While we’re fans of the movie Field of Dreams, in our experience, a minimum viable product (MVP) is a better approach then the adage “if you build it, they will come”.
What’s an MVP? A MVP has the least number of features necessary to launch a new product, and no more. Its purpose is to confirm, in the shortest time and with the least effort and expense, that the market actually wants a product.
Indeed, if the idea is to build a product that people will buy or adopt, then we should answer: why are products bought or adopted? It turns out there are a host of variables that go into the purchase / adoption decision-making process (e.g., timing, price, etc.), however at its heart: people look for products to solve problems.
It sounds obvious, however many products are brought to market on the simple premise that their founders think it’s a great product. It’s not to say their product isn’t grounded in logic, however it comes to market loaded with features in hope that people will buy or adopt what has been made. As you guessed it, this (gamble) happens after more money and time is spent then is necessary.
The idea behind an MVP is to find an answer to the following question: “what can we make in the shortest time and with the least effort and expense to get our product to prove its a solution to a problem?”
In order to start, we need to identify a customer problem. This identification can be the result of our own experience or having spoken to (potential) customers.
Next up, define the initial product vision. Think about all of the features your product could have, and strip it down to those that are essential to prove people want what’s being built.
With our MVP on paper, though before we start building, conduct a marketing survey. It can be informal. Go to potential customers and ask if they would adopt the product you intend to offer. If you’re going to charge for your product, ask how much they would be willing to spend. Note, we don’t suggest relying on just yourself for validation. Our ego can make us biased (even if we believe in our heart of hearts we’ve got a winning idea).
If your customer research confirms your hypothesis, launch and refine your MVP based on explicit and indirect customer feedback. Note, an MVP can also provide insight into future product features should the decision be made to further invest in the product.
Keeping in mind that “…prove its a solution to a problem?” is synonymous with being bought or adopted, the process is iterated until a desirable product is obtained, OR until the product is deemed non-viable.
WHY WE’RE MVP ADVOCATES
By minimizing features and getting a product to market as soon as possible, MVPs enable us to accelerate learning while keeping more of our budget intact. We’re in.
If you’re looking to create an MVP for your idea, Global HealthTech Partners can help bring it to life.
If you’re ready, contact us.