OK, you have this great idea, you know that there is a problem and your idea solves that problem. Now your first instinct is get investment and go build a full scale product. This all seems great, let me explain why a full scale product of an idea is not always the best approach, but rather starting off with an MVP (minimum viable product).
Why an MVP and what is it exactly?
MVP is a new product like an mobile app or a web app that provides the minimum or sufficient amount of features. This means the product starts off with the core features. Then tested by users and feedback is gathered to either, expand them or to find another approach.
Using this approach from the beginning will allow your mobile or web app to gain popularity. By the time a full product is ready you have already obtain a good starting user base. The big plus is that it takes much less time and money to get the core product to the consumers, in this case the users.
Identifying the core features
With our company nnj, we help transforming ideas to products through market research and analysis. We look at what your competitors are doing and how your product will be delivered. Sometimes the wheel is just a wheel so you don’t need to reinvent it, just deliver it in a more efficient manner.
At this point you already know what you want it to be. With the help of the research you have done, strip it back one feature at a time. I know, “but it needs all of these things”. At some point it will be what you want it to be but to start it has to be what it needs to be.
It’s like building a house, first you lay the foundation then you add the bricks, one at a time!
I have an MVP built
Congratulations your MVP is ready so now what? You wanted a product and what you got was a seemingly unfinished application. That seemingly unfinished application is what your idea will grow from. The seed has been planted now it needs to be watered.
Testing directly from the people you want to use your application is the best way to start. Here are 2 ways you could approach it:
1. Using platforms like Kickstarter
investment platforms like Kickstarter can be a good way to test if your product at it’s core fulfills the needs of many. Naturally if you never used these platforms before there is a reward offered to the bidders but you also get some payment to invest in further development.
2. Focus groups
With all startups there are no real facts only points of view and opinions. A collective of people gathered in one place could provide you with real world opinions straight from the horses mouth sort of speak. You could also focus on certain aspects or the app as a whole. This will almost certainly give you valuable feedback to improve the product.
There are also companies that handle testing like this or feel free to take on the challenge yourself.
It’s time to launch!
Well done, you have been through all the hoops you can muster. Now it is time to get the updated product to market and this is where your dream starts coming true. The product works, people use it, now time for all the bells and whistles right? well yes and no. Each feature will need to be tested again but it will be easier this time around. Add a badge with the words beta on the new feature and let your current users test the new features for you.
Launching a viable product is not as easy as build it and they will come most of the time, our advice is don’t be afraid to fail. I know the objective is to succeed, but it really is not as bad as it sounds. That is why creating an MVP is a good idea.