What is an MVP
So what is a minimum viable product and who is it useful to? As a software development company we start talking about minimum viable product software in following cases:
- Our client is not quite sure what project's final destination is
- Our client wants to make sure their product makes sense before investing significantly
- Our client is looking for a prototype to attract investors
- Our client wants to make sure their vision will be just as awesome in software as it is in their imagination
- Our client wants to troubleshoot the idea before diving into full-mode startup
Basically, mvp products are three main features implemented. Think of three main features. Think of features which if removed make the whole idea absolutely useless. If you can point out these three core features, you are ready to start minimum viable product development.
If not, think this:
- Which value my users are getting from this product
- How do they get that value
- Which perk makes my service/product more attractive
Why start with MVP
Just like any other software product minimum viable product development requires designs. And minimum viable product design is usually starts with wireframes. While doing wireframes you, as a Product Owner, will have a chance to structure the idea in your head. You will definitely discover some blind spots and will have a chance to cover them.
Reality check, is another reason to start with minimum viable product development before investing more time and effort in your idea. What you think users want may not always be what they really want. Build a minimum viable product. Gather a group of test users. Let people use your MVP and get their feedback. With the feedback from minimum viable product software you know which features users want/are willing to pay for.
Start with MVP if you have limited budget and need people to see your idea in order to get them to invest in it.
What happens to MVP later
In many cases minimum viable product software has SPEED as the main criteria. You save your budget and time by not spending too much time overthinking and cleaning up the code. Remember, when building a minimum viable product you are just checking if your idea has a potential to grow into a successful product. Who cares if the code is properly structured and designs are polished when noone is interested in a product?
Most likely, everything you build within MVP stage will be thrown away on later stages of development. When you have users feedback. When you have more budget. When you have information to analyze what to build next and how to build it, you usually want to start from scratch.
So do not worry about code quality, polishing designs, making everything perfect. If you idea sells, you will have time later. At this point you need to be fast to catch the market and captivate users attention.
That being said, some MVP's are kept and built on. Less often, but also happens.
Remember, the main goal here is give users what they want, or what they never expected they wanted.