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Minimal Viable Product - Final Paper

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Minimal Viable Product - Final Paper

  1. 1. Minimal Viable Product: AuthorName/Co-authornames:ReechaSharma CategoryName:Processes Sub-category:SystemDesign TopicTitle:Minimal Viable Product Problem Statement:  In software industry we have always seen products loaded with features, most of which are never or rarely used. Some even apply the famous 80-20 rule by saying - only 20% of users actually use 80% of the product features. It may or may not be a fact, but it certainly is a statement strong enough to make product development teams reconsider the amount of features they want to put in the launch version of their product.  Many teams approach their initial product offerings aggressively, quite often due to two reasons:  based on the invalidated assumption that the features they are building solve an existing customer problem.  or, they are competing with an existing product which is full of features.  While creating such products, they end up burning time and cash; either trying to solve the wrong problem or building features that customers don’t necessarily need. The purpose of a MVP, however, is to maximize the learning. Proposed Solution A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is: "The version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort" — Eric Ries
  2. 2. Analysis of the proposed solution How can I translate the solution?
  3. 3. Analysis: The donut theory Let's pretend you're building a startup with the goal of creating the bestdonut ever. The product team starts off by building a plain donut. At this point it's considered an MVP. The product works, but it's probably not quite the bestdonut product out there. Product roadmaps should be lists of questions, not list of features - Kent Beck With the MVP now in place and with the above theory, the team can ask their customers questions about the donut, like:  What do like the most about the donut?  If you could choose any topping, what topping would you add?  Would you prefer a donut in a different shape?  And, so on. Using this newfound validated learning from their customers, the team can create a better donut. But, depending on the context of the customers that provided feedback, the team can have wildly varying results:  In this particular case, it's to add candy sprinkles.  In a different market, with different customers, those customers may wanted a chocolate donut.  If the team spoke to customers in another country, they may wanted a strawberry donut.
  4. 4. As you can see, building the MVP and validating it with customers is just the first part of building a great product. This loop will happen again and again, as you try to continually find your product/market fit. You can't run away from the fact that you don't quite know what your product will end up looking like until you start validating the MVP with your customers and getting their feedback. That's not to say you shouldn't have a long term vision/plan for your product, but it's important to make your customers a significant part of your journey. Testing technique of MVPs The complexity of your MVP depends on the type of product you’re building, and different kinds of MVPs can range from vague ad words tests to early prototypes. Once you have determined the hypotheses you need to test with your MVP, here are some of the testing techniques you can put to use to get reliable data from actual users and utilize it:
  5. 5. 1. Customer interviews This is essentially an unscripted interview with customers designed to elicit information about the problem your product is trying to solve. These interviews are meant to be exploratory rather than as a sales pitch for your product, functional or otherwise. This process can be continued by listing down the problems you assume your product will solve and then asking what the customer thinks about them as well as how they would rank each problem. 2. Ad Campaigns Perhaps counterintuitively, ad campaigns are a great way of running market validation surveys. Google and Facebook are platforms that allow you to drill down demographics to the particular target customer you’re trying to reach, and this lets you run a low-fidelity test to see which features or aspects of your product are most appealing to them. 3. Explainer videos If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video demonstrating your products user experience is worth a million. The most famous example of a startup using an explainer video to validate the market and sell their MVP is Dropbox. 4. Blogs Blogs are a great way of validating ideas with the right target market in minimal effort. Blogging platforms began in concept on their founders’ blogs where they continued to flesh out their ideas and gain support from a community of followers and supporters. There are other techniques too. Users can choose their best way to test MVP. Conclusion: Why even do a MVP Some might question the idea of an MVP. Some say - why invest resources in creating something that looks incomplete to even appeal to the target audience. This understanding of MVP isn’t right either. “Minimum” does not necessitate "quick and dirty”.
  6. 6. The idea of MVP is not just to create something minimal. But to create just enough, that accelerates learning and avoids waste of resources. What to create and how much resources to spend, still depends on the product and its audience. Others may suggest that creation of a feedback loop can also be achieved by doing targeted market research, enabling customer surveys or by creating focus groups. None of these, however, enable you to receive a feedback custom to your product idea and by your early adopters. These methods only leave you speculating due to their generic and predictive nature. Only a MVP allows you to witness your customers using the product and receive valuable feedback on what works and what doesn’t. References: http://leanstack.com/minimum-viable-product/ http://scalemybusiness.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-minimum-viable-products/ http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/2009/08/minimum -viable-product-guide.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_viable_product

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