A version of a new product that allows a team to gather the maximum amount of validated knowledge about customers with the least effort.
A minimum viable product is the first version of our product with enough functionalities for customers to interact with the product and collect validated information for the future development of the product and the business idea.
The principle of the Lean Startup methodology through an iterative process is:
And it is in this iterative process where the Minimum Viable Product tool appears. It allows us to go through the process to obtain that validated information, launching our product to the market at an early stage and through the knowledge we acquired, continue with the development of the product, finding the fit between it and the market.
How does it help us?
A Minimum Viable Product will help us to reduce the failure rate and minimize the negative economic impact when we want to launch our product or service to the market.
Lean Startup methodology and the construction of a Minimum Viable Product, can be applied in any business, product or service launch. But they will help us mainly when we are in environments or projects of great uncertainty because they allow us to launch in a more controlled way and without much risk.
Besides, a good MVP launch experiment can also allow us to test the demand for our product in the market before launching the product with further development.
When should I build a Minimum Viable Product?
One of the most frequent doubts regarding the different innovation methodologies such as Lean Startup, is when we can use it or at what point of the process could be useful.
In the case of Lean Startup, and more specifically, when building a minimum viable product for the first time, there are two specific moments in which it can be of great help:
When we have a business idea, but we have not fully defined it.
When we have an idea for MVP (Minimum Viable Product), but we haven’t launched it yet and we don’t know how it would fit into the market.
Example: For instance, we worked on a project about improving the experience of patients with cancer. The most challenging moment of the whole experience is when these patients were on chemotherapy:
This is a visual prototype that allowed us to understand and co-create the concept.
It is a Minimum Viable Product since it was the first tangible test that allowed us to see if patients were really going to use it.
Through a prototype, we can be looking for feedback, we can see if the customer finds our solution idea interesting. Instead, when we launch our MVP we want to measure and obtain data on whether someone is willing to pay for it or commits to the product or service and if our business model fits the market.
And where do I start?
A common mistake when building the first minimum viable product, is that we want it all and want it now. We struggle to prioritize. And this can be dangerous when deciding what our first minimum viable product should look like. A common question at this moment is:
How am I going to launch my product, if I still can’t build the business idea I have?
Simple! Because we must prioritize. We should not include all the functionalities and features that we had thought about our product. If not, build the minimum expression of our product, which allows us to validate if there is a fit between our business idea and the market. We must stay, especially in an initial phase, with what is essential, and what is not, leave it for later.
This can make our first minimum viable product look very different from the business idea we had in mind. But this should not generate fear as long as it allows us to obtain that validated information that we are looking for from the customer and the market.
Nor does prioritizing mean that we create a single functionality of our product. For example, if we are designing a mobile application, we cannot just stay on the registration screen.
We must include those functionalities that are essential to deliver our value proposition to the customer and also take into account to a certain extent the reliability we transmit, usability and design. It’s about building something simple but not crappy.
The first step when we face building our first Minimum Viable Product will be to ask ourselves:
What hypothesis of our business model do we want to validate?
And taking this question as a basis is when we can start to think about what to build to obtain this validated data.Simply put, a Minimum Viable Product is:
The least we can build to validate that there is a real market opportunity.
It allows us to Validate = Obtain measurable data, a commitment from the client.
A minimum viable product can be anything from a sales story to a navigable application with only one functionality. It will depend on what we want to validate and the moment of the project or process in which we are.
When we tackle a newly created project at Thinkers Co. we try to create these MVPs, so that we are not only with the concept but with ideas that we can test if it makes sense in the market. If you want to know more about this way of working, take a look at our training services to gain agility in the launch of products to the market.
Knowing the needs and motivations of your users is essential...
It is a method for generating innovative ideas that focuses its effectiveness on understanding and providing solutions to the real needs of users. It comes from the way product designers work. Hence its name, which literally translates as "Design Thinking", although we prefer to translate it as "The way designers think". It is, in short, a change of perspective from designing FOR people to designing WITH people.
It is a working method that aims to increase the chances of success when a project comes out of the paper and begins to be realized, eliminating everything useless and inadequate. The idea is to adapt the product to what the market demands and not to our own vision, which is the best way to launch something new. To do this, we must focus on the customer's needs, relying on their feedback to modify the product until the final version is developed.
It is a set of methodologies for developing projects that require speed and flexibility to adapt to changing industry or market conditions, leveraging those changes to provide a competitive advantage. The main characteristic of the principles and values underlying agile methodologies is to be able to deliver quickly and continuously. In other words, the project is "sliced" into small chunks to be completed and delivered in a few weeks. In this way, if a change is needed, it is made only in the part involved and in a short period of time.
Share this ArticleLike this article? Email it to a friend!
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!