A Minimal Viable Product that works
How to test your assumptions
without wasting your time
Olga Pavlovsky @Lplatebigcheese...
What are you trying to do?
Your goals
!
1. Create something you can SHOW to people
!
2. Get an OPINION on whether you have a business idea that solve...
Your goals and the MVP process
!
1. Create something you can SHOW to people (create MVP1)
!
2. Get an OPINION on whether y...
What are you NOT trying to do?
Your non-goals
!
1. Waste time
!
2. Waste money
!
3. Fail for completely avoidable reasons because you are listening
to yo...
Why can I help you?
[insert life story here]
Lessons you can learn from my life lessons
!
1. Be resourceful
!
2. Time and place is sometimes more important than produc...
Most common mistakes I see founders
making
!
1. Spending time on creation of the product instead of doing one
big thing th...
The last picture I want to paint
What’s the different between:
!
!
!
Tetris in 1984
!
Grand Theft Auto V in 2013
Success is a process
How to build Tetris, not GTV
The design lozenge
The process for a product
Research
1. Industry research (benchmark)
2. User research


Strategy
3. Value proposition


Pla...
1. Industry benchmark
What are all the alternatives?
Where is the gap?
2. User research
Who are your target clients/customer? Early adopters?
What are their motivations? What is their top probl...
3. Value Proposition
What is the value proposition for your target users?
Which one is the easiest to deliver and attracts...
3. Value Proposition
This is now your vision.
!
Invest time in the pitch.
!
Go and tell everyone about it. Do it as soon a...
3. Value Proposition = features list
What does each feature drive?
Acquisition - Retention - Revenue - Remarkability
Refined feature list
VALUE
PROPOSITION
Specific to this
audience
GOALS
to activate
the value
proposition
LOCATION
of user ...
3. Features list = refined features list
“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter”
- Hemingway, Cicero, ...
4. User journeys
What do your users need to do to “get” the value proposition?
Can you shorten and simplify this? What can...
5. Moodboard
Really useful, especially for helping you pitch your vision.
Honestly, if done efficiently, this is not waste...
6. Graphic Design
Option 1: design the interfaces and make them work
Sell the vision and help people imagine their problem...
6. Graphic Design
For MVP1, graphic design should be as far as you go.
For MVP2, design should be as simple as possible, b...
6. Graphic Design: Tools for mock ups
There are literally hundreds of tools which can help you create sketches
and wirefra...
Now…
Get out of the office and ask:
!
Do people really have the problem you’re convinced is there?
How do they solve it no...
Now, go out and test MVP1
DO NOT go straight to MVP2
If all goes well, if you prove your
assumptions through OPINION…
!
Then GO TO MVP2
7. Technology and project plan
This is for MVP2 where you want to actually put something on the web or
mobile to see if pe...
Remember our friend, the design lozenge
How much should you spend on MVPs?
MVP1: keep it to a few hundred pounds at most.
!
MVP2: try to keep it to one month of d...
How much do real people spend?
I have observed that there is a calculation that can be done to see if your
MVP costs are a...
If you take one thing away today
Make it this
And build Tetris
not GTV
Thank you!
@Lplatebigcheese
Olga Pavlovsky
COO, @Imaginary_Cloud
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A Minimal Viable Product that works

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The term "Minimal Viable Product" has become so widely used that is seems to have lost its meaning. There is growing confusion whether the MVP is a "pre-launch" version of an online or mobile produce, or an "alpha" or "beta".

Creating the MVP is an excellent way of establishing whether a business idea is likely to fly in the real world. But, all too often I see people getting tanged up in the technicalities of what the MVP should include. And, when that happens, the purpose that the MVP should serve becomes forgotten or lost.

This presentation shows you how a logical process of creating two MVPs in quick succession will help anyone that is creating a web or mobile product to spend less time and money on creating a sustainable business by minimising the risk of "getting it wrong".

The advice applies to anyone, no matter how big or small the budget. And I can wholeheartedly testify that people who have applied this precise process have:
1. Saved hundreds of hours of efforts which would have taken them in the wrong direction,
2. Helped businesses that had built a product but found uptake lacklustre to reposition their offering to attract a much higher rate of customer acquisition and retention.

Enjoy :)

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A Minimal Viable Product that works

  1. 1. A Minimal Viable Product that works How to test your assumptions without wasting your time Olga Pavlovsky @Lplatebigcheese FFWDLondon 01 July 2014
  2. 2. What are you trying to do?
  3. 3. Your goals ! 1. Create something you can SHOW to people ! 2. Get an OPINION on whether you have a business idea that solves a real problem ! 3. Set the list of features which will get REAL DATA ! 4. Make money
  4. 4. Your goals and the MVP process ! 1. Create something you can SHOW to people (create MVP1) ! 2. Get an OPINION on whether you have a business idea that solves a real problem (show MVP1) ! 3. Set the list of features which will get REAL DATA (plan MVP2) ! 4. Make money (create and release MVP2)
  5. 5. What are you NOT trying to do?
  6. 6. Your non-goals ! 1. Waste time ! 2. Waste money ! 3. Fail for completely avoidable reasons because you are listening to your social conditioning, bad advice from people who don’t know what they’re talking about or just forgetting your goals.
  7. 7. Why can I help you?
  8. 8. [insert life story here]
  9. 9. Lessons you can learn from my life lessons ! 1. Be resourceful ! 2. Time and place is sometimes more important than product ! 3. Sales and “the pitch” of the vision is as important as the product
  10. 10. Most common mistakes I see founders making ! 1. Spending time on creation of the product instead of doing one big thing they don’t like to do: selling ! 2. Communicating features and not the vision when they talk about the product ! 3. Getting defensive about problems people point out, not learning from feedback ! Everything in life is a trade-off. The MVP is really easy to hide behind. The sales pitch is not easy to refine and deliver. But you must do both to succeed as fast as you can. ! Remember: the goal of MVP1 is to gather OPINION !
  11. 11. The last picture I want to paint What’s the different between: ! ! ! Tetris in 1984 ! Grand Theft Auto V in 2013
  12. 12. Success is a process
  13. 13. How to build Tetris, not GTV
  14. 14. The design lozenge
  15. 15. The process for a product Research 1. Industry research (benchmark) 2. User research 
 Strategy 3. Value proposition 
 Planning & implementation 4. User journeys 5. Moodboard 6. Design 7. Technology & project plan
  16. 16. 1. Industry benchmark What are all the alternatives? Where is the gap?
  17. 17. 2. User research Who are your target clients/customer? Early adopters? What are their motivations? What is their top problem?
  18. 18. 3. Value Proposition What is the value proposition for your target users? Which one is the easiest to deliver and attracts the right people? This is the best tool I have seen to help you do this
  19. 19. 3. Value Proposition This is now your vision. ! Invest time in the pitch. ! Go and tell everyone about it. Do it as soon as possible. ! Listen to their feedback. Iterate. ! ! Methodologies and guides ! Customer Development - Steve Blank ! (Ultra) Lean Startup - Eric Reis ! Dream, Design, Surf - Marcelo Bravo
  20. 20. 3. Value Proposition = features list What does each feature drive? Acquisition - Retention - Revenue - Remarkability
  21. 21. Refined feature list VALUE PROPOSITION Specific to this audience GOALS to activate the value proposition LOCATION of user when needing your product’s help to achieve goal PROCESS What steps must user take to achieve goal? EXPERIENCE How can you make each of those processes really simple? FEATURE What’s the feature you’re going to build? Acquisition Retention Revenue Remarkability # Audience 1 (Name) Goal 1 Device(s) in use: Goal 2 Device(s) in use: Goal 3 Device(s) in use: (C) Imaginary Cloud 2014
  22. 22. 3. Features list = refined features list “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter” - Hemingway, Cicero, Voltaire, Mark Twain and/or Blaise Pascal
  23. 23. 4. User journeys What do your users need to do to “get” the value proposition? Can you shorten and simplify this? What can users get in one click? CATALOG | COLLECTED COVVERS CATALOG | COLLECTED COVVERS Description blablablablablablablabl ablablablablablablabla blablablablablablabla Name Sharing options Private | Public View Mode Edit Covver CREATE | CATALOG | DISCOVER | STORE Account Name | Inbox Description blablablablablabl ablablablablabla blablablablablabl ablablablablabla Name View Mode ADD TO MY ACCOUNT CREATE ACCOUNT | SIGN UP CATALOG ONE-VIEWCREATION TOOL Owner's view User 1 shares with user 2 Description blablablablablabla blablablablablabla blablablablablabla blablablabla Name View Mode ADD INSIDE PAGES CREATE | CATALOG | DISCOVER | STORE Account Name | Inbox Toolbar V2 User 1 creates User 1 view User 2 Add to account Visitor's view
  24. 24. 5. Moodboard Really useful, especially for helping you pitch your vision. Honestly, if done efficiently, this is not wasted time.
  25. 25. 6. Graphic Design Option 1: design the interfaces and make them work Sell the vision and help people imagine their problem is being solved
  26. 26. 6. Graphic Design For MVP1, graphic design should be as far as you go. For MVP2, design should be as simple as possible, but you should use a pro. Option 2 ! Design a Brochure Use Hippoprint or MOO to print ! ! Design a landing page with video Use Launchrock and YouTube !
  27. 27. 6. Graphic Design: Tools for mock ups There are literally hundreds of tools which can help you create sketches and wireframes which are “interactive”. ! You need to choose one which matches your team capabilities and needs: ! Ask: 1. Will I, or a qualified designer be using it? 2. Will I be doing this for the web or mobile? 3. Will I be branding it, or just telling a nice story? 4. Will the OPINIONS I gather from MVP1 help me decide to move onto MPV2 where I gather real data by trying to sell people something? !
  28. 28. Now… Get out of the office and ask: ! Do people really have the problem you’re convinced is there? How do they solve it now? Would they pay to solve it? How much would they pay to solve it? Observe: who will actually pay to solve it? ! ! Survey as many people as possible. 
 Be honest with yourself about the results. ! But remember: this is just OPINION
  29. 29. Now, go out and test MVP1 DO NOT go straight to MVP2
  30. 30. If all goes well, if you prove your assumptions through OPINION… ! Then GO TO MVP2
  31. 31. 7. Technology and project plan This is for MVP2 where you want to actually put something on the web or mobile to see if people will part with their time and cash. ! You need to be aware of the following stack ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Make the right choice given your confidence in the idea following MVP1, your team’s technical capabilities and financial circumstances Product  
 (Shopify) Super  fast Very  rigid Framework   (Ruby  on  Rails) Speeds  you  up Flexible  for  a  defined   purpose Language   (Ruby) Pretty  slow Completely  flexible
  32. 32. Remember our friend, the design lozenge
  33. 33. How much should you spend on MVPs? MVP1: keep it to a few hundred pounds at most. ! MVP2: try to keep it to one month of development, or maximum of two. [NB if you have a CTO or are really approaching this with a solid understanding of technology, the architecture will take more time. But I strongly recommend your first features take just a month or two to build). ! ! Why should you keep the spend low? In my experience, two things usually happen: 1. You will throw the first product away 2. You will discover you could have done things much, much more simply than you did, and you’ll change a lot. ! ! ! !
  34. 34. How much do real people spend? I have observed that there is a calculation that can be done to see if your MVP costs are aligned with your place in the product’s journey. ! ! MVP cost = customer expectations + idea confidence + circumstances ! ! £2,000 = (huge problem, low expectations) + (founder new to market) 
 + (needs investment to continue building product) ! ! £100,000 = (customers are CEOs of banks) 
 + (founder has excellent connections) + (founder has cash to invest) ! In both cases, it took about 12 months of full time work from day 1 for the businesses to be self-sufficient (i.e. allowing the founders to focus on them full time)
  35. 35. If you take one thing away today Make it this
  36. 36. And build Tetris not GTV
  37. 37. Thank you! @Lplatebigcheese Olga Pavlovsky COO, @Imaginary_Cloud

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