The startup test allows you to increase the likelihood of its survival and attract the attention of investors to your project. A prototype with basic functions will clearly demonstrate the uniqueness and capabilities of your product.
Launching a Business Project
MVP allows you to occupy a niche before competitors and launch a new product with minimal costs and risks at the start.
A New Direction Launch
You can check the relevance of new services in your company on real users. As part of MVP development, the product logic will be worked out, a prototype will be developed, the concept will be tested, growth points will be identified, and further development will be thought out.
Business Process Automation
MVP development makes it possible to make internal business processes predictable and manageable. Individual solutions will be developed for logistics management, project control, staff training, customer interaction and other processes.
Such an MVP “mimics” a real site or service. The site is there, but you can't use it.
For example, gadget sellers use a ready-made online store template in which a customer can put goods in the cart and even go to the payment page – but after that they are told that the store is working in test mode and it will not be possible to pay for the order yet.
In this way, gadget creators can see the demand for their products, and also evaluate it numerically: you can lead real buyers to a pseudo store using targeted advertising.
Concierge MVP is used to test hypotheses for services and monetization tools. It is similar to imitation, but they do not imitate the product itself, but the way the service is provided.
For example, the creators of the German online wine store planned to make the exact selection of wine according to the given parameters and a text description of the wish a key advantage. To check the relevance and importance of the idea, it was launched, but the first thousand recommendations were given manually, without the promised neural networks. They saw that buyers did not really need such a solution, and abandoned it.
The most popular type of MVP is where the creators reduce all functions to one task.
For example, the creators of a podcast service turn off everything except the playback of the selected podcast. This allows you to test the types of buttons, animations, and check the importance of automatic playback. And then they can turn on other features of the service: episode lists, podcast pages, and so on.
MVP vs. PoC
When thinking about a project, developers often create a Proof of Concept. We can say that PoC is a description of the future MVP. In such a document, the viability of a future idea is proved. For example, the results of market research, surveys of potential customers or current users can lie in the PoC. This internal document does not enter the market.
MVP is a minimum viable product. It is released to the market to test an idea or functionality. An MVP often grows out of a problem or flaw that its creators see in the market or current products. Such a product is made quickly, by a small team, clearly fixing the release date.
MVP is often metaphorically compared to building an airplane right in the middle of a flight. In fact, the minimum viable product in aviation is an aircraft that does not have passenger seats and other familiar features. Its task is simply to take off and show itself steadily in flight.
What Is MVP Used For?
A minimum viable product (MVP) helps teams create solutions while avoiding the problems and drawbacks of a traditional, sequential solution system.
MVP can be considered a panacea in comparison to clumsy traditional development. But this model has significant drawbacks:
Finding a Problem
Usually an MVP is a response to a specific user request or a way to solve a common problem. Startups who have turned their MVPs into multi-billion dollar companies often say, “We just realized we couldn’t do it anymore, and…”.
Competitor analysis helps in finding the problem. You can simply put together a table of notable players in the market and highlight their strengths and weaknesses.
Experienced startups do not hesitate to check competitors. For example, they make a control purchase of a product or service, communicate with support, order or conduct a usability audit of the site. This helps to find weaknesses in a popular product and "hit" your MVP in them.
The analysis is often carried out according to the SWOT model (strengths,
weak sides, possibilities, threats). SWOT analysis is suitable for studying your own and someone else's product. It also often divides directions into internal and external.
Defining Target Audience
MVP creators try to narrow down the target audience of their project. It is especially important to narrow the target audience for an MVP in a single parameter format, because testing different features for different audiences introduces significant distortions in the research results.
Highlighting MVP Functionality
To determine which features should be included in the minimum viable product, the team compiles a list of all features, sorting them in order of importance, from high to low priority. After that, functions are allocated for testing in the form of MVP.
Usually, MVP allows you to go all the way: from the start of using the service to the target action (for example, purchase). Everything that distracts the user from the target action or provides additional functionality is usually not included in the MVP.
Creation and Test
To create an MVP, flexible development methodologies are chosen: Agile, SCRUM, Lean. The product is created in iterations, each of which takes about a week. There is a gold standard in startup communities: it is believed that the finished MVP should fit into one weekly iteration.
The minimum viable product is made very cheaply and quickly. Therefore, the completion time of the work is fixed. If the team does not have time, then the functions are cut again. This is how the FFF methodology from the creators of Basecamp works. After the MVP is ready, an important stage of testing will come. Teams collect feedback from users, conduct interviews.
The minimum viable product is often considered the "holy grail" of startup development: most large companies have gone through it at some point in their history. But up to 60% of startups close at the MVP stage. Here's why it's happening: