MVP stands for a minimum viable product. The term was created by Frank Robinson and then popularized by the works of Eric Ries. It’s a solution for product management that works exceptionally well at the early stage of product development.
It provides just enough features to test if there is a need for the product, validate its scale, or figure out what directions to tweak your positioning and problem-solution fit into to create the most helpful version of your solution. An MVP helps you get early data about customers without risking a fortune.
The Purposes of MVP
It’s crucial to try out your innovative idea without spending too much time and funds.
With an MVP, you don’t have to spend your precious time and money on a product that won’t bring you any profit. It gives you the foundation of the product so that you’ll understand customers’ wants and analyze whether they are ready to pay for what you are bringing to the table.
Sometimes the end goal of your original product changes when you find out more about customers through their reaction to your MVP. That happened to an app called Burbn. Its creator, Kevin Systrom tried to build an application that people could use to check in at a particular location and post pictures of their meet-ups. Soon, Systrom realized that users just wanted to share their photos without focusing on the location. Systrom analyzed this information and teamed up with Mike Krieger to create a photo-sharing app called Instagram.
If users see value in your MVP and are willing to pay for it — it’s a win-win situation. If they find your MVP irrelevant it’s time to rethink the idea behind the product. Purrweb‘s product team provides quality MVP development services with complete transparency. They will make sure that your MVP project goes from a raw set of ideas to a completed project in three months.
Save Your Budget
MVP specialists at Purrweb believe that you don’t need to have an enormous budget to start a successful project. That is why they put time and budget constraints into the picture. They guarantee you to develop a value bringing product in three months with no more than a $40,000 budget.
Find Your Target Audience
A common misconception that inexperienced entrepreneurs have is that a broad audience equals success. While this might be true for already established organizations, as a beginner, you should focus on finding a specific target audience.
To make things easier, think of a person who will buy your product. What do they like, what issues do they have, what pains will your solutions ease for them? What will they do better when they have your product?
Understanding Customers’ Needs
There are no better experts than ordinary users. The sooner your MVP gets to a client, the better understanding of their needs and the product you will have. Clients will tell you about the features they enjoyed and the features you need to change in the next update.
Collect Users Feedback
Feedback is king when it comes to MVP development. By paying attention to customers’ feedback, you can build an app that people would love to use.
Not to miss any important information, think about how you will interact with the target audience. Here are some methods for gathering user feedback:
- interviews, polls, and user surveys;
- in-app user feedback;
- user forums;
- in-depth interviews.
Let’s look at some of the MVP examples that turned out to be a major success.
|Company name||Buffer App||Dropbox||Zappos|
|Founded||November 2010||June 2007||July 1999|
|Founders||Leo Widrich and Joel Gascoigne||Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi||Nick Swinmurn|
|Industry||social account management||online backup service||retail|
|Annual revenue||$16 million||$1.91 billion||$2 billion|
Buffer is a management app that allows you to schedule your social media posts. Buffer’s first MVP was just a simple landing page. It explained what Buffer was and how it would work, encouraging people to sign up with a button to click on.
When they did, the page showed a message explaining that the app wasn’t ready yet. Instead of leaving potential customers hanging, Joel Gascoigne, founder of the startup, used the email addresses from the signup to start conversations with users. When users shared their emails, the idea was validated.
The next version of MVP was built to confirm whether people would pay for such a product. They created a page that outlined different payment plans — for $0, $5, and $10 a month — and after users chose the option they liked, they were — again — redirected to the fake-door message again and were asked to leave an email. First-page clicks allowed Gascoigne to figure out if users would purchase high-price high-benefits options (they have), the second-page clicks indicated users’ eagerness to use the product (they have been, indeed, excited about the product.)
Nowadays, there are a bunch of backup services like iDrive, SpiderOak One, and Backblaze — but when Dropbox started in 2007, the idea of uploading your files in the cloud and synchronizing them between different locations was a new thing.
The Dropbox team had to put their proposed user experience before the first adopters in tech industries to understand whether customers would want to use and pay for their file-sync solution. They made an explainer video. Drew Houston, CEO of the startup, relayed an explanation of Dropbox functionality and demonstrated how it would help users — intercepting information about the product with references to cultural and technical things their audience knew intimately (like xkcd comics).
For Houston’s product, the video was basically his MVP: it helped confirm that people want the product — overnight, the number of pre-sales went from 5,000 to 75,000.
Zappos is an online retailer with annual revenue of $2 billion and more than 3.5 billion clothing items for sale. It all started with Nick Swinmurn struggling to find a pair of shoes that he liked in his local mall.
Back in 1999, online shopping wasn’t a thing, and it was unclear if people would buy footwear on the web. So, Nick Swinmurn decided to create an MVP. He made an unsophisticated webpage and started posting pictures of footwear from the mall nearby. He didn’t buy the items at first. Before purchasing the shoes, he waited for someone to order them on his website. Then he would go to the mall, buy the shoes, and send them to his clients. While this wasn’t a sustainable business model, it proved that people would buy shoes online.