What is an MVP, and why should you care?

4th August 2022

The trick to save your start-up time and money.

How does an MVP work?

What is an MVP?

When a business is starting up, it faces many challenges, such as what it creates and who its customers are. Imagine a startup has a brandnew idea, so they spend months building the most fantastic product to a very high standard, then they take it to market, and no one wants it. So they must start again, wasting precious time and money. One of the biggest issues startups face is building a product that somebody wants. That is where an MVP comes in.

MVP stands for a minimal viable product. An MVP is a way to test that your product will gain traction without fully developing the product. An MVP is a way to save your time and money by getting a proof of concept before starting development.

"Building a product that somebody want"

How does an MVP work?

An MVP strips the product to its core features, the ones necessary for the product or service to work.

An example of this could be Facebook. We know Facebook now allows posts, stories, messaging, pages you can like, and so on. However, at the core of Facebook, they wanted to understand whether people would like to tell their friends what they are doing over a platform.

So, Facebook created a website where users could see each other's profiles and update their status. Their MVP allowed their users to connect and share, which is Facebook's main feature, and then from there, they can develop this further.

Upon understanding how their consumers were using the platform, they could build Facebook to serve their consumer's desires rather than having to guess what they would want they already knew.

How does an MVP work?

That was an example of an MVP in tech, but what would it look like if I had a physical business?

An MVP where you create the product or service experience is referred to as a concierge MVP. Let's take Starbucks as an example; at the core of this business, they sell coffee to people on the go. If they were starting and wanted to create an MVP to understand if there is a demand for their business, they could get a table and stand on a busy street corner selling coffee.

A concierge MVP allows them to see that people would buy coffee on the go without having to find the money for a store, staff or even branding. They could also test this almost instantly, which makes the process quicker. Not only do they learn that their hypothesis is correct that people will buy coffee on the go, but they can also see what type of customer they attracted, and now they have a target consumer for their marketing.

How do you create an MVP?

An MVP aims to build a product, measure the traction or feedback from consumers and learn from this process to develop the product further. So, it is a constant loop of build – measuring – learning to create a product your consumer wants. The overall desire for this loop is to make it as fast as possible that way, you are constantly innovating your business with your consumer at the focus.

So, the best way to start building your MVP is to reverse the loop. Think about what you want to learn and what you want to measure, and then make the product that will achieve these things.

"Think about what you want to learn"