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MVP Examples and Benefits
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Examples and Benefits
Every product manager MUST know what MVP is. The concept of creating a minimum viable product (MVP) before a full-scale product originates from the best practices of agile development.
A product can be called minimally viable if it has some features to be validated within the market and brings the core value for early adopters. The MVP approach stipulates step-by-step product evolution keeping in mind user feedback. It also corresponds to the philosophy of ‘ship early, repairs later’ supported by many notable minds, including Reid Hoffman, the founder of Linkedin, and Eric Ries, who first introduced the MVP technique in his “The Lean Startup.”
That’s what most product managers have in mind under this term. MVP may be treated as a pioneer product version with basic functionality and features from the consultancy viewpoint.
Most of the notable products, including Airbnb and Twitter, started their way as MVPs and have been gradually evolving into trendsetting startups. Meanwhile, newbie entrepreneurs may doubt the necessity and feasibility of this concept and prefer to skip the MVP stage. But that’s a risky decision, and your startup may end in disaster.
Let’s see how MVP can help you avoid this. Startups need MVP to validate their opportunity hypothesis and get the green light for developing a full-fledged product.
Though it’s functionally constrained and raw in appearance, MVP is meant to deliver the core value and get feedback to move on. In other words, you ask target users whether they need your product or not. What would have happened if the founders of Uber or Spotify had entered the market without a preliminary evaluation of their MVPs?
It’s more than likely that we would not have even known about their products. But they made the right choice and leveraged the lean startup tactic. Here are the key benefits you get if you start from MVP: The first one is resources optimization: Your idea might be brilliant in your head, but the market may reject it for various reasons like tough competition, inadequate value proposition, and others. As a result, tons of hours appear to be spent on the unwanted product, not to speak of funds.
The MVP lets you avoid this scenario and try out your opportunity hypothesis with the actual user.
If the market accepts your barebone product, success with the fully-functional solution is pretty high. If not, you avoid the risk of wasting time/money and get an opportunity to shift focus or fix your startup’s value proposition. The next benefit is early customer acquisition: MVP is a lean version of a product you will release to the market.
Though it lacks some top-notch features and advanced functionality, it does provide value to users and hence acquires early adopters. Of course, the main goal of such an immature product release is to gather feedback to validate the value proposition.
Nevertheless, it does not prevent you from starting to make up a customer base. The next benefit is the value proposition focus: The last but not the slightest answer to the question “why is the minimum viable product important?” is the ultimate emphasis on the value you will deliver with your product.
The MVP lets you understand different problems your future customers need to solve.
You can use the value proposition canvas to get a graphical expression of customers’ needs vs.
Product offers. There are lots of other benefits worth mentioning. With MVP, startups can create attractive bait for investors, check their product’s vision on the market, optimize resources on market research, tailor a product-market fit strategy, etc.
If you are about to create a new product from scratch, we advise you to learn to use Lean Canvas. Lean Canvas includes nine core aspects to be considered, including but not limited to customers’ problems, competitors, solutions you might offer, and the unique value proposition of your product. Let’s sum up what we’ve learned about the minimum viable product: MVP is a pioneer product version with basic functionality and a basic set of features; The goal of the MVP is to validate an opportunity hypothesis and deliver the core business value to the target user.