Building an MVP

“Ideas without execution are hallucinations”

Thomas Edison

Building an MVP

It is possible to have the next greatest business idea but never reap the benefits of it. Transforming an idea into reality is a difficult but necessary process.
Even bringing fairly simple concepts to life can be complex. Initially, it is easy to believe you have the product thought-out perfectly and invest significant time, money, and resources to bring this product to life. While it may turn out exactly how expected, until it hits the market, there is no true way to demand. If it doesn’t, that could waste valuable company or personal resources without any results.
To counter this, it is recommended to build an MVP (minimum viable product) early in the process. Prior to building an MVP, it is important to have valid and extensive market research. Although an MVP is essentially a prototype, it still represents the company’s direction and if the idea does not demonstrate any value or possibility of being favored in the market, it could damage a company’s reputation before it is even developed. With an MVP, there are two main aspects that you are testing: proof of concept and business strategy.

Building an MVP

Listen to the Market

An MVP is exactly what it sounds like: a product that features the design and basic functionality of the intended final product. It is just enough to demonstrate what the product will offer without investing to heavily into it initially.

This can be a useful tool to get an honest understanding of the market’s reaction to the product with a small budget. If the product performs well and is desired by the market, you can continue the design and implementation process. If it does not perform well, you can take the feedback from the market and plan accordingly, whether that entails small design changes or large strategic shifts.

This is also important if you plan to utilize investors. Typically, investors are looking for some sort of proof that the product they are investing in is actually possible, so having an MVP ready can impress and satisfy potential investors.

Business Strategy

Aside from receiving market feedback on the product, putting out an MVP also allows a business to test different marketing techniques. With seemingly endless products available, being seen can prove challenging.

Gaining a following should not start after the MVP is built, but much further in advance. An example of how this can be done is through utilizing a crowdfunding website. Not only is it a chance to gain “free” capital, but it also gives a clear network of individuals who are interested in trying the product and would likely provide feedback.

Utilizing social media to gain a following and advertising systems to attract visitors is also highly recommended. After the trial period of using the MVP has concluded, management can determine what the most effective forms of marketing and communication were and can implement plans to focus on those.

Build, Test, Learn

Regardless of how much you want your product to be successful, it is crucial to listen to feedback logically rather than emotionally. In a study conducted by CB Insights, the majority of startups fail because there is no market need. (Manchanda, 2019)

This problem could have been assessed during the MVP stage if not already identified through market research. It is easy to be passionate about what you do, but the consumers control what will succeed and what won’t.

Listen to the Market

Regardless of how much you want your product to be successful, it is crucial to listen to feedback logically rather than emotionally. In a study conducted by CB Insights, the majority of startups fail because there is no market need. (Manchanda, 2019)

This problem could have been assessed during the MVP stage if not already identified through market research. It is easy to be passionate about what you do, but the consumers control what will succeed and what won’t.

Reference: Manchanda, A. (2019, December 13). A Step-by-Step Guide to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Building an MVP