MVP

How to Create an MVP for Your Startup: A Comprehensive Guide

Pranav Hooda
By Pranav Hooda 6 Min Read

The Minimum Viable Product is the version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. It is important to note that an MVP is not a stripped-down version of a product. It is just a product with the essential features to test the most important assumptions.

Why Do You Need It?

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is one of the fundamental building blocks of any product. It allows the team to validate its assumptions before making its next step and iterate to further improve the product. It also serves as a hub for collaboration and feedback of potential users. In order for a company to progress, it must understand its audience and respond accordingly. 

How to build an MVP as quickly as possible?

Start with the assumption that you will have two types of users (vendors or customers): Users that know your product, who you know well and can provide feedback, and generally have a high level of trust. Vendors that want to build a product, but might not know you well, and might not be in a position to provide deep feedback. For the purpose of this post, it will be assumed that both of these groups exist for your product. The term “minimum viable product” refers to this first group, which will allow you to learn the most, faster. This first version might not be polished, but that will come later. We call this the sales phase. For this example, our sales phase will look like this: An initial list of vendors that would like to buy our product.

How to Find Your First 10 Customers?

Getting your first customer can be a frustrating process. It could be the lack of sales leads, lack of a full-time marketing team or a marketing budget, or simply a customer need that was not yet fully met. Once you’ve reached a milestone with at least one customer, you’ll likely need to find a customer acquisition cost to test the product with new customers. One method for determining how much a customer should cost is to keep track of how much they spend to acquire you. Start by determining how many potential customers your product could reach, using the following question: “How many more customers could we reach if we sold X amount of product?

How to build a Minimum Viable Product?

To generate and validate learning about your customers, you can do something like this: Include different usage scenarios for your product. For example, if you are creating a financial service app, include login scenarios, report generation scenarios, and even mock transactions. Use your testing scenario to come up with test inputs and outcomes that will elicit the most learning from your users. Take the time to dig into your customers and understand how they interact with your app. You can test the delivery of different scenarios by tracking user behavior in real time. A key feature of an MVP is the ability to collect data on customer behavior in order to evolve the product along with the customers.

The MVP process

As previously mentioned, the idea behind the MVP is to be as lightweight as possible. You want to build your MVP without making significant changes to your technology, only focusing on the elements that your product needs to have to get some results. In terms of user experience, you want the app to be very straightforward and simple. 

You can follow these simple steps to build your MVP:

  1. Define your MVP
  2. What will you offer? 
  3. What are you going to test? 
  4. Determine your desired results and how are you going to measure? 
  5. Find out what you need to do to get there
  6. Create a plan of action
  7. Implement your plan of action
  8. Build your MVP 
  9. Test your MVP 
  10. Find a way to measure your progress

Conclusion

Every startup needs an MVP, even a never-ending journey of moonshot ideas. You need to test your assumptions and come up with prototypes. Your startup needs the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to know what needs to be polished and refined before going for the Production version. You cannot proceed to the next stage of your startup unless you have confidence in your product and its main points.

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Posted by Pranav Hooda
Pranav is a serial explorer of new ideas and internal thought, a visionary and a transformational thinker. He launched his first business at the age of 21, while still learning about it in college. He hustled from the bottom and worked hard to build his company Orento Group. He has been on the forefront of transforming innovation in various industries such as marketing, finance, education and social entrepreneurship. Today he’s an investor, mentor, and speaker who has helped many entrepreneurs to find their vision and start their journey.
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