A sort of minicomputer to be put on like a normal pair of glasses - glasses capable of exploiting augmented reality to not be a simple pair of glasses.

The idea is brilliant and the creation of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is necessary if you want to understand the usefulness of the product.

Tom Chi, co-founder of Google X, knows it well and for this in less than a day, with a micro camera, a battery, adhesive tape, Plexiglass sheets and a series of electronic cards equipped with microcontrollers, he develops the first MVP of Google Glass.

True, maybe that's the way we have a little interest, but I find it a perfect example to explain what an MVP is.

A perfect example that encompasses speed of execution, containment of expenditure (economic resources, people, time) and willingness to test the essential features of the product - in order to evaluate (and subsequently implement) user feedback.

WHAT IS AN MVP?

MVP therefore means creating that version of a new pilot product or service, not developed in detail, but containing all the essential features promised in the Value Proposition of our product or service.

In a nutshell MVP means:

  • To test,
  • Learn,
  • Having a good base for pivoting,
  • Improve / have a good basis for editing.
  • All this by spending little and not wasting too much time.

 

BUT THEN THE MVP IS A PROTOTYPE?

The MVP is a middle ground between a "prototype" and a "market analysis tool" useful for the validation by the market (or some customers) of an idea or some hypotheses founding a product or service.

For characteristics, objectives and development approach it is good not to confuse the MVP with the prototype. For example, the MVP could be a simple demonstration video, or an internet page of an advertising nature, developed to obtain feedback from the market regarding metrics defined upstream, and not developed to evaluate the functionality of all the characteristics of the product / service (as is the case for a normal prototype).

 

WHY IS AN MVP IMPORTANT?

Creating a MVP of the service / product you want to launch on the market is fundamental for two key reasons:

  • It allows you to understand if someone finds your product / service really useful.
  • It allows you to learn, perfect, modify your idea based on market feedback (that is, the idea is good, but maybe it should be slightly "filed" to achieve the optimal Product Market Fit).
  • It allows you to attract investors.
  • It allows you to attract the first customers / users (by retaining them).

HOW TO MANAGE AN MVP?

If well managed, the MVP becomes a test, implementation, experimentation and customer acquisition tool (starting from early adopters to conquer the world).

If well managed it is the necessary premise.

The concept of "well managed" encompasses speed of execution, containment of expenditure and compliance with the promise made with the Value Proposition.

How much money does it take to create the MVP? If the answer is tens of thousands (or even only thousands) stop for a moment and think about it. How long does it take to create the MVP? If the answer is 6 months / 1 year, stop for a moment and think on it. Well, there are a number of features on which the pricing of the development of MVP for a mobile app will depend on. These factors are mostly similar to building a whole mobile app that is ready for launch. 

The validation of the idea, as well as the optimization of the Product Market Fit, must take place quickly, with a minimum expenditure of resources.

The wrong thing is to invest time and resources looking for perfection that could be precipitated as unhelpful by customers.

 

MVP - WHAT TO DO:

  • Develop quickly and spend little (one of the steps you will surely have to do is choose a hosting plan for MVP);
  • Create an MVP with all the essential characteristics of the product (that is, it contains all the characteristics that express the authentic value of the product or service, in line with the Value Proposition);
  • Define evaluation and analysis metrics;
  • Monitor user behavior and listen to feedback;
  • Improve the product / service by listening to the market.
Also Read: How much will it cost to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for your Startup?

 

MVP - WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Create a prototype, focus on unnecessary features and features not in line with the Value Proposition (spending too much time and resources);
  • Be afraid to question the idea (or some features of the service / product);
  • Be afraid to test other MVPs;
  • Don't listen to market feedback.

 

MVP - SOME INTERESTING EXAMPLES.

We opened the article with the example of Tom Chi and Google Glass. There are many interesting examples of MVP that are worth mentioning.

1. DROPBOX
A demonstration video to illustrate the service offered. A landing page to explain the service. Here is the Dropbox MVP. Simple, fast and useful to collect contacts, customers and information (without the service being implemented yet).

2. AIRBNB
Another example that I like is that of Airbnb. It was 2007 when Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia came up with an idea (which would later become Airbnb). How to validate the business idea quickly and for little money? They found the solution by opening the doors of the San Francisco lotus apartment to 3 guests who had not found accommodation in hotels in the city (all full due to a conference on design). So they photographed the apartment, uploaded the photos to a website and launched the Airbnb MVP.

How to create an MVP?

Beyond the "academic" definition, unfortunately you will realize that in real life correctly estimate the return on investment, and this leads me to focus even more on a factor that we can instead estimate to control: time. And in this case, I'm talking about the development time of the MVP.

1. Creating a MVP: the Analysis Phase

When you want to create an MVP, the first phase you need to follow is the analysis phase. It is based on the analysis of two fundamental requirements of a business idea:
• the basic project must not require development times longer than 48-72h;
• the project must be easy to promote and with a low-cost promotion strategy (maximum USD 100-200 for the first month), already defined before starting development.

If the requirements are met, you can start working on the project, otherwise discard the project and start analyzing another one.

Simple isn't it? It certainly may seem like a "rough" strategy and certainly does not take into account some important aspects, but I am sure that simplicity is the basis of every successful business.
Simple rules lead to clear results.

2. Creating an MVP: the Development Phase

There is little to say about this phase. The aim is to develop the basic project. It must be a more or less functional project and that represents, in a very simplified version, the final project.

Personally, especially if you are a beginner, I do not recommend you take more than 48-72h to develop the MVP. Perfectionism is the biggest enemy in these cases.
Ah, and remember not to fall in love with your project too much, you would risk having a distorted view of reality and regretting it.

3. Creating an MVP: the Test Phase

The testing phase lasts one month. During this phase, you will have to implement the strategy established in the analysis phase, using the resources that I set out to use (in terms of time and money).

Once the test phase is complete, it's time to sum up. Did the project work or not?

It is important to give a clear answer to this question: a project may have worked or not worked. The biggest danger is when an idea works well, but it could be better. Often, in those cases, you are led to have false hopes that it will be better in the future, but I tell you from experience that this is rarely the case: continuing in those conditions is only a waste of resources and energy. To do business, it is essential to be pragmatic.

4. The evaluation phase of a Minimum Viable Product

If a project "passes" the testing phase, it is time to increase your efforts made to promote it and implement any additional promotion strategies.

If, on the contrary, a project was not successful, it's time to ask yourself why:
• the product / service is not of sufficient quality?
• did you miss promotion strategies?

Whatever the cause, if you can identify it, you can try to improve your project by removing its negative aspects. If you decide to give your project another chance, all you have to do is repeat the three steps again.

If, on the other hand, you cannot identify any critical issues, perhaps the product / service does not work because it is not interesting. Unfortunately, not all ideas are destined to be successful! But don't worry, failure is part of the learning process: the time has come for you to find a new business idea and apply the strategies I mentioned above.

Good luck! Doing business is not for everyone, you really need it!

Arun Goyal

Managing Director @ Octal IT Solution, a prominent Mobile App Development Company offering cutting-edge iPhone App Development and Android App Development services to Startups, SMEs and Fortune-500 Companies.

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