What is MVP and why is everybody so obsessed with it?
Daria Iniewski | Growth Marketing Manager
23 April 2021 • 6 min read
In the IT world, the term MVP very frequently pops up here and there. Whoever starts his startup journey should be aware of its meaning and application, as, when properly made, MVP can prevent a huge waste of time and money.
So what is MVP?
MVP stands for a Minimum Viable Product. As its name implies it is some kind of a demo version of a product with a minimum set of features, sufficient to be introduced to the market and to validate a new business idea.
Imagine someone, who has an intention to build e-commerce around an innovative product – premium vegan women’s shoes. That is a very challenging and pricey project. It would probably take him hundreds if not thousands of man-hours to make a project look exactly as he would like to and introduce it to the market.
It’s almost certain, that after the launch of the platform, there will still be a myriad of things to be fixed and changed. The sad truth is that, no matter how impeccable a project seemed in the beginning, it almost always reveals some technical issues, which were left unnoticed during the testing phase.
It’s likely that based on the feedback of early customers, a founder will also want to implement some other product features, which of course is another time-consuming thing to do.
As you know, in the IT world man-hours are the most expensive component of every project. Therefore, a founder is likely to find himself in an endless financial loop, which requires him to open his wallet again and again throughout the process.
That could be all justified because at the end of the day the expenses into the business are considered an investment. And the business is meant to pay off larger dividends in the longer run.
Unfortunately, the reality of life is different. Very few newly founded business succeed in the longer run. It’s not a secret, that roughly, 85% of them will incur lots of costs without obtaining anything in return.
It’s very likely that a premium women’s clothing e-commerce idea from the beginning has not been viable. Perhaps, there are too many competitors and, hence, there is no space left for another company. Possibly, the brands, that the shop wanted to represent all are unknown and they don’t spark any interest among the public.
Or simply there isn’t a sufficient number of vegans, to drive the demand for premium vegan women’s shoes!
It all could have been prevented if only a founder had started with MVP…
MVP for this particular project would be a simple 2-page website, representing 2 or 3 premium vegan shoes. Yes, this website wouldn’t have any blog. Yes, its assortment would be extremely limited. Yes, the customers would not have any custom reporting features or analytical tools. And yes, you would need to use Excel to manage the orders and your e-mail to reply to customers’ inquiries.
But this modestly looking website would help to answer the most fundamental business question – “Does anyone need this business in the first place”?
For many, people the question above is highly uncomfortable and even embarrassing. They are scared to demonstrate their work to the public and sell their product until it’s done perfectly well. They believe, that their project can be launched only once it looks extremely “professional” and works extremely fine.
Nevertheless, the concept of MVP is based on the belief that if one’s idea is truly good, it will evoke some interest even around an unostentatious website or application.
MVP is not made to impress anyone. An amazing website design and various functionalities can of course play a vital role in turning leads into customers. But it’s rather something that has to be done as the next step in your business preparation. The core of every project’s success is a real demand in the market for it.
The real users or customers also provide legit feedback, needed to determine what other features have to be added, removed or modified to one’s product. Be open to users’ feedback, users will tell you themselves what they truly need!
Isn’t it a smart way to build a product?
Instead of investing money and time into some features just because a founder feels that “it’s the right thing to do”, all of the decisions are based on the real customers’ needs and wants. This way of preparing a project minimises the risk of the products proving useless in the end.
On top of technical knowledge and world-class developers, we in Winalife possess the expertise to help you determine what features should be included in the MVP in your project. We also have a broad range of tools and methods to collect and analyse customers’ feedback. To put it simply, we will help to validate your idea at minimum costs.
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