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What Is The “Minimum” In a Minimum Viable Product?

  • MVP

11 July 2022

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For this piece, we will take a look into what an MVP should accomplish to make it “minimum” and explain the pros and cons of a minimum viable product. Then, use the simple MVP checklist as a guide to product development.

To begin with, let’s start by answering the question:

What is a Minimum Viable Product?

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product without any added features. Like a test run, you'll have the opportunity to see if your product can even make money. Getting one is important because it allows you to maximize learning about your business with minimal development effort and the shortest possible time, resource, and cost commitment.

The information gained from an MVP can be used to guide further development, helping startups understand their customers' needs as quickly as possible and start generating revenue, thus saving both time and money.

Agile product development reduces risk and allows teams to iterate more quickly. Implementing the MVP approach allows a company or business to be more productive by enabling them to use the least amount of features to solve a user's problem. 

Therefore, this means less support staff, less code being written by developers, and less work for development teams. 

What Makes The “Minimum” in an MVP?

At the beginning of making your product, resources are limited, you may not have much money or time. Therefore, you want something that will get you the maximum knowledge about your idea for minimal effort. However, determining what the bare minimum should be is not always as easy as it may sound.

What Should You Consider in your MVP

You ought to be able to answer the following questions about your product.

  1. Who is the product for?
  2. Is the product user-friendly?
  3. How will the product make users’ lives easier?
  4. How is this better than what currently exists or what the users have used before (This one helps you identify your niche)
  5. Why will the users use it?

To determine if your product is at the MVP stage, you must sort out each feature. Then, identify what matters most to the product and what doesn't.

Make a list of every possible feature and then go through them individually. Then, ask yourself if the element is integral to the product's value. If Yes- Great, keep it. No? Well, you know what to do.

Giving up features for your MVP shouldn't be a cause for concern for two reasons. First, bringing them back is always a possibility. Second, more features means launching will take longer. A disciplined approach to cutting features will reveal your product's true value to the user.

Pros and Cons of a Minimum Viable Product

Pros:

MVP is a strategy: This is the main advantage of the MVP approach. You can better understand your customers' interest in your product without fully developing the product. The earlier you can find out whether your product will appeal to customers, the less time, effort, and expense you spend on a product that will not succeed in the market.

Cost-effective: A goal of any business is to save on its every expense while delivering high-quality service. So developing an MVP with core/essential features in the early stages will save significant amounts of money in the long run.

It helps validate your idea: Is this a product that your market loves? The counterpart of a minimum viable product is a minimum lovable product (MLP). This validated learning comes in the form of whether your customers will use your product. 

An effective way to attract investors: An MVP is a great way to show your product's potential to audiences and investors. A working prototype or clickable MVP is the easiest way to show them this potential.

Flexibility in the development process: Having a base product that has been tested for its features and functionalities by end-users allows for additional features to be integrated easily.

Cons:

The main disadvantage of an MVP is not properly defining the 'minimum.' You can't just leave out major features for your product. If you're missing the point, you will probably fail.

Having more features that you need is a major disadvantage during the creation of your MVP, you need to focus your team’s efforts on having a product with the necessary features to meet deadlines and don’t overload its functionality. Stay focused on the vitals.

We hope this article helps you understand that MVPs are not just for startups with no funds. Any business, whether large or small, can use an MVP to get the ball rolling and create the best product possible. An MVP allows you to not only get your idea out there but also make sure it's valuable. Whether collecting feedback or identifying problems, there is a lot of value in an MVP.

  • minimum viable product
  • MVP development
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