least one problem of a potential client) is often interpreted incorrectly, which leads to its incorrect use. In addition, due to limited resources, most businesses focus exclusively on the part of creating the minimum functionality required to enter the market.
However, MVP is not just a version of the product with a minimum of functions, but the least resource-intensive tool for validating the economic feasibility of a business idea, which also serves as the basis for the final offer. Also very important is MVP cost.
In fact, MVP has quite a few interpretations, therefore, to understand the essence of this concept, we will get acquainted with the opinions of experts about what an early version of an offer is, how to use it and how to create it.
Startups and large IT companies are increasingly using MVP as a starting point for creating a successful software product. Focusing on a minimum set of key functions, companies are developing a product foundation that, subject to successful validation of demand items, efficiency and viability in market conditions, is used to scale the offer and create a full-fledged business.
However, many of the concepts that guide start-up businesses in determining the components of MVP are not correct. Take, for example, the common misconception that an early version of a product is created with the aim of quickly entering the market. In fact, as mentioned earlier, a minimally viable solution is intended to validate economic feasibility, therefore, development speed can be prioritized only if the goals of MVP analysis and testing are quickly achieved.
Summarizing the above, we derive the main goals of MVP:
- Testing product hypotheses at the lowest cost
- Accelerated retrieval of information required to create a solution.
- Saving development time.
- Quickly deliver a product that solves at least one problem to early users.
The application of minimalism is the most difficult, but the most important aspect of the development of MVP, since its interpretation determines the choice of functionality and technical resources.
Offer with the optimal minimum set of functions – an elegant masterpiece that allows you to get the most information at the lowest possible cost. However, an excessive emphasis on minimalism can deprive MVP of key value, as a result of which it will not only not be suitable for validating hypotheses, but also spoil the brand image.
So, how do you develop an attractive early version of the product at minimal cost? To get started, you need to understand the difference between the following two questions:
How to create a product that will be as simple as possible from a technical point of view?
How to create a simple product whose functionality will resonate with the needs of the first users?
The priority of the first approach is the quick launch of the product – this can lead to the development of the wrong offer, testing with which will be tantamount to testing the concept of a machine that has nothing but wheels. The essence of the second approach is to provide the key value of the product, which is much more effective for validating hypotheses regarding the target market.
How to understand that too much time has been spent on development?
The creator of Blekko (search engine) Rick Screnta (Rick Screnta) claims that it depends on the product. For some decisions (for example, the Fliggo mentioned earlier) it’s enough to create a landing page, and offers with a wide target audience require much more time – too simple or poor-quality product will be perceived by the public extremely negatively. Rick’s search engine MVP, for example, took 3 years.
However, a more relevant task may be to determine the purpose of the work, rather than its duration, since a qualitative answer to the first question allows you to qualitatively answer the second. Ryan Singer, product manager for Basecamp (a service for organizing projects), argues that minimalism within the framework of MVP is achieved by following the basic standards of workmanship and the corresponding regulation of functionality.