It’s not everyday that one comes up with an out-of-the-box innovative idea. So, whenever such an idea strikes anybody, they try their best to get the idea straight out of their minds on to the paper and then make it come alive in reality. If you think have one such innovative mind, then you should make yourself aware of the term “Minimum viable product” (MVP), if you don’t know about it already.
While a particular idea might sound great in our minds, but until and unless there’s an audience or customer base which accepts the idea or will use the product, there is no use in putting so much hard work and brains into it. This is where MVP comes into the picture.
MVP, in product development, is a term used to refer a product which has just enough features to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development. In layman terms, it can be referred to as a trial product used to gather customer feedback.
When we think about making a billion order product, the first phase of process involves coming out with a minimum viable product to test the products acceptability among the people and garner constructive feedback which can help us make the product better.
Hence, deciding the MVP is the first most important and difficult step in the execution process.
How to decide the MVP for your next billion dollar idea?
1) Scalability Of Idea
Once you have an idea in mind, you need to invest some time in finding out if your idea is feasible or not. You need to focus on the cost effective features that are important and will not difficult for you to implement. Hence, you need to spend your energy and brains on entering the market first and once that is successfully achieved, you can spend to scale the product in a later stage.
2) Target Audience
After all, a product or service is developed to be sold to the people and earn some profits. Hence, finding your target audience is one of the most important part of the process.
A target audience can be identified on the basis of the following factors:
a) Age and Gender
Spend your time in analysing and understanding which particular age bracket or gender is more likely to be interested in your products and will spend their hard-earned money in buying them. This will help you in better spending your marketing budget on campaigns catering to that particular gender and age bracket and may even help in bettering the product by adding some features specific to the target audience.
Understanding the market behaviour and customer needs in the market in which you’re planning to launch your product is very important. For example, if you decide to launch a LTE enabled smartphone in an area with limited Internet connectivity, there’s a huge possibility that no one will buy your product.
Start by launching your product in a limited market so as to get a better idea of the customers needs and feedback and then use the feedback constructively to better the product for the global market.
If the product is priced too high for the target audience, then it is almost similar to digging once own grave. Hence, launching the product in the relevant market will act as a guiding factor in the product’s conversion later on. Here, conversion means cost per unit and the number of units sold.
d) Market Research and Survey
Before deciding to dive into an idea/product fully, do a market research and survey to understand what do the people think about that product. Try analysing the current market of the product and find out the gaps people think that need to be catered, and then contemplate how you can fill those gaps with your product.
3) Top 3 Features
There’s a necessity for you to make your product distinct from others in the market because clones hardly win the final race. Hence, at any point of time, you should be able to name at least 3 features that are going to attract the target audience towards the market and make them take their money out of their pockets and pay for the product.
According to experts, it is better to go with minimum features initially as that gives you flexibility and courage to pivot on your idea. You can add several more features in the later versions of the product.
4) Cost Of Releasing
Start small but aim to go big. This is the mantra that you should follow. Start by manufacturing your product for a small market and then use the money earned to expand to bigger markets. Try to stay away from running into debts and focus your energy into the product and expanding its features rather than wasting time worrying on getting yourself out of debt.
5) Regional Knowledge
You should have a basic knowledge about your users which you should keep in mind while defining your minimum buyable product. For example, if you’re launching a movie trailer in Kolkata, then you must implement Hindi to Bangla subtitles so as to make sure the product reaches a wider audience there.
How is MVP beneficial to the entrepreneur ?
1) Idea Validation
Sometimes some ideas sound better in our minds than they actually are; hence, a MVP helps you in getting a validation of the idea that the idea will also find acceptability in the public when fully launched.
2) Initial Seed Funding
Your MVP will not only help in garnering feedback from the target audience but will also help you prove your credibility to venture capitalists and earn you your initial seed funding.
3) Demand Of Features
Your MVP will help you garner constructive feedback on what all features the users feel that need to be added in order to make the product more sellable.
4) Brand Name
Your initial set of customers will be the most loyal ones if they find your products useful. Not only this, they will also be your biggest marketers as even now nothing works more effectively than word of mouth.