Eric Ries and Steve Blank are one of the early adopters of instigating a minimum viable product (MVP) as part of the startup process. Blank defines a MVP “not always a smaller/cheaper version of your final product. Defining the goal for a MVP can save you tons of time, money and grief.” Blank is an advocate for executing Learn Startup approach for almost a business. One strategy behind building and utilizing a MVP is not to use too many resources (eg. time and money). Get your MVP built quickly so you can start testing your hypothesis using the new product.
In 2013, Steve Blank published, Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything, in an issue of the Harvard Business Review. Blank describes the Learn Start-up provides an approach to starting a business less risky by emphasizing on experimentation and allowing your results to determine future decisions. The legacy approach to starting a business through elaborate planning has taken a backseat to the Lean Start-Up approach. Blank says the lean start-up movement has not yet gone mainstream and has stayed merely as a buzzword.
Eric Ries original definition of the MVP “is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning with the least effort.” The benefit of a MVP is you can start learning about your product immediately and begin testing your hypothesis and measuring your results. The results will provide insight on what areas of the MVP need some modifications made to it. When you begin this process make sure the tests you are implementing are producing measurable matrices. You want to be able to use your findings in a meaningful way to ultimately better your product.
Your new MVP is not something you will want to release to the general public. It is a product that you will keep close to you, give to every member of your team, and maybe a few reliable customers to test. This is how you can get reliable data and results. The initial users will also be able to provide feedback on how to make adjustments and fix any bugs that they encountered.
5 steps to to Follow When Building Your Minimal Viable Product:
Step 1 – Create Your Vision
- What is the overarching vision and direction for your product?
Step 2 – Is It Viable?
- What do you need to have to test your idea to make sure it is viable?
Step 3 – Craft the Prototypes
- Brainstorm your ideas. If you want some direction on brainstorming visit my blog post on brainstorming.
Step 4 – Test the Prototypes
- You will need to start testing your MVP. Keep in consideration that you might have more than one MVP and will need to gather feedback on multiple prototypes.
Step 5 – Iterate
- Now using all your data, feedback, and results, you will want to go back with your team and start making iterations to your existing MVP.
My challenge for you is to create a MVP!
Ready, Set, Innovate…
Please post your results on my blog post!