Frequently asked questions on Minimum Viable Product(MVP).

Frequently asked questions on Minimum Viable Product(MVP).

 

It’s the month of MVP and we are here to abreast you with all the important things there are to know about MVP. MVP is a concept defined by Frank Robinson and popularized by Steve Blank and Eric Ries. It is a product which hasn’t been fully developed but which has enough features and functionalities that the customers can play around with it and gauge if it’s what they need, developers can get feedback from customers to further furbish the product.

Now that we have gone through the fundamentals, let’s look at the frequently asked questions about MVP.

01. What does Minimum Variable Product mean?
Frank Robinson defined a concept called Minimum Viable Product(MVP) which changed the way entrepreneurs started gauging the product market fit.
A Minimum Viable Product is a product which hasn’t been fully developed but which has enough features and functionalities that the customers can play around with it and gauge if it’s what they need, developers can get feedback from customers to further furbish the product. This process saves a lot on the cost and risk factor, making a fully functional product and watching it fail is like the worst nightmare any entrepreneur can ever have.

02. Why is MVP important?
MVP is a shortcut, a way to change the scenery and 1-up the competitors. The thought behind the MVP is to break the superlative idea into small steps and examine the behavior of the customers.

         Here are all the benefits that MVP brings to your company –

  • MVP helps in saving time and resources and also makes sure that they are invested only in the projects which would bear fruits in the future.
  • MVP also helps millennials 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.

03. What is the key component of an MVP?
The main idea of an MVP is to get feedback from the customers so that the product can be developed further as per the needs of the customers. So there are three components that are important here, first one is enough features for customers to explore the product, secondly, a feedback mechanism which will enable customers to send their feedback and lastly, it should have scope to be developed further according to the needs of the customers.

04. Should you develop a MVP in-house or outsource it?
For an early stage startup, mobile application and web development is quite an expensive component. Hiring an in-house team and paying salary to all the employees while investing on the MVP is a lot to deal with, but if you outsource your MVP to the right offshore partner you can utilize so much of your money in developing a feature rich MVP. The cost to hire developers offshore is far less compared to hiring developers locally in the US, and it’s an additional advantage when you find an expert for less cost and that too on a contract basis. Once the MVP is done and you have received funding you can hire an in-house team and if there is any need for any additional resources you can always fall back on your offshore development team.

05. Minimum Viable Product vs Prototype?
Your prototype is not your MVP! A prototype is a model of what your product might look like, it may or may not be a functional model, while an MVP is a fully functional product or a shorter version of the product which the customers can use.

06. How do you prioritize features of an MVP?
Feature prioritization is one of the most important phases to plan a roadmap, mark the boundaries and differentiate between the wants and needs of the customers. Now the features will defer from product to product, again it’s not a one size fits all. What you can do is make a feature bucket wherein you can categorize your features as “Must Have”, “Nice to Have” and “Not Needed”, this will give you a clear understanding of which features to prioritize.

07. What should be built first? The core team or the MVP!
If you have a CTO who has got your back, like Batman and Robin, it’s beneficial to build a MVP together, but, if you are a lone ranger, it would be best to outsource the Minimum Viable Product development to an offshore development agency. As I have mentioned above, it would save you a lot of costs, which you can use to make your MVP feature rich.
So the bottom line is that MVP should be your top priority, finding a team and that too whose skillset is in line with what you’re trying to achieve will consume a lot of time.

Conclusion:

MVP can help you make a really awesome product, but if not done right, you’re up for a lot of trouble. Check out “How MVPs can go wrong, and how to make sure yours doesn’t” Hope you leave our site satisfied with all the information you were looking for, if you are still in a haze and need guidance with your MVP, get in touch with us, we would be happy to help. Connect with us here.

MVP – The Only Way to Build Larger Companies

MVP – The Only Way to Build Larger Companies

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 –

  1. Just like I mentioned before in this blog, MVP helps in using the limited time and resources in the most effective way.

     

  2. MVP also helps startupers 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.

     

  3. MVP helps in procuring early stage adopters and potential clients.
  4. 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.

01. 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.

Read more details on how they did it here.

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.

02. Farbinder:

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.

Final thoughts

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.

MVPs can go wrong!! How to make sure yours doesn’t.

MVPs can go wrong!! How to make sure yours doesn’t.

In today’s advanced world, it takes a lot of efforts to uncover a niche and meet the needs of the target audience. You can’t just go around turning an idea into a product or a service and expect the customers to consume it. What matters the most is what the customers really want. If you can’t satisfy the need of the customer with your product/service, then all your time, money and efforts are futile.

Frank Robinson defined a concept called Minimum Viable Product(MVP) which changed the way entrepreneurs started gauging the product market fit.

A Minimum Viable Product is a product which hasn’t been fully developed but which has enough features and core functionalities that the customers can play around with it and gauge if it’s what they need, developers can get feedback from customers to further furbish the product. This process saves a lot on the cost and risk factor, making a fully functional product and watching it fail is like the worst nightmare any entrepreneur can ever have.

Though MVP is a blessing, people are under this assumption that it’s okay to have MVP as a mediocre product because they are in a rush to release it to the market, and once it is launched, they are hit with a reality check when nobody is showing any interest in the product. It is imperative to build your MVP as efficiently as your final product, with all the functionalities that the user can interact with.

When an MVP is released people tend to lose focus on the monitoring and feedback phase, which is the most important part of the methodology.

Another fact people should take into consideration is that there is no one size fits all MVP formula, your MVP will depend on which stage your business is in and what needs you are trying to satisfy.

And the most important thing to be aware of is that there is a difference between a prototype and an MVP, your prototype is not your MVP, a prototype is a model of what your product might look like, it may or may not be a functional model, while an MVP is a fully functional product or a shorter version of the product which the customers can use.

MVP is a concept that needs to be executed effectively, it can take you from rags to riches or from riches to rags if not done properly. Let’s see what can go wrong with MVP and what you should do to execute it the right way.

 

A. You’re focusing on a smaller problem:

You're focusing on a small problemWhat we generally do is break the entire process into small modules and have those modules tested in increments and aggregate them with the product again. This is a very long and slow process, it’ll consume too much of your time and money.
Instead of doing so, focus on what people really want, ask the right questions and try to come up with one big problem that needs to addressed in order to make your product a success.


Dropbox made an explainer video to know if its customers wanted a file-sharing platform, and while the product was still in beta phase, it had 75,000 subscribers.

B. Not involving the target audience:


Not involving the target audience
You aren’t developing anything for your personal use, and even if you are, it’s your responsibility to make sure that what you have developed, fulfills its purpose and satisfies your need. In the same way, you need to understand what exactly is your target audience and what problem you are trying to solve. It’s not necessary that all of your customers would want to buy your product and explore it, but those who do, it’s of utmost importance to take their review, contemplate on it and make the needed changes to the product in such a way that it fulfills your customers needs in the best way possible. It could take you 6 months and thousands of dollar to build a product and then get feedback from your customers, this is a really long and expensive process.

MVP does away with this and gives you the liberty of spending the least amount and gaining exact requirements of your customers within 2 months time. Products do not only have to satisfy your customer but have to leave them with a feeling of delight.
So, defining and focusing on your target audience is vital, because without it you’ll unnecessarily keep expanding your scope and incur more cost.

 

C. Not prioritizing User Experience:


Not prioritizing user experience
According to a 
Walker Study, customer experience will rank way higher than price and product by 2020. As a matter of fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for great customer experience. So it goes without saying that customer experience is one of the most important things that should be taken into consideration while developing your product as well as the MVP, the customer should be able to explore the product with minimum guidance and should be able to understand and express their opinion about the product. The goal is to hit the emotions of the users and make it alluring enough to put on an amazing first impression.

It’s not necessary to have a cutting-edge design, however, it should be attractive with regards to the basic principles of visual design such as hierarchy, balance, unity, proportion, colors, etc.

You can always give your users a short tour of the app when they sign in on to the home screen for the first time. The goal here is to make it easier for users to grasp the concept.


D. Choice of the device isn’t appropriate:


Choice of the device isn't appropriate

The platform you select to bring your MVP in front of the target audience is equally important, if you’re developing a mobile platform then it would be best to show your MVP on a mobile device, it would be terrible for a customer or an investor to take interest in your MVP and end the conversation with a question that says
“Does this work on a mobile device”. Likewise, if you’re developing a web app, make sure that it works on your current website or have one made for it.

MVP is a widely used approach in Lean Startup and it cuts down on a lot of costs associated with the product development as well as the risk associated with the product failure. So it’s vital for a business to build an effective MVP. We have some Frequently Asked Questions on MVP that you can go through to get a clear picture of MVP. If you are still reluctant or need any help with building a MVP, get in touch with us, we’d be happy to help.