Have you ever came across a product or service that just made you think “Damn, this is amazing, why didn’t I thought about it myself first.” We all have one of those moments where we can’t help but turn into stone and listen or watch the other person talk about his/her product/service. Bewitched by all the fantastic things that the product has, you start wondering where did this person get the idea to develop an astonishing product/service like this.
We live in a world full of constant metamorphosis, where new technology and products keep surfacing. And cutthroat competition is one of the primary reasons for this constant change and development in industrial space. Each and every player, whether it’s big or small, wants to stay on top of others.
Here is a video showing the top 15 best global brands ranking and how it has changed over time
That being said, in this environment of intense competition only a few emerge as victorious. If you watched the video I mentioned, you would have seen the rise and fall of companies over time.
I am sure you would have heard about Airbnb, Uber, and Dropbox, but do you know what Airbnb, Uber, and Dropbox all have in common? Well, of course, they are heavy lifters - massively successful startups; Apart from that, they all started their journey by observing the trends, collating insights, hustling their way into and testing the waters and developing a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP for short.
A Minimum Viable Product or MVP is a bare-bones version of a product or service with just enough features tailored to test the market and customers.
It’s not a finished product, but the prototype created through carefully calculated interpretation, based on hypothesis-driven development. The product only needs the essential functions; anything beyond minor functionality is not added.
By creating a minimal product, one can judiciously use time and resources. This also opens a window for the company to give its customer a sneak peek, a glimpse of how the final product will look like.
Millennials are seeing MVPs as the fastest way to prove whether the idea behind the product meets their target audience preferences and personal needs. And MVPs are all the more successful because, in the world of crowdsourcing, customers are more than happy to tell companies what can be improved and what should be entirely removed - providing useful insights as well as saving resources for the company.
Why is MVP important?
The thought behind the MVP is to break the superlative idea into small steps and examine the behavior of the customers. MVP is a shortcut, a way to change the scenery and 1-up the competitors.
Here are some of the key benefits that MVP brings to your company -
- Just like I mentioned before in this blog, MVP helps in using the limited time and resources in the most effective way.
- MVP also helps startups to test their idea and recognize what trends can be used and leveraged to produce an optimum product which would cater to the needs of the targeted audience.
- MVP helps in procuring early stage adopters and potential clients.
- If leveraged correctly, MVP can also be used to attract potential investors.
Just imagine a situation where you put 6-7 months of efforts and a budget of $200,000 and still do not receive a positive result, dreadful right? The time put in by the developers, the marketing done by the marketers and the money from the investor or worse from your own pocket, everything slips down the drain.
Developing an MVP first and testing the waters would have saved you from this crisis. Building an MVP would have accelerated the product launch with minimal features. Moreover, approximately only 1-2 months and around $25,000 of the budget would be enough for building it, saving you both precious time and resources.
Here are 2 companies that we worked with to help them build the right MVPs and turn them into successful products.
1. UB Mobile:
UBMobile is a mobile-first consumer insight technology and services company. UB Mobile developed a mobile application called LifeTap. Lifetap is a fascinating platform where users are provided with the gift cards and coupons of different companies for answering simple and short surveys. UBMobile leveraged its marketing research capabilities and created an application which would allow them to get insights about customer behavior and their areas of interests. An early prototype of the application LifeTap was developed for the same.
After assessing the initial user interaction and pointers provided by the users, it was understood that there might be a few shortcoming and shortfalls. Major flaws highlighted were the performance and the UI/UX of the application. It was also found that users loved the idea and vision behind the application but did not engage with it.
With this valuable insight and data, UB Mobile was confident enough to develop a final product which would be not only smooth in terms of performance but also pleasing to the eyesight.
With that mindset, UB Mobile was psyched up and marched toward to decimate their first obstacle - the UI/UX part. They arranged for a Design Sprint Session in order to grasp more about the personas of their ideal target audience. During the Design Sprint, new and innovative ideas emerged which would boost customer experience by ten folds.
The final design concept aligned perfectly with the feedback received from the customers. The final product gained a lot of eyeballs and was highly appreciated by the users.
Developing an MVP before the final product paid off real good for UB Mobile and opened a door for more opportunities. And last year UB Mobile got acquired. Critical Mix, a premier global data and insights company, announced on June 19, 2018, the acquisition of UBMobile. Read about it here.
Farbinder is a hyperlocal startup that helps people know about special deals and offers in their neighborhood. Farbinder helps the user discover new place around them, browse local events and announcements, check out local reviews and look up businesses and stuff local folks have for sale or giveaway.
Similar to the LifeTap, Farbinder also put a great thought behind what they wanted to achieve and where do they see themselves in the future. Thinking about all that, they decided to go ahead and test the waters by first developing an MVP. The primary purpose of developing an MVP was to get the customers perspective about the design and the vision behind the app, also it was a way to get under the spotlight and showcase the idea behind the app in front of investors.
After the launch of MVP, it was discovered that certain design aspects were acting just a hindrance to the refined user experience. These flaws were taken care of by performing a Design Sprint session. Design Sprint sessions provided Farbinder with early-stage clarity and feedback for improvement. From there they went step by step from setting up the problem statement to creating multiple solutions and choosing the optimum one.
Developing an MVP helped Farbinder to capture the early stage customer’s needs and provide a solution that they actually want. Farbinder was also able to save valuable resources that would have been gone to waste if they hadn’t checked the market beforehand.
Minimum Viable Product development means finding the perfect blend and synergy between the minimalistic design and significance. Development of the MVP should be kept to the minimum, but the product should not be deprived of the main feature you are trying to showcase. In recent years, MVPs are being used more and more by lean startups and tech titans to get traction and validation.
If you decide to release an MVP, make sure your strategy is as unique as your business. RemotePanda has helped build MVPs for Farbinder, UB Mobile and many more that have led to million-dollar sales and funding. To learn more, contact us here.
If you are wondering what can go wrong with MVP and what you should do to execute it the right way, Read here.