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MVPs are too expensive - How wasteless validation leads to better insights

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This is a talk I gave throughout 2017 at a couple of product management conferences. I was on stage at Working Products 2017, Productized Conference 2017 and Product Management Festival 2017.
Find a written summary of those slides over at herbigt.com/mvps-are-too-expensive/

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MVPs are too expensive - How wasteless validation leads to better insights

  1. 1. MVPs are too expensive How wasteless validation leads to better insights Tim Herbig - @herbigt - Director Iridion Product Management Festival 2017
  2. 2. 3 Key Takeaways for you today </> ? Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  3. 3. Best visualization of MVP I could find Source: Henrik KnibergTim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  4. 4. Common misconceptions about MVPs Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  5. 5. Common misconceptions about MVPs • They’re crappy versions of all planned features… Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  6. 6. Common misconceptions about MVPs • They’re crappy versions of all planned features… • …but are good to live on after launch anyways Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  7. 7. Common misconceptions about MVPs • They’re crappy versions of all planned features… • …but are good to live on after launch anyways • They’re the cheapest way to validate critical hypotheses Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  8. 8. Best MVP definition I could come up with Source: Tim Herbig "An MVP is about building the most critical value proposition […] to further prove your product idea’s potential and product market fit and shipping it in the best possible quality […]. It is not about building slimmed down or extremely compromised versions of all your features […]." Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  9. 9. But in general, MVP’s are cool, right? Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  10. 10. Well, kind of… Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  11. 11. …there’s one problem Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  12. 12. How’s validating with MVPs 'too expensive'? Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  13. 13. How’s validating with MVPs 'too expensive'? Cost of Building Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  14. 14. How’s validating with MVPs 'too expensive'? Cost of Building Cost of Waiting Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  15. 15. Involved Resources Product Manager Product Designer Business Owner Product Manager Product Designer Development Team Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  16. 16. Involved Resources Product Manager Product Designer Business Owner Product Manager Product Designer Development Team Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  17. 17. Involved Resources Product Manager Product Designer Business Owner Product Manager Product Designer Development Team Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  18. 18. Involved Resources Product Manager Product Designer Business Owner Product Manager Product Designer Development Team Busy building your MVP Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  19. 19. MVP Development Timeline Concept & Design Story Slicing Estimation Development Iterations (Sprints) Moment you’re validating Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  20. 20. MVP Development Timeline Concept & Design Story Slicing Estimation Development Iterations (Sprints) Moment you’re validating Moment you should be validating Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  21. 21. Discovery & Delivery Track Relation Source: Inken Petersen/ubercreativeTim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  22. 22. Discovery & Delivery Track Relation Source: Inken Petersen/ubercreative Don’t take this for granted Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  23. 23. Discovery & Delivery Track Relation Source: Inken Petersen/ubercreative Part Management cares most about Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  24. 24. You need to be creative about validation without a development team Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  25. 25. But why do I need to validate at all? Can’t I just build an MVP? Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  26. 26. No, and here’s why Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  27. 27. No, and here’s why Old way of thinking about resource allocation "This sounds like a great feature idea based on what I think to spend time, people and money on!" Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  28. 28. No, and here’s why Old way of thinking about resource allocation "This sounds like a great feature idea based on what I think to spend time, people and money on!" Modern way of thinking about resource allocation "Where’s the proof that this is a good opportunity to spend time, people and money on?" Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  29. 29. Even resources for building an MVP must be earned by validating Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  30. 30. How validation relates to building an MVP Source: Henrik KnibergTim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  31. 31. How validation relates to building an MVP Source: Henrik Kniberg Hypothesis: People want to get faster from A to B than walking. Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  32. 32. How validation relates to building an MVP Source: Henrik Kniberg Hypothesis: People want to get faster from A to B than walking. Research & Ideation: Find out problem with walking and come up with alternatives (horse, car etc.). Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  33. 33. How validation relates to building an MVP Source: Henrik Kniberg Hypothesis: People want to get faster from A to B than walking. Research & Ideation: Find out problem with walking and come up with alternatives (horse, car etc.). Validation: Simulate walking situations and test whether value proposition of car gets chosen over walking (or horse). Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  34. 34. 4 Biggest Validation Mistakes 1. Falling for Confirmation Bias 2. Setting up only one hypothesis 3. Only validating indirectly 4. Picking the wrong method for the right questions Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  35. 35. Types of Validation Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  36. 36. Types of Validation Qualitative/Attitudinal 'What do People need?' 'How are people solving a problem?' Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  37. 37. Types of Validation Quantitative/Behavioural 'Do people want the product?' 'Which design works better?' Qualitative/Attitudinal 'What do People need?' 'How are people solving a problem?' Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  38. 38. Complexity to validate When validation becomes complex Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  39. 39. Degree Buying Moments are involved Complexity to validate When validation becomes complex Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  40. 40. Your Typical Freemium Funnel Upsell Download/Access Signup Engagement Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  41. 41. Your Typical Freemium Funnel Upsell Download/Access Signup Engagement Where’s the make-or-break hypothesis located? Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  42. 42. Your Typical Freemium Funnel Upsell Download/Access Signup Engagement Upsell Where’s the make-or-break hypothesis located? Let’s say it’s here Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  43. 43. Forget about Qualitative Methods Qualitative/Attitudinal Quantitative/Behavioural 'What do People need?' 'How are people solving a problem?' 'Do want people want the product?' 'Which design works better?' Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  44. 44. Examples of Quantitative Methods • Pre-Order MVP • Smoke Tests • Fake E-Mail Testing • Concierge MVP Quantitative/Behavioural 'Do want people want the product?' 'Which design works better?' Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  45. 45. We believe that introducing profile visitors as a paid feature to business professionals will achieve an additional growth of Premium members by 15% per year. We’re confident that this is true when we see a <3% click- through rate on the new profile picture e-mail test. Hypotheses in upsell validation Wrong Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  46. 46. We believe that introducing profile visitors a paid feature to business professionals will achieve an additional growth of Premium members by 15% per year. We’re confident that this is true when we see a <3% click- through rate on the buy button within a faked profile visitors list e-mail test. Hypotheses in upsell validation Right Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  47. 47. Summarized upsell validation findings 1. Don’t use qualitative methods to validate purchase- related hypotheses. 2. Don’t confuse validated engagement with real willingness to pay. 3. Fake the payment moment to make it as real as possible. 4. Prepare vouchers and pre-order discounts as compensation. ;) Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt
  48. 48. Thanks! Let’s stay in touch. twitter: @herbigt at day: iridion.com blog: herbigt.com podcast: productish.com
  49. 49. Overall key learning points 1. MVPs are about prioritized depth not crappy width 2. Building an MVP for validation builds up unnecessary waiting and building cost 3. Validation needs to happen before you enter the delivery track 4. Validating hypotheses becomes harder the deeper you’re into the freemium product funnel 5. Qualitative metrics fail for testing upsell moments 6. Your experiments should focus on the immediate purchase moment, not the engagement prior to it Tim Herbig - Product Management Festival 2017 - @herbigt

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