We always get to know of any startup or a product that succeeded, but we seldom find out which failed.
There are a few reasons for product failure or not succeeding as expected. In many such cases, the product managers or entrepreneurs tends to overbuild their first version of a product. There are a lot of factors which direct entrepreneurs towards the decision of overbuilding the product which majorly triggers due to certain fears; underbuilding, giving competitors a chance to develop a better product and failure of the idea.
It’s not that building a minimum viable product (MVP) will always lead to success; however, it increases the chances of success. Similarly overbuilding also does not guarantee a great product that the customers want.
Starting with a MVP will help with the below described benefits:
- Bring more value to the product’s market value proposition
Starting with a MVP will help you define your value proposition in a precise manner and gives you a platform to test your vision for the market product. You will be able to define goals, decide what exactly needs to be developed to test your value proposition and also spend money and time efficiently.
- Reduce rework
If you define your goals right and decide the exact requirement of the MVP, it help building a product enough to validate the hypothesis, if a rework is needed later, it’s minimal. The early customers are not looking for what you offer in your core product, they don’t buy your product for the core features you offer, instead, they are looking to solve their specific problems by using your product. Give exactly the same to them, a minimal product researched and designed to solve their problems.
- Create customer relations at an early stage
Starting with a MVP will you get a chance to start building customer relations sooner, though the product can be adopted by only a fewer segments of customers. Early adopters are more likely to provide feedback and suggest what the faults in the product are and what other features are required to be built. This helps you validate your value proposition at an early stage. The constant feedback mechanism will help you know the customers’ needs and to create a well laid product development roadmap.
- Bring focus to critical business functions (Sales and Marketing)
Sales and Marketing are the key functions of any business. A great product will not sell if these two functions do not perform. By starting with a MVP, you can shift more focus on sales and marketing. Doing so will help you test all functions of your business are performing well and in a collaborated manner before you start scaling up. The best way I could find is to scale sales and marketing to a level you see a conversion drop and then return focus to the product.
A MVP can simply be described pictorially as:
More insights can be obtained by understanding the principles of lean startup; they are:
- Entrepreneurs are Everywhere
- Entrepreneurship is Management
- Validated Learning
- Innovation Accounting
In my next article, we will discuss the principles of lean startup.