The term “minimum viable product” has become something of a buzz word term in business, and many people are not sure exactly what it means. They may know that minimum viable product is a good place to start when developing a product, and they may know that the goal is to create something they can start testing out with users, but what does a minimum viable product look like?
At Grata we’re often asked to develop minimum viable software products, and we’ve learned a few things from the process. Here they are, in brief:
– The minimum viable product should include the features that you consider to be the core value of the final product. This first test product is a way to determine whether or not the core value proposition of the product is correct. Will people like it? Will they use it often? Will they pay for it? Sometimes you may learn that what people like most about the product is something you considered secondary, or that people won’t pay as much as you thought they would for it.
– The MVP gets your product in the hands of users as quickly as possible to that you can begin testing your assumptions. Make sure you have an idea of what you want to test with this MVP and how you’re going to test it. Collect feedback, and ask for honest feedback that you may not want to hear. We can all get attached to our favorite ideas but, this product is being created for the consumer. You want to make ensure that as development continues and when the final product is released, it’s tailored for that market.
– Consider all the oppositions people have and consider ways to solve them. Propose solutions to people and see how they react. Listen to their reactions, but also know that the real solution to the problem may be something they would never think of themselves- something that your knowledge of software development or your industry will make clear to you. Be creative in finding solutions to these problems- see how other people have solved them and whether or not that worked for them. How can you improve on what has been done before?
In the end, the minimum viable product is a starting point, a way to test out a product with the audience it was developed for, to get feedback, make the right changes, and iterate. The model allows a company to work targeted research into the development process, and to stop and ask questions throughout the process that will lead to a better product with a stronger market fit.
If you have an idea for a minimum viable product and want a partner who understands both the business and technical sides of development, consider contacting Grata. We know what questions to ask and make a point of understanding your business as we scope out a software project. Building the right software for your audience can put your company at an advantage over the competition and help your company grow and scale faster and more easily. We want to help.