In Product Development, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product with just enough features to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development. by Wikipedia
MPV is one of the best practice that are being adopted by the companies to validate if their products with minimal offerings in it. Which helps them to check if their idea that turned into product is acceptable by the people. Which not only saves huge money but also saves lots of time building the core product.
Because of that it is very crucial and essential to build a MVP and test it in real time. Here is process to build your MVP;
Build: In this phase, you convert your great idea into a prototype that has core values in it with minimal offerings.
Measure: In this phase, you need to showcase your prototype to the people for whom you built it. It can be either by conducting interviews or taking online surveys or live demonstration or allowing them to use for sometime. Capture all the feedback’s that people shared with you. By analysing those inputs it will give you enough opportunities about your product. Which is very essential for an entrepreneur to know his product before its launch.
Learn: In this phase, figure it out the missing points or demands that people shared with you and address those points while re-developing that product.
Build, Measure and Learn, it’s a continuous process for improvising the product or services that your are offering. Now a days market changes with the technology and technology changes every movement. So you can imagine the level of product improvisation required for a business to sustain for long run.
Let me take you though few of the examples here, how they build their MVP;
Case Study1: Zappos
Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn tested his idea that if the people would be interested to buy shoes online. So he approached a local shoes store and with this permission he took few photos of the shoes that were displayed in the showroom. Latter he built a website and put those shoes pictures in his website. After few days, he made some sales. That gave him the confidence that there are people who don’t want to go to the Shoes Stores to buy shoes. Before jump into the market and investing huge money, he just tested his idea by offering the MVP. How cool is this MVP, low investment with minimal time to check your idea.
Case Study2: AirBnB
Today AirBnB is well know for crowd sharing. Before they launch their final product they tested their MVP as like this. They were running out of money and not able afford rent for their appartment. So they thought of sharing their rooms with strangers on rent. So they build a website and mentioned, low cost rooms available in their apartment for those people who doesn’t want to stay in costly hotels or looking for cheap rooms. They got three customers who came to attend the conference that was going on near their apartment. With such a low investment they tested the idea of crowd sharing and found the market for it.
While testing your prototype never expect that all of your targeted people will fall in love with your product. You need to target the early adopter people, who can accept your product easily. The Product Adoption Lifecycle consists of five category of people, who behaves differently and they are Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards. For a Startups it is very essential to understand who are the Innovators and Early Adopters. Out of total customer base, 2.5% is Innovators and 13% is Early Adopters.
Innovators: As the name suggests, they love to test the new innovations and they can be early adopters of your business. Usually these people are young mass who are socially very active and take high risks.
Early Adopters: These are the people who are looking for solutions and can get into the business easily. These are the young people who are socially very active and take high risks.
Early Majority: These are the people who will keep on testing your product for sometime and be part of your business if they like it.
Late Majority: These are the people who will check your product maturity and based upon which they will join your business.
Laggards: These are the people, usually you should expect them in your business, they are the late comers.
Those 15.5% of people who will adopt your products and help them to create rest 84.5% of the market. Initially your goal should be only target to these Innovators and Early Adopters. Because the 84.6% people are very skeptical about your product and they take longer time to accept your product. They only buy if its being adopted by other people. So never try to convince or chase those people.
I hope this piece of information helped you to understand the why Startups should build and test the prototype.
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