At the very beginning, most businesses or start-ups envision an idea. That idea culminates into a product or products, which would eventually be marketed and sold in the highly competitive market. However, one thing that most businesses seem to forget is that not all products are a huge hit with customers. This may be due to a lack of customer interest in the product or the business simply failed to do its research well.
This is where the concept of MVP or Minimum Viable Product comes into play. In simple terms, a minimum viable product is a basic version of the final product. This basic version is then introduced in the market, temporarily, to check its viability.
In fact, it was Eric Ries, a consultant and writer on startups, who popularised the concept of Minimum Viable Product.
Purpose of MVP
A MVP is usually designed and developed using basic components and introduced in the market. You see, the main purpose behind doing this is to scrutinize the reaction of the potential customer and to study their behaviour towards the product. On the basis of this observation, the final product can be designed as per customer expectations.
A MVP also allows businesses or startups to understand which products resonate with the target audience and which do not. This gives them the opportunity to improve and develop a final product which would have a higher chance of succeeding in the market.
One thing you should understand is that many businesses and startups fail because they do not perform proper market research. They do not test their ideas before
finalising it. A minimum viable product helps to test those ideas in the real world and get accurate data immediately.
Benefits of MVP
Designing an MVP may give you a competitive edge and save your costs. It also gives you an idea of how you can design and improve your final product to make it more desirable for your target audience. Other benefits of MVP include :
- Costs : MVP can help businesses and startups to test their idea to check if it’s viable or not. Therefore, it helps in reducing initial developing costs and lets them know what works and what doesn’t. They don’t have to go the extra mile to spend money on unnecessary features or
- Builds a Customer Base : Since the MVP would be tested out in the real world, it gives the customers a taste of the would-be final product. It helps in building up hype for the final product and create a database of customers, who would be eagerly waiting to purchase the real product
- Better Understanding of Customer’s expectations : MVP also provides a deeper understanding of the customers expectations. Afterall, you cannot simply sell a product that a customer is not interested in. Businesses can collect data and analyze, which can be used to create a product that a customer
- More Clarity : MVP gives businesses clarity on what features are favored and which are not. Especially, when it comes to software products, it is always better to understand what works and what doesn’t. By testing the core idea in a simpler form, it becomes easy to know if the idea is workable or
Drawbacks of MVP
- Clear Outline : There needs to be a clear understanding of what the MVP should contain. Although it may be exciting to add numerous features and components to test everything, it may only result in a waste of money and So it becomes important to find the right features and components that need to be tested.
- Not a One-time Process : A MVP is not merely a product, it is also a developing process that helps businesses and startups understand which products are viable. Sometimes, it is not enough to create only one MVP, it may take 5-6 MVP, before you can finalise the details of the final product. Therefore, it is a bit of a time consuming task, if you also count the time taken to analyse the
There are many companies who have used the MVP concept before designing their final product. Examples of such companies include Airbnb, Facebook, Amazon, DropBox.