Basically, a “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) is a product that contains only the essential functions or features that allow you to ship something to consumers. While this incomplete product may only be a shadow of what you want your final product to be, it allows you the ability to start generating product feedback almost immediately. MVPs are preferable to the real deal when you want to learn as much as you can about your products marketability at minimum cost and effort.
One of the most famous examples of a product that began as an MVP is Dropbox. Starting with only bare functionality and a 90 second video, Dropbox was able to generate so much interest that today it has an excess of over 175 million users and a quarter of a billion in annual revenue.
What Can an MVP Teach You?
One of the many things than an MVP does well is help to shed light on your business model and the fundamental assumptions that you hold about it. For instance, when you create an MVP that is not as good as your theoretical final product, success of the MVP helps to validate the quality of your idea. Since the MVP is incomplete, failure may not be cause for grave concern, but it can be enlightening as to whether your product has any lapses and how much market interest it can actually generate.
MVPs can also reveal the truth about any underlying assumptions you have regarding the demand for your product, allowing your business to cut its losses early should you discover that you’re pursuing an unprofitable course. MVPs achieve two things in that regard:
- Help you learn about the sort of problems that your product should be solving.
- Lower the risk of your business model by allowing you to engage in preliminary testing long before you’ve spent the time and resources producing a full-fledged version of your product.
All of the above makes MVPs an ideal choice for any startup that carries a significant degree of risk. You’re establishing whether there’s real market interest is one of the best ways to mitigate the inherent risk of launching a new product.
Crowdfunding and MVPs
Selling your MVP is essentially about selling the merit of your idea. This strategy is largely the basis of the ongoing crowdfunding phenomenon you can find on sites such as Kickstarter and Crowdfunding Guide. Many of the projects posted on these sites are little more than an idea and an MVP to try and garner consumer interest.
When crowdfunders launch an MVP, they’re able to gauge consumer interest, fine tune their product, get immediate consumer feedback, and sell a product that they haven’t yet produced on the promise that they’ll deliver in the future. Not only does a successful campaign validate the product being tested, it also jumpstarts the business behind it.
EnderTech is a Los Angeles Web Developer able to provide solutions for your web design and web applications, including for your particular Minimum Viable Product and/or a Crowdfunding site for it. Contact us for a free consultation.