What is an MVP?
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a concept popularised by famed author Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup.” It refers to a version of a product with the minimum set of features and functionalities required to satisfy early adopters and gather feedback for further development.
The main objective of an MVP is to test and validate assumptions about a product or service in the market with minimal investment of time and resources. It allows startups to gather real-world insights, understand customer needs, and make data-driven decisions to shape the future development of the product.
Some key characteristics of an MVP include:
1. Minimum Features: An MVP focuses on the essential features that address the core problem or need of the target audience. It omits non-essential functionalities that can be added in later iterations. The goal is to provide a basic version of the product that is functional and valuable enough for early users.
2. Fast Development: The development of an MVP is typically conducted in a short timeframe, emphasising speed and efficiency. The focus is on creating a working prototype that can be tested and validated in the market as quickly as possible.
3. Validation and Learning: The primary purpose of an MVP is to validate assumptions and gather feedback. By releasing the product to real users, startups can learn about user behaviour, preferences, and pain points. This feedback informs subsequent iterations and product development decisions.
4. Iterative Approach: An MVP is part of an iterative development process. It is not meant to be a final product, but rather the starting point for continuous improvement and refinement. Startups use the feedback and insights gained from the MVP to drive further iterations and shape the product roadmap.
5. Focus on Value: While an MVP has limited features, it still aims to deliver value to early adopters. The selected features should address the core problem or need, providing a viable solution that solves a meaningful pain point for users.
6. Risk Mitigation: Developing an MVP helps mitigate the risk of investing significant resources into a product that may not meet market demand. By testing the market with a minimal version, startups can assess the product-market fit, gather user feedback, and make informed decisions about future development.
A hypothetical example of an MVP for a Software as a Service company would be as follows: A project management software startup wants to develop a SaaS platform. Their MVP could be a web-based application with essential features such as task management, file sharing, and team collaboration tools. The focus would be on delivering core functionality while gathering user feedback on usability, feature priorities, and overall user experience. This feedback would guide future iterations and the addition of more advanced features.
Overall, an MVP is a strategic approach to product development that emphasises early market validation, iterative improvement, and efficient use of resources. It allows startups to learn from real users, validate assumptions, and incrementally build a product that aligns with customer needs and preferences.
Should I be focused on MVP or Increasing Sales?
A startup company often faces limited resources, time constraints, and the need to establish a foothold in the market. In such situations, there can be a strategic trade-off between focusing on developing an MVP and actively working on increasing sales. The optimal approach depends on several factors and the specific circumstances of the startup. Let’s consider both perspectives:
Focusing on MVP:
1. Validate Market Fit: As stated above, developing an MVP allows the startup to quickly test and validate its product or service in the market. It helps gather feedback from early adopters and potential customers, enabling the startup to refine its offering based on real-world insights. This customer validation reduces the risk of investing significant resources into a product that may not meet market needs.
2. Iterative Development: Prioritising the MVP allows the startup to adopt an iterative development approach. By launching a basic version of the product or service, the startup can gather feedback, learn from user behaviour, and continuously improve the offering based on market demand and customer preferences. This iterative process can lead to a more refined and market-ready product in the long run.
3. Cost and Resource Efficiency: Focusing on the MVP allows startups to conserve resources, both in terms of time and money. By developing a lean and minimal version of the product, startups can avoid unnecessary features or complexities that may not add immediate value. This resource efficiency is particularly beneficial when working with limited budgets or when rapid market entry is crucial.
Focusing on Increasing Sales:
1. Revenue Generation: Prioritising sales allows the startup to generate revenue and secure financial stability. By focusing on sales efforts, the startup can acquire paying customers and build a revenue stream that can support further product development, marketing, and business expansion.
2. Market Penetration: Actively working on increasing sales helps the startup gain market share and establish a customer base. This early market penetration can be critical for building brand awareness, capturing early adopters, and creating a competitive advantage. It also provides valuable insights into customer preferences and market dynamics, which can inform future product iterations.
3. Investor Attraction: Demonstrating sales growth and revenue generation can make the startup more attractive to potential investors. A strong sales trajectory can indicate market demand and the startup’s ability to execute its business model effectively. This, in turn, can increase the chances of securing the startup funding for scaling operations and further product development.
Ultimately, the decision to focus on MVP or increasing sales depends on factors such as the startup’s industry, competitive landscape, target market, available resources, and growth objectives. Striking a balance between the two can be advantageous, with an initial focus on MVP to validate the market and gather feedback, followed by sales efforts to generate revenue and gain traction. It’s important to continuously reassess priorities and adapt the strategy based on market feedback, customer needs, and the startup’s overall goals.
It is in this decision-making process that we enter your world. Become a member of EquityMatch.co today and see how you can plan your strategy. Whether you place your focus on your MVP or sales is ultimately up to you, but we can guide you in the right direction, based on our extensive experience in many markets