What is a Minimum Viable Product? Imagine yourself having this great startup idea. You spent countless efforts into building, nourishing & developing your startup. You were optimistic, confident that everything will go well accordingly. The launch day came. Your startup is live.
But still, no one is keen in trying out your product. Blinded by the hard work and success you desire, you poured in more effort and resources. You convinced yourself that this is the correct route.
Days passed. Weeks evolved into months. Still, no one is keen in trying out your product. Exhausted, you gave up. What went wrong?
1. Minimize Development Costs
Building something nobody wants, hurts! Spending money during that building stage adds insult to injury. A MVP serves to test your hypothesis without wasting unnecessary resources on product development and marketing.
The first important thing in a startup is to validate whether there is a need for your business idea. By using a Minimum Viable Product, you are able to validate your idea at a low cost.
2. Saves you time
Remember how much it sucked when we talked about spending money to build something nobody wants? Even worse, the amount of time you had spent during that process is wasted. Minimum Viable Products help you save money and time!
While it is necessary to validate your idea, it is also important to do so without spending lots of time to build your startup. By using a Minimum Viable Product, you are able to build a prototype of your idea quickly. It should takes less than a month to build your MVP. If it takes you more than a month, you are probably doing it wrong.
3. Test your idea & Get feedback
Startups aren’t just about coding. Every idea is intended to attract new users and gather profit to its creators. Once your MVP is finished, it is now time to test & validate it.
A Minimum Viable Product is used for learning and understanding the amount of people who are interested in your product and whether they are willing to pay for it. If people ain’t paying for it, they aren’t interested in it.
At this stage, it is important to take note that there are no correct answers to your learning. Starting a startup isn’t exactly like Maths or Science where you can get a clear answer. It boils down to your own understanding and evaluations to form a conclusion to bring your startup to closer to success.
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4. Get your first paying customers
One reason to develop a Minimum Viable Product is to gather early users. What does this mean for you?
1) Early users provide feedbacks to help you to understand what they really want. From their valuable feedback, you can further shape and improve your product to something they are more likely to buy.
2) You get your first paying customers! It won’t make you a millionaire overnight, but it definitely opens a new door to new possibilities & an income stream for yourself!
5. Attracts investors
Let me give you an example. Both Bobby and Mary dreams of starting a successful startup that aims to solve plastic waste.
Bobby does some research and puts his idea onto a presentation slide with the hopes of scoring a good sum of money from an investor.
Whereas, Mary begins setting up a website about a product that reduces plastic waste and links it to Google Analytics. It is important to note that Mary does not need any actual product at this time. She only needs to validate that people are willing to pay for her product.
Months passed, an investor turns up decides to put money in Mary. Why does this happen?
It is because Mary has actually built something (website is a form of a Minimum Viable Product) & validated the demand of her product. She is able to prove to the investor that users are interested and willing to pay for her product!
TLDR - A Minimum Viable Product serves as proof of confidence, to prove that there are interested users and they are willing to pay for your idea/ solution.