5 Things Startups Must Know Before Launching a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)!

Minimum Viable Product

Let’s be honest – the modern business climate could not be imagined without startups, but how many of them actually succeed? 11 out of 12 new businesses fail, and that is sad. The more important question is why some of them actually succeed and what is a minimum viable product?

Today we will try to answer these questions by going through the steps necessary for a startup in order to build a solid foundation for their product and avoid the game-ending errors.

1. Define Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Goals

If you are relatively familiar with the Startup environment, you have probably heard about the term MVP. If you have not, we must warn you that it is not Lebron James nor Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Nowadays, releasing a product without an MVP is practically unheard of. Examples of Minimum Viable Products from industry giants like Spotify, Zappos, Dropbox, and Facebook demonstrate how even big businesses can embark on successful product development with relatively modest offerings. The main question is how to build a minimum viable product ?

MVP stands for MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT, meaning that it is a product with just enough characteristics to grab the attention of initial customers and give a product confirmation of validity, which allows it to cross a bridge from being an idea to a real, material product that could help people and bring them value.

But, before launching the MVP product, several questions should be answered in order to determine the direction of your future steps as you learn and adapt your product according to the market’s demands.

Things like alignment between your product and the rest of your Startup vision are very important and not to be taken easily. You must know the role that your MVP is playing in the long-term. Are you shooting towards increasing the revenue or leaning more towards increasing brand awareness before worrying about the numbers? Are your resources severely limited, and if they are, how much of them should be used on the product?

If you have problems with defining your goals, let https://www.purrweb.com/, a professional MVP development company, help you with this and other related tasks.

These are just some of the practical issues that Startups must face and you would be surprised how many people forget to calculate important stuff into the bigger picture, making them vulnerable when unplanned errors occur.

2. Prepare an Improvement Plan

It is easy to get overwhelmed by emotions once your product is out there, but in order to be ready for potential problems, it would be great to have an improvement plan. As the name suggests, an improvement plan is there in case some of the features do not work properly or it causes more trouble than expected. If you do not want to be in those 90% of startups that fail within the first operating year, you cannot skip this stage.

Situations like those are not a rarity in the Startup world, so going to the market without an improvement plan is like sailing through an ocean without lifeboats. Titanic did that, and look what happened to it. The bottom of the Startup ocean is dark and cold, and you don’t want your Startup to sink.

3. Test MVP

Testing your idea with the help of MVP is a no-brainer since it comes with multiple benefits that can offer you an insight towards taking the direction of product development. Gaining the trust of customers and their actual validation of the product is more valuable than a million pre-launching plans, expectations, and other theoretical stuff.

Indeed, planning and preparing are important, but nothing serves as a better metric for success and failure as practical results. Getting accepted by the users and building a relationship through feedback is an irreplaceable indicator when it comes to finding out whether your product has a chance in the real world.

4. Hand the MVP over to the Beta Testers

“Test and learn, test and learn, test and learn. There is no other way around it. But if you follow that way, you will eventually get where you wanna go.” – Gary Vaynerchuck

One of the misconceptions within the Startup community is that some people confuse MVP with a Beta product when in reality, they are worlds apart. Yes, there are similarities, but that does not mean you should treat them the same, nor should the testing be done in the same way.

Now, before going too deep on explaining the differences between the beta product version and MVP, it is important to say that Beta testing is not inapplicable in this stage of product development. If used properly, it could add lots of benefits towards the product improvement and provide your team with extra useful information.

Even though Beta testing is not customer testing, it serves as a good feedback process due to the lack of risk, allowing the Startup to face errors before the official launch, and cover the fundamental product principles that might be compromised, without the market finding out about it.

5. Get Ready for the Different Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Results

Getting to know the real opinion of your customer can be a real challenge sometimes. Analyzing the feedback properly can mean the difference between a breakthrough and taking a step in the wrong direction. The development of your product relies upon the trustworthy and precise articulation of its flaws, so paying close attention to the message the market is sending you can be a game-changer.

If your customers are happy and satisfied with your product, they are the ones willing to spend the money on it in the future, so you should focus on listening to observations. Having customers who are fans of your MVP means that you are on the right path and that you are in the right market, which is sometimes more important than the product itself.

However, there will be customers who will not like your product, or will, but with a few suggestions on their minds. Those are the customers you should listen to most carefully because they will be the ones to tell you exactly what to do in order to make the right adjustments that the market requires.

Those who succumb to their ego and continue with making stubborn decisions cannot survive long-term in the ever-changing climate, but on the contrary, those who absorb every piece of information that they can get, even the negative one, and use it as an improvement tool, are the ones that conquer the markets. And guess which ones are being discussed in places like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and which ones are finding their way to the bottom of the Startup ocean?

Minimum viable product article and permission to publish here provided by Julia Beyers. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on June 7, 2021.