This post we decided to dedicate to rather mainstream strategy that is widely used now for new products development – MVP (Minimum Viable Product) technology. So what does it really mean? Here is how it’s defined by Eric Ries, entrepreneur, author and startup strategist, who popularized the term:
“In product development, the minimum viable product (MVP) is a strategy used for fast market testing of a product or product feature to gain quantitative or qualitative feedback” (1).
So it’s about brining first version of the product to market fast with the skeleton features. Why product owner should consider doing that? Isn’t it better to have the product out when all the features are implemented? We can dispute about that, but let’s better look at the pro’s that are indeed:
1. Faster to market
Time is money – everyone knows that. And when it comes to software development – there’s absolutely no time to loose. The process is highly dynamic and having the product version out in a short term – is a great advantage to start gathering the feedback and focus on making improvements. Basing on this the plan for new features implementation can be built most effectively.
2. Meet the user
Product owner needs to engage users from the very beginning to make sure the product he’s building is needed and it’s done the way that meets people’s needs and expectations. Gathering the real world feedback on the first stage is priceless. It’ll identify if the idea is good enough and it’s a great way to start relationship with the users.
3. Smaller investments
Money is the holding factor for many ideas to come alive. And no one is willing to spend much on the things that are not defined. In the case of startups, rising funds for product development can last months and even years sometimes. And for MVP investments are needed to only cover the initial stage with the core features development. So here product owner can get something real and working for less money and see if it’s worth further investments.
4. Better product
Starting up with MVP leaves product owner no choice but to leave all the critical and core features and ask himself about all the features left “How important is that? Do we really need it?” It helps to understand what is the most important and what should be reconsidered and left out. So then analyzing the feedback got the further functionality implementation will be done wisely and resources used for that will be spent more efficiently.
Those are the key advantages that we’ve got from own experience helping companies building their products from scratch and providing development help for startups. Have experience to share? Want to dispute about any point? Feel free to drop us a line!