What is Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is not a product; it’s a process that helps entrepreneurs to test a new product and gather the most relevant feedback to make improvements where needed.
At its simplest, MVP is the version of a new product that enables startups to accumulate all the validated learning related to the users with minimum effort.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Checklist
Before you start building your MVP, make sure to cross the following questions off the list:
- Who will be your user?
- What value does your product offer?
- What problems does your product solve?
- When and how much revenue will it generate?
- What determines your product’s success and failure?
- When will you deliver it?
- What is the core functionality of your product?
All in all, digging deep into the MVP process is not a daunting task, nevertheless finding the right way to do so is important if you wanted to achieve desired results.
Here are the most pioneering ways to get started with building an MVP that will show whether the targeted audience is interested in your idea or not.
1. Start With a Simple Signup Page
Publishing a single page with your product description will be a good idea to measure audience interest.
You can also add a different call to action, including:
- Get updates
- Notify me when you release (if there is a release, of course.)
- Join our mailing list.
An online social learning game company Grockit, which prepares students for standardized exams, was not very happy with the concept of name and email address. And so, they executed an MVP sign-up form.
On the Signup page, Grockit added the following questions: Why are you interested in Grockit LSAT?
There were two options given at the end of the question “are you studying for the LSAT”? with an optional box was provided to explain any other reasons.
Grockit implemented a very effective approach through which they easily measured their users’ intent by asking why users wanted to use their product.
You can add more questions to your Sign-up page to gather the maximum amount of information required to know customer intent.
If you have more than just a signup/announcement page, you can also embed other types of questions, such as the product/market fit, in the form of surveys to learn about user intent.
Free-to-Use Product Market Fit Survey Template
Free plan available. 100 free survey responses included every month!
Another perk of measuring audience interest?
Insights from pre-launch surveys can help you secure startup funding in the future.
2. Launch your Product Video
The best example of implementing the product video idea is the Pebble watch from Kickstarter. Up till now, it is considered as one of the most funded Kickstarter projects.
The video launch idea helped Pebble a lot since they almost generated $20 million.
When you launch a product video for your idea, it enables you to have complete control over your product and business at this early, pre-venture capital stage.
Pro tip: Before launching a Kickstarter campaign, don’t forget to hit Kickended, the website that is devoted to the zero sponsors’ projects. It also allows you to have insights related to successful and unsuccessful stories.
3. Limited MVP Version
Buffer is a social media scheduling app, and the founder Leo Widrich has presented a very restricted version of MVP that was just a two-page product. He tweeted to figure out if people would have been interested in the idea.
The initial version of the Buffer app only allowed to schedule tweets. The primary user response showed that people were interested in using the app.
In addition, he also asked that if people would be interested in paying for the same app, and many users clicked on the YES option.
Just after collecting people’s responses, Widrich invested both time and money.
Today the app has turned out as one of the most demanded social media scheduling software.
4. Facebook Ads
Tim Ferris is a famous American entrepreneur, an author who wanted to title his first book “Broadband and White Sand”.
Tim’s publisher rejected the title, and to avoid the delay, he suggested running some Facebook ads to test titles.
While Tim got unexpected results, he couldn’t argue with genuine feedback.
And so, the few-hundred-dollar investment on Facebook ads saved Tim’s book from turning into the waste.
5. Test your content
Probably the least expensive way to test your market is to figure out how your audience is reacting to your content.
Another successful example was Copyblogger, designed to build an audience and then ask what they were looking for.
This is the actual story behind the most popular software company, Copyblogger Media, that employs approximately 50 people and earns $10 million a year.
It all started with Brian Clark’s blog about copywriting. They published two times a week and discussed MVP.
Luckily, many readers noticed it and started to ask when they were going to offer something that readers could buy.
And so, Brian Clark and Tony Clark came up with a new idea of teaching a course about building a sustainable business.
They introduced a pre-order form for people to sign up, and just after a week, they gathered $200,000 – even before the product presentation took place!
6. Verifying MVP via email
This approach takes less effort than building an entire feature of the product. This will be a great idea if you already have customers or a fellowship, such as your blog readers. If you receive a positive response, you can continue building upon the concept of product features.
However, if the majority of your respondents are opening the email but not reacting to the call-to-action buttons or questions, you must take note.
Perhaps you might need to revisit the value proposition or the way to ask questions to attract your prospect’s attention.