Minimum Viable Product

The Lean StartupThis is an excerpt from the Book Rapper issue called Pioneer: How to create and manage innovation. It’s derived from Eric Ries’ best selling book The Lean Startup.

Perhaps the most popular term from the Lean Startup methodology is the Minimum Viable Product or MVP. This is the product version that enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Loop with the minimum effort and least amount of development time. Here’s how to create yours…

Start small

During the Dot Com Bubble of 1997-2000 many startups ran out of money and failed because they built one big full-scale experiment. Instead, by building more smaller experiments you give yourself a greater chance for success.

This is the benefit of starting with few resources. It forces you to start small.

This is the principle of the MVP: Do the minimum to test your product.

Naturally, you’ll have fewer features than you might want in your full version. And, you can add them later if that’s what your customer testing suggests you need.

Do just enough to get it front of potential customers to gauge their reactions.

[Tweet “Four Types of Minimum Viable Products #leanstartup”]

Minimum Viable ProductMVP Examples

To create your Minimum Viable Product identify the elements of the plan that are assumptions rather than facts and figure out ways to test them. Here’s four suggestions…

1 Presell

Before you create the content for a seminar or course, write one page of sales copy and see if people are interested in your idea. Can you collect revenue before you invest time money and effort into building your product?

2 Mock-Up

Dropbox founder Drew Houston created a 3-minute video to see if there was interest in their idea. Rather than build a functioning example, they merely presented a controlled view or mock-up of what they were proposing.

3 Single Customer

Become the concierge who delivers your result for only one person at a time. Whilst this may be time-consuming it will give you precise insight into what works, what doesn’t and most importantly, what is valued by your customer. You can experiment with scale later.

4 Build Something

If you can quickly and easily build a prototype, what would be the minimum features you would need to include? You can always add features later if your customers really want them.

Love to hear your experience of using these four ways to create your minimum viable product.


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