Ideas are the starting points of every major innovation in society. They are powerful tools to bring positive change around us. The only problem is that all ideas are paper tigers, i.e., any idea is wishful thinking if it is not sustainable to face the forces of the market.
Implementation and Execution are the trickiest part of breathing life into ideas. Launching a new product will always involve some degree of risk. Entrepreneurs are coming up with new ideas every day. While some of them get vast recognition; others just find it hard to survive in the market even for a few months.
Launching a new product can be risky, and even more, making it successful in today’s competitive market is obviously a difficult task. Entrepreneurs are coming up with new ideas every day. While some of them get vast recognition; others just find it hard to survive in the market even for a few months.
According to Forbes, 9 out of 10 start-ups fail because they make products that have no audience. Unsuccessful products tell a story if we observe closely. This a story of bad implementation of idea and lack of will to improvise according to the changing winds of the market-place.
A successful product is never an overnight success. All major successful entrepreneurs think in context of two crucial questions — the answer to which drives their Execution strategy:
1. Why do people need their product?
2. How their product can help people?
But don’t get intimidated. There is a solution to every problem. Ideally an entrepreneur must launch his product only when the R&D is complete, and the product is market-ready. However, the strategy of MVP — Minimum Viable Product can help you launch your product and make profit even before it has achieved perfection according to Competitive standards. MVP is the basic version of the actual application. It’s a continuous process to develop a product with only essential features included, to determine how customers will respond.
Minimum Viable Product helps you to strike two sparrows with one stone. Firstly, it allows you to determine the customers need. Secondly, it buys you the opportunity to examine feasibility and validation of the product and use the valuable feedback to further improve it.
Purpose Of Minimum Viable Product
The main purpose of MVP is to build a minimal product (so that the market launch is not delayed) with essential features and within budget. An MVP can help you get the right audience for your product and saves you a lot of time. Before launching a product there may be various assumptions come into your mind regarding its success.
- Do customers need our product?
- Why would customer value this particular feature?
- Why customers will choose our product above others?
- If customers can install or use the product easily?
There may be several other apprehensions you have before you take the daring step of launching your product but the only feasible way of getting the required answers is to test the product by bringing it live to the public. This can be done in the following way,
- Create enough value in the product so that people are willing to buy it initially
- Create enough future benefit in the product to buy loyalty from initial users
- Create a feedback mechanism so that the product can evolve according to market needs.
Steps To Build An Minimum Viable Product
Evaluate Your Idea
The first and the foremost requirement to build a successful Minimum Viable Product is to evaluate your idea. You must ask yourself some basic questions like why a customer would buy your products, what value your product offers to the customers, how it can help users, answering these questions wouldn’t only let you define your business goal but also help you understand the basic needs of the customers.
So you must put your customers need first, as they are the one who will buy and use your product. But why would they buy it? If your product is not customer oriented and doesn’t solve any particular problem of the customers. There is no way they are going to buy it.
Before launching a new product it is must to conduct a competitor analysis to determine the number of similar products in the market. Doesn’t matter how much pure faith you have on your product or how unique your idea is checking on competitors is necessary no matter what.
There are several free online tools available to investigate your competitor’s website or app and have deep insight about their monthly traffic, source of traffic, web ranking, geo-location of users and other useful information. To help you, a few tools to have a check on your competitors are listed below.
You can also use customer’s feedback of your competitors to build a successful MVP for your product. Don’t hesitate to adopt the good aspects of your competitors and learn from the mistake they have made. Once you are done with evaluating your idea and analyzing competitors, you can move further to define the user flow and design.
Define The User Flow
While defining the user flow in MVP you must focus directly on the primary goal. It’s quite easy as all you need to do is to specify the steps you want a user to follow to reach the product’s primary goal. You must design the product in accordance with the customers need. Like, if you are planning to launch an e-commerce platform, then your primary goal will be to allow users to buy things online. In the user flow stage, you should concentrate more on basic tasks such as: finding a product, placing an order, making payments, managing orders etc. These are a few primary goals your customers will have while using your product.
List Of All Necessary Features
Once you have defined the steps you want your customers to follow to reach the primary goal, it’s time to define the necessary features you want to include on every phase. Create a list of all the features you think your customer wants on your product and then prioritize them. It would be much better if you categorize the features under “must-have”, “nice-to-have”, and “don’t care” category. You can start by asking yourself these questions:
- What is the most important action I want users to perform?
- What if I don’t include a particular feature, how it’s going to affect the user journey to primary goal?
Build Your MVP
Once you have validated your idea, completed the market research and gathered all the data to support your idea, you can start building the MVP of your product. Remember, your MVP should be created with the sole purpose to validate product idea.
Being a prototype of your product doesn’t mean you can compromise on the quality of the MVP, make sure it still remains engaging, easy to use and suitable for the users.
Analyze result, collect feedback and repeat
Once the development phase of the MVP is completed, now it needs to be tested. The first testing phase should be conducted by quality assurance engineers, who are responsible for improving the quality of your product before it gets ready for alpha and beta testing.
Alpha testing can be conducted by friend and family members or the employees of the organization. The main objective of alpha testing is to identify all possible issues and bugs before launching the product to everyday users or the public. As soon as it passes the alpha testing, it’s ready to go through the beta testing.
During beta testing, the product is released for a limited number of end-users to obtain feedback on the quality of the product. The main objective of beta testing is to reduce product failure and enhance the quality of the product through customer validation. As beta testing is the Last stage of product testing it is important to receive feedback from the users directly.
Once you have received the feedback from the users, make the necessary changes in the product to improve it and repeat the process until you get a desirable product.
The underlying principle of a Minimum Viable Product is to validate your product with minimum investment and high efficiency. The ultimate goal is to make changes continually in accordance with the user’s feedback. Click here to check-out our collection of Business App MVP templates that may fit your product or idea. Click here to receive a free MVP quotient of your idea.