We define Minimum Product Viable as: “a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort”.
Lean startupis an innovative method for developing businesses and products that arised in 2008. Based on his previous experience working in several U.S. startups, Eric Ries claims that startups can shorten their productdevelopment cyclesby adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and what he callsvalidated learning. So if startups invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of customers, they can reduce the market risks and the initial project fundings and expensive product launches and failures. This philosophy has nowadays been expanded to apply to any individual, team, or company looking to introduce new products or services into the market, with popularity all around the world. You can see this video to learn a little more about Lean method:
Focusing now in the Minimum Viable Product, we define it as: “a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort”.
So we have these main characteristics:
- It is a version, so it doesn’t need to be the definitive.
- Of a new product, so it is something new we are creating. And here, we don’t have to understand it literally,
- That allows us to collect the maximum amount of validated learning, so we need to test it somehow to get feedback as learning.
- About customers, so we ned to test it with customers. They are customers in generals as MVP can help as to find out which
are our real customers.
- With the least effort, meaning in this case least money and human
And if we use it properly, there are some valuable things you can l
earn from an MVP include:
- Is there any demand for this product?
- What price should we charge?
- Will customers find our product interesting and attractive and useful?
- Does this ad copy work?
Probably the most useful question is “Before I invest tons of money in developing this product, how can I test if there is enough demand to make the investment worthwhile?” A well designed MVP will do just this – it will focus on presenting customers with a solution to the need that you have identified and seeing if they will buy it. But there are some other advantages. Have a look to the graphic and the explanation below:
* Cheaper: you don’t burn your money on a product no one will want to use
* Faster: it is not a first version of the product. It is the first step into
* More effective: you get feedback as soon as possible and you can fo
cus on those critical aspects customers don’t like or reject.
* Reduces rework: a simple version needs fewer changes. You can add things to your product, but this is easier than changing functionalities.
* Creates relationships with customers as soon as possible
DROPBOX EXAMPLE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xy9nSnalvPc
HOW THEY STARTED
|VirginAir||They started with just one Boeing 747 flying between Gatwick and Newark.||Theycould have started with multiple planes and routes but chose one plane, one route.|
|Groupon||They startedas just aWordPressblog with coupons available in PDF form||They could have started with a more elaborated web with the structure they have nowadays.|
|Yahoo||It started as a page of links to other websites.||They could have started as a more constructed webpage witha search engine.|
|AppleiPhone||When it was launched, it had the cut-and-paste andsercheabilityof contacts. But fans complained.||What was really important for customers was: the phone use, access to web and taking pictures.|
|Airbnb||The founder starting with a really easy and simple web with some pictures of their own apartment.||The MVP helped to validate the market and be sure of the potential.|
|Zappos||They started with a website withpotosof shoes from physical stores. With the order, the founder had to go to the store and bought the shoes.||They could have started as a complete online retail store with a great selection of shoes.|
|It started as an internal service for employees.||They could have started as we know it nowadays, to all the public.|
MVP can be a good idea to start your own business. Below is a graph with simple steps of developing MVP:
Start with an overall vision of the product/service.
Ask questions to test if the ides is viable.
Brainstorm the best MVP prototypes.
Choose one, launch it, test it and get feedback.
Use the feedback to redesign a new MVP prototype.
Can MVP be used in “real” and daily business? There are two important things to reflect on now:
- Worldwide successful businesses started with a MVP, so it is not such a silly thing to try.
- MVP can be applied also to real and daily businesses, of course it can!
Think about a writer that wants to launch a novel but he/she is not sure if it will be successful. Or even more important, publishing companies don’t know and they doubt on investing in the book. A solution here could be to launch a MVP. How? Easy. The writer can create a blog or a free webpage to post the story “by pieces”. You can test the customer reaction before investing any money or time in your idea.
Another one here. Think about a bakery or a selected patisserie. Launching a business like that needs time, a lot of money, market research and fight against bureaucracy and legal aspects. A solution here will be also a MVP: you can start from home and try some cakes with your relatives and friends to get some feedback.
The answer is yes. MVP can be used with daily business. And we encourage you to do so.