What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept from Lean Startup which refers to a version of a product with a basic set of features enough to capture the attention of early adopters. This development technique can be used both for existing products and entirely new ones in order to test and get feedback from customers to finally provide the proper features that differentiate and give value. Firms such as Spotify, Uber, Airbnb or Amazon, are examples of famous companies which started with successful MVPs.
- Minimum: the product needs to incorporate just enough features to satisfy the customers needs.
- Viable: achieving a market fit, or in other words, determine if there is a commercial market for the product.
- Product: can be tangible or intangible, it has to provide benefits for the market in order to be sold.
The Product Manager Role
Product managers lead and manage the product throughout its lifecycle and the creation of the minimum viable product is the starting point. Even though it might be obvious, most companies do not have in mind the problem their product is solving, and this is something the product manager must ensure. Thanks to the MVP, companies can test the demand for the product and reduce costs since failures can be avoided.
Three different types of Minimum Viable Products
- A landing page
A landing page is a single web page which can include key information about the product in an attractive way for the visitors. It is an opportunity to show the advantages and benefits of the products as well as measure people’s reactions and interests.
- Explainer video
An explainer video can be considered as an elevator pitch for the product in order to communicate its value to the customer. It has to be designed to grab the audience attention and for this reason It has to be as concise as possible. This short video can be posted on various social media platforms and on the website too.
- Digital and paper prototypes
Digital and paper prototypes can be done in a simple or more complex way. There are different tools for doing sketches, mockups or wireframes and they are useful to demonstrate the product’s functionality and test it with potential customers.
Next steps after launching the MVP
Once the MVP is launched, the product team has to keep in mind the initial purpose of the MVP: collect early adopters feedback in order to measure it and improve it. This will help the company to decide what direction to go and to solve the problems perceived. Don’t forget that this approach is based on the idea of: fake it before you make it! There are a lot of products that weren’t actually launched thanks to the conclusions of the MVP. Most of the time, it is necessary to create more than one MVP because in this product development process is where people realize if there is a real market fit.
The Digital Product Management Master includes the best practices and product management tools by creating a product using the skills learned, such as SCRUM, user tests, MVPs, A/B testing and KPI definition among others.