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What you need to know to develop a successful MVP

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mvp

Before you sell a product, you need to test it with an MVP. 

Imagine you've thought of something innovative to start a business, with a product that will be a success and will enter homes and businesses across the country and the world. In the field of ideas, it really seems like it will work, but what about in practice?

Before applying to Shark Tank or preparing a pitch for investors, experienced entrepreneurs develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). 

This process prevents you from spending your savings on a business before you've even launched the product on the market. That's why we're going to teach you what MVP is, how to do it and give you some tips for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. 

Happy reading! 

What is MVP?

The MVP is a test version, where a product is developed using few resources. The aim is to assess whether the product fulfills the task for which it was intended. 

This approach allows companies to test their ideas quickly and cost-effectively. Instead of investing time and resources in creating a complete product, the MVP is a basic version that contains only the essential features for proper performance.

Consider the following example: A company is developing a new model of handbag, with a shape and cut that has never been seen on the market before. To test the model, an MVP was sewn in synthetic material, which is cheaper. 

This MVP showed the developers that the handles were not designed correctly. With this information in hand, they reworked the design and solved the problem before producing the bag in a more expensive material, such as cotton or leather. 

How to develop an MVP? 

Starting the development of the Minimum Viable Product is a step-by-step task. Producing something in cheaper materials is only one part of the process. That's why we're going to show you the questions you need to answer when building your MVP. 

1. clarify the MVP's value proposition

On the US edition of the show Shark Tank, entrepreneur Scotty T. presented what seemed like a brilliant solution: the Copy Keyboard, an electronic device that replaces the Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V action. 

The aim was to reduce the task of pressing two buttons at the same time to just one button for "copy" and one for "paste". 

But is this really a problem that needs to be solved with a product? The sharks concluded that consumers wouldn't pay 20 dollars to do a task for which there is a free option, so the entrepreneur left without his investment. 

So, when developing your MVP, answer the same question the investors asked: 

  • Developed in this way, does my product solve a real problem? 

If the answer is yes, move on. But if the answer is "the problem doesn't exist", maybe it's time to rethink the business.  

2. Testing the market for the MVP

An interesting example of how a product hasn't been tested on the market is the company Pinky Gloves which, in 2021, went to the German Shark Tank to close deals. The product was a pink glove for women to change and dispose of pads. 

The glove was quickly rejected by people who menstruate for being unnecessary for hygiene and for generating even more waste, since it was a disposable product. Shortly afterwards, the pink gloves were removed from the market. 

Imagine how much money would be saved by testing Pinky Gloves on the market! 

During the development of your MVP, offer the product to consumers to test. Initial feedback is crucial to understanding customer needs and making adjustments to the product before investing in high volumes of stock.

So answer this question before moving on to the third step: 

  • Has the market shown that it will buy the product? 

If the answer is yes, now let's think about improvements. 

3. Improve MPV resources 

One example of improvement is video games. In 2020, the game Cyberpunk 2077 was released after months of delays and with a large number of bugs and crashes.

And the number of controversies also increased after the launch. With too much content for over-18s, problems running the game and the removal of scenes shown in the trailers, CD Projekt Red accumulated complaints from players. 

This initial feedback from users is what motivated the game's developers to halt the release and fix the flaws that prevent the mechanics from working. 

When developing an MVP, it's common to find features that work but could be improved. Therefore, the opinions of your customers are the best way to make corrections. 

When analyzing the feedback, think:

  • How can I improve the product according to what my customers have said? 

This is your chance to fix problems, optimize resources and launch a product that will be a success on the market. 

And what comes after the MVP? 

If your MVP receives an encouraging response from the market, it's time to roll up your sleeves and develop the final product. 

At this point, it's possible to think about basic and premium versions of the product, creating more affordable models. This way, more consumers can buy and decide for themselves whether they want more sophisticated features or just a functional product.

Another way to develop the MVP is to create variations according to the feedback received. For example, a product intended for adults could have a children's version.

Conclusion

The idea on paper needs to go through the development of an MVP to reach the market. 

Companies that understand this need save money and develop more interesting products for consumers. They also increase the chances of success and financial return for the business. 

Pareto knows how a good MVP and other business decisions can boost a company's success. Here on the Pareto blog we give weekly tips for those who also want to be more successful in their business. Follow along!

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