A startup resolves issues by developing or designing a new way of doing something, discovering a scientific breakthrough, or designing a new solution for a prevailing challenge. However, there is this one figure that is popular in most startup circles. Nine out of 10 startups never succeed. Other than the typical reason for lack of funds, most startups fail as their product idea may not have been tested in the real world. Most probably, they might not have tested their idea with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
In our earlier blog, we explained to you what is MVP, why you need it, and how to build one. In this blog, we will tell you how you can validate your MVP and help you move a step further to build your dream product.
How does an MVP help Entrepreneurs?
To help you understand how an MVP can help you, here is a quick explanation.
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a working model of a concept that enables entrepreneurs to collate maximum learning about customers with little effort. To put it across simply, it is a dry run of an idea that helps test the waters and analyze the market feasibility. It also helps understand more about users, their requirements, and their problems by exerting minimal effort.
In a way, an MVP enables entrepreneurs to obtain some amount of certainty that a product idea is feasible before heading into the uncertain market. It enables you to assess and evaluate the market requirements and potential and sheds light on how your target audience will respond to your product. Now let’s understand how you can validate your idea to develop it into a working MVP.
How can you validate your idea before MVP development?
Unfortunately, when it comes to doing business – we cannot just simply trust our intuition. Just because you may feel that you understand your client’s needs, it does not mean that you actually know them. Following are a few tips on how you can validate your product idea:
1. Use social media to build a relationship with your target audience
Social media is an extremely powerful tool when it comes to validating a product idea. It is most definitely time-consuming but also budget-friendly. You can start an Instagram profile or a blog to gather users who are interested in your idea. It provides you with the possibility to interact with your target audience.
2. Introduce your product without building it and collect the data
Just create a landing page with a CTA button that you want your visitors to click on. Why should you do it? To find out if your idea is good enough. You want data that will give you some insights on whether the product is actually worth developing. Popular companies such as Buffer used this method to validate their idea. All it took for them were two landing pages and a button.
3. Create a marketing campaign to obtain data faster
Creating a marketing campaign can also help you validate your idea. This may probably cost you money, but it can offer relatively fast results. You can use Google ads or focus on email marketing. It is usually a combination of a landing page and a campaign because you still need to assess the reaction of the users.
4. A/B test – Let the users decide which option brings more value
Use the A/B test technique to check which features are more valuable for your target audience. Let them decide what will be built and what your product will look like.
How to validate your MVP?
Now let’s understand how can you validate your MVP to develop it into a full-proof product.
1. Understand who is your target audience
Trying to launch your product in a big market from scratch can decrease the chances of your MVP’s success. Startups need to create a niche market for their product. The narrower your target audience is, the better, as you can resolve their issues better than your rivals. This in no way means that your target audience should be small; it only means that you focus on solving only a particular problem or a limited set of issues. Creating a subset of ideal users is crucial to the success of any MVP, as their requirements are what should push its development forward.
Following are three potential groups of target audiences for your MVP:
- Early adopters feel the need for the product most intensely. These users are more forgiving of mistakes and are eager to provide feedback.
- Evangelists in the area of the startup community or MVP’s domain expertise are ready to provide feedback and see the development of the product.
- Potential investors need to validate the business idea so that they can invest their money in your start-up.
There is never a one-size-fits-all success formula available for each start-up, yet the only recipe is to understand and learn from your market iteratively with your MVP. Instead of trusting your own assumptions, you can create an MVP, collate feedback and analyze the response of the customers. The process continues until you attain a complete understanding of users, helping your team develop a feasible product and meet the market requirements.
What if you have a great idea but do not have a budget to create an MVP?
If you do not have a budget to implement your idea, then you still have other options.
Consider the example of Dropbox. The company designed a presentation displaying how the product would work even before they launched it. Dropbox managed to find investors with their presentation and also had their idea validated at the same time.
6 Salient Features of a Successful MVP
The following are the salient features of an MVP:
- An MVP should concentrate on a single buyer persona. It works great when it is designed to solve the issues of one person. You should avoid building an MVP for multiple users.
- It should be easy to create and enable a faster launch.
- You should take into consideration feedback from several users though you have built the MVP for one person. It is quite possible that multiple reviews can resolve most of the issues. Ensure to take the feedback more seriously if the reviewer is in the target audience of your product.
- The simplicity of an MVP does not mean that your expectations are more than your effort. It should highlight the problems that can be resolved with the app and how it can do so. This becomes all the more important if you have to succeed in the market.
- It is not possible to make money from a failed MVP in spite of all the hard work. Therefore, MVP testing should be an essential aspect of your development process.
- The aim of an MVP is to collate feedback and identify the inadequacies in the product.
Creating an entrepreneurship empire from scratch does not happen overnight. In fact, most entrepreneurial projects may not even be a success. Why? Because they can get multiple factors wrong. The market is extremely uncertain. It is quite impossible to predict it and so are customer expectations and behavior. An MVP helps entrepreneurs understand what customers need with minimal spending of resources. To put it across simply, the only road to success is to learn faster than anyone else and MVP development facilitates that learning.
So, if you are ready to make the big move with an MVP just like Dropbox, Uber, Foursquare, and other successful companies, get in touch with Scalex. We are experts at understanding your business niche, similar products, and competitors and consider several other parameters to develop the right MVP for your idea.