Do you know the definition of minimum viable product (MVP)?
Imagine you had a great idea for your business model, and believe it has true potential to generate an excellent financial return. Instead of dedicating months of work developing an inflexible final version of your product, you can create a MVP and submit it to be tested. This will validate your idea and generate feedback from your target audience.
What is the purpose on a MVP?
MVP (minimum viable product) is a leaner version of a product idealized by any organization. MVP will contain only the resources and functions that are indispensable for the product, focusing on the essence of its value proposition.
The MVP is a simpler version put to test with a sample of your target audience. It will serve to validate the idea before launching the final product.
In other words, the MVP is an initial prototype that aims at verifying the viability of a product using the least resources possible, focusing on the problem that such product will solve.
Why is it important to have a minimum viable product?
The main idea behind MVP is to present a lean version to a sample of the audience, to test how they perceive the value proposition of this initial product.
With that in mind, MVPs optimize the use of resources included on the development of an idea. Additionally, these lean product versions allow a more optimized risk management, avoiding great financial losses from product development and launch.
Minimum viable products are important to validate the capacity of financial return of an investment, even before the final version is ready. Its validation is a “go” sign to continue with product development.
Imagine dedicating time, money, and work force to develop a final version of a product, only to find that your audience rejects this solution. MVPs prevent this nightmare from happening.
Step by step: build your own MVP
Now that you know the definition of a minimum viable product, its purpose and importance, we will present how you can create and test an MVP.
Step 1: Define the value proposition of your MVP
Every product, service of business model must have a well-defined value proposition. This means stablishing which problems you intend to solve with your idea and why your target audience should choose you over your competitors.
On the MVP, your solution’s competitive capability and expected outcome must be clear. Complementary resources and functions that will aggregate value should be treated as secondary factors, at least in this first moment.
Focus on simplicity and primary value proposition. Leave perfectionism to a possible final version.
Step 2: test your MVP
In this second step, you must submit your MVP to tests with your audience. The purpose is to verify if the demand for such solution exists and if it can generate value for potential customers.
This viability test will also portray the capacity of satisfying the needs of your audience. Additionally, this test will help you identify flaws that must be corrected before the final version is launched.
After developing a MVP that contemplates your value proposition, it is time to understand if the interest of the market in your product will justify the investment. for this test, it is important to have will defined buyer personas, fictional representations of the ideal customer profile.
Step 3: interpret feedback and make the necessary adjustments
After testing the MVP, one must organize and analyse all received feedback from the audience that had access to your lean product version. This is the time to interpret the perceptions and identify necessary adjustments for the final product.
And do not be scared if the feedback is mostly negative. A bad perception from your audience does not necessarily mean your idea is bad. It could be necessary to run a second MVP test, with the necessary adjustments.
Focus on optimizing your value proposition on each interaction and align them with the expectations and needs of the audience you wish to target.
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