One of the ideal examples of building a great MVP begins with the story of three roommates. It was 2007, in San Francisco, when Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, the two college buddies, couldn’t pay their accommodation’s rent. So they planned to rent out their loft to make a few bucks.
They brought three mattresses to offer bed and breakfast services to total strangers. To execute the idea, they created a simple website, airbedandbreakfast.com. And soon, one woman and two men showed up.
Each guest was charged $80, and the guys made their first income. Soon the duo met their old roommate Nathan Blecharczyk to turn the idea into a good business. By 2019, Airbnb was already worth $31 billion.
The approach Joe, Brian, and Nathan followed was building a great MVP; the rest is history.
So, if you’re looking to build a successful MVP, we will show you how to do it. All you need to do is follow the steps.
Meaning and Purpose of a Minimal Viable Product – MVP
A major reason behind startups’ failure is that their initial product is solely designed on their assumptions. Therefore, building a great MVP is significant.
So what is an MVP? A ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (MVP) is a basic or primary, launchable version of your product. At this moment, the product includes minimal but must-have features, which specify its value proposition.
Why is building a great MVP vital? It allows you to collect users’ feedback for the basic product you have launched. It helps you identify what features should be removed, added, or upgraded to make the product lovable by your target audience.
Therefore, by building a great MVP, you can find the right audience, as you are able to include their ideas (your customers) into your product.
Step-by-Step Guide on Building a Great MVP
Step 1: Spend Time on the Market Research
“There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Any business with higher information will have greater chances of success. Sometimes even a million dollar idea doesn’t match the market needs. The reason could be the target audience, purchasing power, demographics, etc.
CB Insights survey also revealed that the top reason for a startup’s failure is offering a product with ‘no market need.’ So before you go ahead with building a great MVP for your idea, ask yourself, “does my idea fulfill users’ demands?”
Another essential part of market research is knowing your competitors. You must know what your rivals are already offering in the market. And how your idea can be remarkable compared to your competition.
Step 2: Work on Value Addition
For building a great MVP, your product/app idea must include strong reasons to attract customers. Ask yourself, what value does your new product provide to its users? In what ways can it prove to be beneficial to your audience? Why should users pay for your product?
These are crucial questions to help identify your product’s value proposition. Remember, your product should offer a great value even in its primary state.
Step 3: Analyze Your Assumptions
If you have assumptions about your product idea, that’s good. However, at Slash, we recommend you examine your assumptions based on the following criteria:
- Desirability: Are you offering a product that users crave? Is it going to solve users’ problems?
- Feasibility: Is it possible to develop the product economically?
- Viability: Is your product going to be a success? Is it going to sustain in the market? The business and financial risks associated with it. And can they be tackled within a specific period?
Step 4: Make the App Convenient for Users
The design process plays an important part in building a great MVP. Your designed application must be user-friendly. However, you can only achieve this goal by looking at your product from the users’ perspective.
Your app must work smoothly right from opening the interface to the final stage. Let us help you understand this point from a simple example.
Assuming you are building a great MVP application for your e-commerce store. Customers must be able to open the app, add items to their cart, and make payments hassle-free.
Your app should be so convenient that customers don’t need specialized knowledge to understand the steps to reach their main objective. And if you think your app has a different process, make sure to explain the steps. And make the process stress-free.
So in the case of this example, you should make the process of product finding, buying, managing, and receiving orders simple and easy.
If this goal is achieved, that means you’re building a great MVP.
Step 5: Categorized MVP Features
You must know the most essential features to be included in your MVP at this level. For the sake of building a great MVP, begin this quest by asking yourself once again: What is required by the users? Is my product offering something helpful to my target audience?
Then, prioritize your MVP features based on:
- High priority
- Medium priority
- Low priority
Next, position all these traits in the product backlog items by following the priority hierarchy. At this stage, you are all set for building a great MVP.
Step 6: Launch MVP
Once you have decided on the core features and understood the market requirements, you are ready to launch the MVP. Remember, do not keep the MVP’s quality lower than the final product. Why? Because it will be among the initial users. Therefore, if you are building a great MVP, it must be engaging, handy, and satisfactory for users.
Step 7: Analyze Feedback through BML – The ‘Build, Measure, Learn’ Approach
A lot is happening behind building a great MVP and launching it.
The ‘Build’ Stage
First, you determine the scope of work. Then the product shifts to the development stage. Here, the scrum teams are involved in daily stand up meetings to add high value to the product and report to the product owner.
The ‘Measure’ Stage
Once the development phase is over, the product is tested by the quality assurance department. The QA team and development team work together to deliver a high-quality product. And finally, the MVP is launched.
The ‘Learn’ Stage
At this stage, you start receiving feedback. Or in other words, you must get feedback from the users after the release and shape your product accordingly.
For building a great MVP, you must do correct market research. Your product must include features that your target audience desires. Besides, your product must be easy to use. And most importantly, you must gather and work on the users’ feedback once the MVP is launched.
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