So, you have finally decided to start your very own business – aspiring to build an organization that will be locked on the front cover of the next Forbes’s issue, as THE success story of the decade.
Okay, you may not have ambitions that great but you really hope that your business would be a success.
Even your instincts tell you that you will succeed. After all, you’ve got a great idea and you have done your market research.
But, as an entrepreneur and a realist, you are well aware of the fact that you cannot be certain about the success of your business, until your product or service is finally in the market.
What if you can go beyond idealization, work out whether your business will actually succeed—and that too before even launching your product or service?
MVP – Beyond Idealization
This is where the concept of minimum viable product or MVP comes in.
What is a minimum viable product (MVP)?
MVP or minimum viable product is a prototype of the product or service set for future release, offering minimum features that are sufficient enough to gauge early market interest.
You will launch the MVP before the actual product; let your customers use it, and based on their feedback and response you will then be able to figure out whether the actual product or service will be a success or not. You can also use feedback to improve your final offering.
The Biggest MVP Mistake
However, you need to be careful of one thing—a mistake that many startups make:
The minimum offering in your MVP must provide close to the maximum value to your customers.
First time entrepreneurs tend to focus on the word “minimum” of the minimum viable product, rather than the objective that it will be serving. This results in the design of an underwhelming MVP. Your MVP must be functional and contain all core features that your actual product will be offering.
MVP Examples – Get Inspired!
Here, I would like to share with you some MVP examples to help you get inspired.
- Airbnb:The now popular platform providing online market place for vacation or short term rentals, initially came up with an MVP before launching their online service. They marketed their San Francisco apartment as a rental lodge, to a group of business delegates attending design conference in the town. The response they received not only helped them to establish that their idea will work on a bigger scale but it also helped them to pay the overdue rent of their apartment.
- Zappos:The co-founder of Zappos, Nick Swinmurn, initially started with taking pictures of shoes—displayed at a local shoe store—and used to post the pictures on a website. This was done to see whether people would be interested in buying shoes from an online shoe store. Whenever someone ordered the shoe online, Nick used to go back to the store, buy the shoe and send it over to the customer. Once he saw that his idea was gaining traction, he then set up an online retail shoe store by the name of Zappos.
As can be appreciated from the above examples and discussion, MVP is important for any startup to validate the business idea and provide insight on how the actual product or service is expected to be received on its launch.
Looking for More Similar Entrepreneurial Advice?
My blog resources can help you. I, Manal Haddad, have an experience of more than 25 years in business consultancy and development having worked with some of the top business organizations of the 21st century. Whatever I have learnt, I try word it into a blog for entrepreneurs like you. Read, learn and enjoy!