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Getting to Minimum Viable
Product (MVP)
A Framework Created by Execution Matters – A Startup Advisory Firm
§ Sam Wong
§ Startup Advisor, Author, Interim Co-Founder; May 28, 2019
} Sam Wong – Startup Advisor, Author, Interim
Co-Founder
} Five-time serial entrepreneur
} 1x CEO, 1x CTO, 3x VP Engineering / TechOps
} 2 successful exits, 1 startup still thriving
} 2 startup failures (and great lessons learned)
} 21 Secrets of Successful Startups
} Startup Execution
} Startup Fundraising
} Startup Talent
} Startup Life
Execution Matters Provides Proven Coaching
2
www.ExecMatters.com
Sam Wong – Founder, Execution Matters; Author
www.21secrets.biz
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved.
Agenda
}01 Introduction
} The Importance and Challenge of Nailing Your
Minimum Viable Product
}02 MVP Framework
} How to Approach Building Your Minimum Viable
Product in a Startup
}03 MVP Scope
} How to Determine the Functionality for Your
Minimum Viable Product
}04 MVP Value
} How Getting MVP Right Leads to Healthy Startups
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 3
Introduction
The Importance and Challenge of Nailing Your Minimum Viable Product01
5
60% of Key Success Factors Involve the Product
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved.
Execution
& Team
Business
Model
FundingTiming
Idea
Product
Founders need to pay careful
attention to the product
development as it affects the
majority of a startup’s critical
success factors
6
But How Do You Get to MVP?
“The MVP is the right-sized product for your company
and your customer. It is big enough to cause
adoption, satisfaction and sales, but not so big as to
be bloated and risky.”
- Frank Robinson
CEO, SyncDev
“Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not
simpler.”
- Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist
“The minimum viable product is that 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
Author, The Lean Startup
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved.
These quotes describe
MVP, but do little to
help you build your MVP.
} Not Enough Money
Startup Challenges
} Not Enough Time } Not Enough Resources
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 7
Typical Early-Stage Startup Funding Journey
Concept
(Not Funded)
Bootstrap
Funded
Seed
Funded
Series A
Funded
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 8
MVP Framework
How to Approach Building Your Minimum Viable Product in a Startup02
Making Sense of MVP – by Henrik Kniberg
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 10Source: Henrik Kniberg, https://blog.crisp.se/2016/01/25/henrikkniberg/making-sense-of-mvp
11
Your Product Development Journey
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved.
Current State
!User wants improvement
Earliest Showable
"User curiously enlightened
Earliest Testable
#User visualizes potential
Earliest Likable
$User’s life greatly improves
Earliest Lovable
%User becomes evangelist
Earliest Usable
&User’s life improves
12
Getting to Minimum Viable Product (& Beyond)
Example using a package delivery company
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved.
Current State
Earliest Usable Earliest Likable Earliest Lovable
Earliest Showable Earliest Testable
Phase 1: Current State
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 13
!
Concept
(Not Funded)
Phase 2: Earliest Showable Product
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 14
!
Bootstrap
Funded
Phase 3: Earliest Testable Product
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 15
!
Seed
Funded
Phase 4: Earliest Usable Product
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 16
!
Series A
Funded
MVP
* For this example, the earliest usable product is likely the MVP. Other businesses may designate an earlier or later stage as MVP.
Phase 5: Earliest Likable Product
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 17
!
Phase 6: Earliest Lovable Product
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 18
!
Evolutionary Phases of Product Development
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 19* Content is illustrative only (your mileage may vary)
Earliest Showable Earliest Testable Earliest Usable Earliest Likable Earliest Lovable
Product
Goal
Get the foundation built,
warts and all
Get something usable,
even with extreme
limitations
Get something in use, even
with multiple limitations
Get something that starts
momentum
Get something that
accelerates momentum
and builds fans
User Benefit
Little – barely better than
existing state
Very limited; slightly better
than existing
Somewhat better than
existing with limitations
Significantly better than
existing
Doesn’t just reduce costs,
but creates value
User
Involvement
Observation / feedback
only; no hands-on
Hands-on with only 1-2
specific use cases
Hands-on use in very
controlled environment
Limited, hands-on use Generally unrestricted use
Ideal User
Reaction
User curiously
enlightened ! User visualizes
potential " User’s life improves # User’s life greatly
improves $ User becomes
evangelist %
Audience
Size1
2-3 authoritative users
with signed NDA
Very limited handful of
users with signed NDA; <
10 users
Limited set of beta users;
~10-25 users
Early release candidate;
~100+ users
Actively marketed; 1,000+
users
Delivery
Truck
Example
Chassis and wheels only
Add folding chair, steering
system, brakes
Add engine, fuel system;
upgrade power steering
and seat
Add transmission, package
shelving system; enclose
cab
Add truck body, wireless,
GPS, lift gate; upgrade
engine
Ideal
Timeframe
1-2 months 2-4 months 3-6 months 4-8 months 12+ months
1 Typical target audience size depends heavily on the nature of the product and risk of liability
Agile SprintsAgile SprintsAgile Sprints
20
So Where in This Will You Find the MVP?
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved.
Earliest
Showable
Earliest
Testable
Earliest
Usable
Earliest
Likable
Earliest
Lovable
Time
Somewhat Uncommon MVP
Most Common MVP
Somewhat Common MVP
MVP Scope
How to Determine the Functionality for Your Minimum Viable Product03
Typical Product Requirements Process
Brainstorm
Features
Prioritize
Features
Build
Features
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 22
Typical Feature Brainstorming Process
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 23
Christina Morillorawpixel.com
Typical Feature Prioritization Process
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 24
Sorted Feature List
Feature
3
Feature
2
Feature
1 1-Must Have
2-Should Have
3-Want to Have
1-Critical
2-Very Important
3-Somewhat
Important
4-Somewhat
Optional
5-Completely
Optional
1-Must Have
2-Should Have
3-Want to Have
4-Nice to Have
Prioritization Scale
Typical Feature Prioritization Result
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 25
27
10
5
3
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
1-Must Have 2-Should Have 3-Want to Have 4-Nice to Have
# Features by Priority
Problem: How do you determine
the features that go into the MVP?
Recommended Prioritization Method
} Features should be evaluated on their:
} Business benefit
} Technical complexity
} The combination of these two ratings
combine to create a prioritization table
} Tip: clearly define the criteria used to
determine each individual rating
} Example with technical complexity:
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 26
1 2 3 4 5
2 3 4 5 6
3 4 5 6 7
4 5 6 7 8
5 6 7 8 9
Technical Complexity
BusinessBenefit
Low High
LowHigh
Grade Range
Very Low < 2 man days
Low 2-5 man days
Medium 6-10 man days
High 11-15 man days
Very High > 15 man days
Nine-Point Prioritization Improves Accuracy
2
5
8
9
7
5
4
3
2
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Priority 1 Priority 2 Priority 3 Priority 4 Priority 5 Priority 6 Priority 7 Priority 8 Priority 9
# Features by Priority
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 27
Earliest
Showable?
Earliest
Testable?
Earliest
Usable?
Business Benefit Value Costs Competition
1-Completely
Optional
Creates some value
(1.1x?)
Slightly reduces costs
(10% less?)
Not a factor
2-Somewhat
Optional
Creates wanted value
(1.5x?)
Reduces costs (30%
less?)
Maintains wanted
parity
3-Somewhat
Important
Creates needed (2x?)
value
Reduces core costs
(50% less?)
Maintains needed
parity
4-Very Important
Creates substantive
(5x?) needed value
Dramatically reduces
core costs (80% less?)
Key differentiator
5-Critical
Don’t even bother building the product
if this feature isn’t included
} Challenge: measuring
business benefit is hard
} Business value is often
subjective
} Solution: define your
detailed criteria for assigning
a grade
} Possible criteria:
} Value
} Cost
} Competition
} Scalability
} Interoperability
} Availability
Sample Business Benefit Rating Scale
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 28
} Questions to ask:
} Does the customer have this feature today?
} What does the customer do if the feature is not built or ready?
} How much pain does the customer feel if the feature is not included?
} Is there a workaround if the feature is not included?
} What if you only build part of the feature? Is there a way to split the
feature into multiple sub-features?
} Does any other competitor have this feature?
} Is there another similar feature that is a reasonable substitute?
} Is there a way to spec the feature differently to reduce its cost?
} How does the business benefit of this feature compare to:
} Another feature with the same business benefit grade?
} Another feature with the next lower grade?
} Another feature with the next higher grade?
} Remove your emotions from the process, as they make wants
appear to be needs
Be Ruthless When Assessing Business Value
Thinking very critically and making hard decisions improves the result
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 29
Photo by Ivan Cujic
MVP Value
How Getting MVP Right Leads to Healthy Startups04
Typical Startup Funding Journey
Concept
(Not Funded)
Bootstrap
Funded
Seed
Funded
Series A
Funded
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 31
How do you know
how much to raise?
Fundraising: How Much to Build a Home?
} Estimate quickly
} Aim high
} Hope you got it right
} Spend a little time to
determine the scope
} Spend a little more time
to determine budgets for
each cost category
} Aggregate the individual
costs and add a little
padding
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 32
Typical Approach Recommended Approach
But hope is not
a strategy!
A Thorough MVP Plan Impacts Overall Plans
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 33
Which Climber is Prepared to Scale Mt. Everest?
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 34
} Use a framework to
guide progress to MVP
Summary
} Ruthlessly
prioritize features
} Move fast & leverage
experts – lack of time &
money work against you
Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 35
Current State
Earliest Usable Earliest Likable Earliest Lovable
Earliest Showable Earliest Testable
1
2
31 2 3 4 5
2 3 4 5 6
3 4 5 6 7
4 5 6 7 8
5 6 7 8 9
Technical Complexity
BusinessBenefit
Low High
LowHigh
Concept
(Not Funded)
Bootstrap
Funded
Seed
Funded
Series A
Funded
www.21secrets.biz
www.execmatters.com

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Getting to Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

  • 1. Getting to Minimum Viable Product (MVP) A Framework Created by Execution Matters – A Startup Advisory Firm § Sam Wong § Startup Advisor, Author, Interim Co-Founder; May 28, 2019
  • 2. } Sam Wong – Startup Advisor, Author, Interim Co-Founder } Five-time serial entrepreneur } 1x CEO, 1x CTO, 3x VP Engineering / TechOps } 2 successful exits, 1 startup still thriving } 2 startup failures (and great lessons learned) } 21 Secrets of Successful Startups } Startup Execution } Startup Fundraising } Startup Talent } Startup Life Execution Matters Provides Proven Coaching 2 www.ExecMatters.com Sam Wong – Founder, Execution Matters; Author www.21secrets.biz Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved.
  • 3. Agenda }01 Introduction } The Importance and Challenge of Nailing Your Minimum Viable Product }02 MVP Framework } How to Approach Building Your Minimum Viable Product in a Startup }03 MVP Scope } How to Determine the Functionality for Your Minimum Viable Product }04 MVP Value } How Getting MVP Right Leads to Healthy Startups Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 3
  • 4. Introduction The Importance and Challenge of Nailing Your Minimum Viable Product01
  • 5. 5 60% of Key Success Factors Involve the Product Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. Execution & Team Business Model FundingTiming Idea Product Founders need to pay careful attention to the product development as it affects the majority of a startup’s critical success factors
  • 6. 6 But How Do You Get to MVP? “The MVP is the right-sized product for your company and your customer. It is big enough to cause adoption, satisfaction and sales, but not so big as to be bloated and risky.” - Frank Robinson CEO, SyncDev “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.” - Albert Einstein Theoretical Physicist “The minimum viable product is that 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 Author, The Lean Startup Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. These quotes describe MVP, but do little to help you build your MVP.
  • 7. } Not Enough Money Startup Challenges } Not Enough Time } Not Enough Resources Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 7
  • 8. Typical Early-Stage Startup Funding Journey Concept (Not Funded) Bootstrap Funded Seed Funded Series A Funded Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 8
  • 9. MVP Framework How to Approach Building Your Minimum Viable Product in a Startup02
  • 10. Making Sense of MVP – by Henrik Kniberg Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 10Source: Henrik Kniberg, https://blog.crisp.se/2016/01/25/henrikkniberg/making-sense-of-mvp
  • 11. 11 Your Product Development Journey Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. Current State !User wants improvement Earliest Showable "User curiously enlightened Earliest Testable #User visualizes potential Earliest Likable $User’s life greatly improves Earliest Lovable %User becomes evangelist Earliest Usable &User’s life improves
  • 12. 12 Getting to Minimum Viable Product (& Beyond) Example using a package delivery company Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. Current State Earliest Usable Earliest Likable Earliest Lovable Earliest Showable Earliest Testable
  • 13. Phase 1: Current State Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 13 ! Concept (Not Funded)
  • 14. Phase 2: Earliest Showable Product Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 14 ! Bootstrap Funded
  • 15. Phase 3: Earliest Testable Product Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 15 ! Seed Funded
  • 16. Phase 4: Earliest Usable Product Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 16 ! Series A Funded MVP * For this example, the earliest usable product is likely the MVP. Other businesses may designate an earlier or later stage as MVP.
  • 17. Phase 5: Earliest Likable Product Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 17 !
  • 18. Phase 6: Earliest Lovable Product Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 18 !
  • 19. Evolutionary Phases of Product Development Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 19* Content is illustrative only (your mileage may vary) Earliest Showable Earliest Testable Earliest Usable Earliest Likable Earliest Lovable Product Goal Get the foundation built, warts and all Get something usable, even with extreme limitations Get something in use, even with multiple limitations Get something that starts momentum Get something that accelerates momentum and builds fans User Benefit Little – barely better than existing state Very limited; slightly better than existing Somewhat better than existing with limitations Significantly better than existing Doesn’t just reduce costs, but creates value User Involvement Observation / feedback only; no hands-on Hands-on with only 1-2 specific use cases Hands-on use in very controlled environment Limited, hands-on use Generally unrestricted use Ideal User Reaction User curiously enlightened ! User visualizes potential " User’s life improves # User’s life greatly improves $ User becomes evangelist % Audience Size1 2-3 authoritative users with signed NDA Very limited handful of users with signed NDA; < 10 users Limited set of beta users; ~10-25 users Early release candidate; ~100+ users Actively marketed; 1,000+ users Delivery Truck Example Chassis and wheels only Add folding chair, steering system, brakes Add engine, fuel system; upgrade power steering and seat Add transmission, package shelving system; enclose cab Add truck body, wireless, GPS, lift gate; upgrade engine Ideal Timeframe 1-2 months 2-4 months 3-6 months 4-8 months 12+ months 1 Typical target audience size depends heavily on the nature of the product and risk of liability
  • 20. Agile SprintsAgile SprintsAgile Sprints 20 So Where in This Will You Find the MVP? Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. Earliest Showable Earliest Testable Earliest Usable Earliest Likable Earliest Lovable Time Somewhat Uncommon MVP Most Common MVP Somewhat Common MVP
  • 21. MVP Scope How to Determine the Functionality for Your Minimum Viable Product03
  • 22. Typical Product Requirements Process Brainstorm Features Prioritize Features Build Features Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 22
  • 23. Typical Feature Brainstorming Process Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 23 Christina Morillorawpixel.com
  • 24. Typical Feature Prioritization Process Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 24 Sorted Feature List Feature 3 Feature 2 Feature 1 1-Must Have 2-Should Have 3-Want to Have 1-Critical 2-Very Important 3-Somewhat Important 4-Somewhat Optional 5-Completely Optional 1-Must Have 2-Should Have 3-Want to Have 4-Nice to Have Prioritization Scale
  • 25. Typical Feature Prioritization Result Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 25 27 10 5 3 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 1-Must Have 2-Should Have 3-Want to Have 4-Nice to Have # Features by Priority Problem: How do you determine the features that go into the MVP?
  • 26. Recommended Prioritization Method } Features should be evaluated on their: } Business benefit } Technical complexity } The combination of these two ratings combine to create a prioritization table } Tip: clearly define the criteria used to determine each individual rating } Example with technical complexity: Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 26 1 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 7 4 5 6 7 8 5 6 7 8 9 Technical Complexity BusinessBenefit Low High LowHigh Grade Range Very Low < 2 man days Low 2-5 man days Medium 6-10 man days High 11-15 man days Very High > 15 man days
  • 27. Nine-Point Prioritization Improves Accuracy 2 5 8 9 7 5 4 3 2 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Priority 1 Priority 2 Priority 3 Priority 4 Priority 5 Priority 6 Priority 7 Priority 8 Priority 9 # Features by Priority Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 27 Earliest Showable? Earliest Testable? Earliest Usable?
  • 28. Business Benefit Value Costs Competition 1-Completely Optional Creates some value (1.1x?) Slightly reduces costs (10% less?) Not a factor 2-Somewhat Optional Creates wanted value (1.5x?) Reduces costs (30% less?) Maintains wanted parity 3-Somewhat Important Creates needed (2x?) value Reduces core costs (50% less?) Maintains needed parity 4-Very Important Creates substantive (5x?) needed value Dramatically reduces core costs (80% less?) Key differentiator 5-Critical Don’t even bother building the product if this feature isn’t included } Challenge: measuring business benefit is hard } Business value is often subjective } Solution: define your detailed criteria for assigning a grade } Possible criteria: } Value } Cost } Competition } Scalability } Interoperability } Availability Sample Business Benefit Rating Scale Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 28
  • 29. } Questions to ask: } Does the customer have this feature today? } What does the customer do if the feature is not built or ready? } How much pain does the customer feel if the feature is not included? } Is there a workaround if the feature is not included? } What if you only build part of the feature? Is there a way to split the feature into multiple sub-features? } Does any other competitor have this feature? } Is there another similar feature that is a reasonable substitute? } Is there a way to spec the feature differently to reduce its cost? } How does the business benefit of this feature compare to: } Another feature with the same business benefit grade? } Another feature with the next lower grade? } Another feature with the next higher grade? } Remove your emotions from the process, as they make wants appear to be needs Be Ruthless When Assessing Business Value Thinking very critically and making hard decisions improves the result Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 29 Photo by Ivan Cujic
  • 30. MVP Value How Getting MVP Right Leads to Healthy Startups04
  • 31. Typical Startup Funding Journey Concept (Not Funded) Bootstrap Funded Seed Funded Series A Funded Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 31 How do you know how much to raise?
  • 32. Fundraising: How Much to Build a Home? } Estimate quickly } Aim high } Hope you got it right } Spend a little time to determine the scope } Spend a little more time to determine budgets for each cost category } Aggregate the individual costs and add a little padding Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 32 Typical Approach Recommended Approach But hope is not a strategy!
  • 33. A Thorough MVP Plan Impacts Overall Plans Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 33
  • 34. Which Climber is Prepared to Scale Mt. Everest? Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 34
  • 35. } Use a framework to guide progress to MVP Summary } Ruthlessly prioritize features } Move fast & leverage experts – lack of time & money work against you Copyright © 2019, Execution Matters. All rights reserved. 35 Current State Earliest Usable Earliest Likable Earliest Lovable Earliest Showable Earliest Testable 1 2 31 2 3 4 5 2 3 4 5 6 3 4 5 6 7 4 5 6 7 8 5 6 7 8 9 Technical Complexity BusinessBenefit Low High LowHigh Concept (Not Funded) Bootstrap Funded Seed Funded Series A Funded