MVP 101

When starting a business, it’s important to start fast and make money as soon as possible. Without a cash flow, your business could fail before you blink.

In order to do that, you need to create an MVP for your product or service.

What Is An MVP?

Example of an MVP
Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash
Example of Future Polished Product
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

An MVP is a Minimum Viable Product. It is the barebones of a product. Creating an MVP means leaving all the bells and whistles behind to focus on the main functionality of the product.

For example, an MVP of a bicycle would be having two wheels, a frame, a seat, handlebars, and brakes.

All five of those elements are needed to make a bike function properly.

There isn’t a selection of colors. There are no pom-poms on the handles. The handles don’t even have grips.

It’s just a simple bike. The MVP.

Why Are MVPs Important?

MVPs will save you time and money. 

Selling an MVP is a type of test for your product. You get to see if people actually want to buy the product and how they will use it. 

This gives you immediate validation and you get immediate feedback so you can add on to the product/service in the best way to serve your customers.

It saves you time because you get the product out right away. You’re not spending months building a perfect product only to find out half of it is not being used or worse… no one has a need for it and you’re out of capital. 

You can test your idea, validate it immediately and then proceed to make it better. Or… switch ideas immediately if no one buys them. This can save you months if not years.

MVPs save you money in the same way. Startups function on a very limited budget. You can’t afford a mistake at the beginning stages. That’s why an MVP is important! You spend money building an MVP. If it fails, you have enough budget for a second try.

How To Build An MVP

Okay so you know the importance of the MVP, but how do you build it? Well, use its name!

Make It Minimum

Layout exactly what your product needs to be the product. Forget the bells and whistles for a second. Leave out the pom-poms on the bike handle for now. It is not needed for the overall functionality.

You’ll have time and money in the future to take this product to the next level, but for now, it needs to be simple.

Make It Viable

Okay, we’re shooting for BARE MINIMUM, but it can’t be too bare. It has to be viable. It has to be sufficient enough to work properly. So this means putting a bike seat on the bike. Is it truly needed? No. But your customers don’t want to get probed, bro. The bike needs a seat and brakes. And it actually has to work!

Get It Out The Door

After making the MVP plan, it’s time to get to work and build out your product as quickly and cheaply as possible. Go get it!

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