Why You Should Launch With a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
“If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” - Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn
The quote may sound a little extreme, but the point is clear: you don’t need the perfect product to launch. If you wait until you’ve got all the possible features and bugs worked out, you’ve waited too long to launch. The most successful digital products aren’t perfect right out of the gate. Instead, they launch with a minimum viable product (MVP).
Minimum Viable Product Definition
The minimum viable product (MVP) is the bare bones that a product needs to launch. Although it is not fully fleshed out, the MVP version of the product has just enough features and functionality to satisfy users. The goal is to use the minimum effort/expense to achieve the maximum learning about customers and usage.
Essential Benefits of Launching With an MVP
Whether a brand new company or an established brand, the best practice for every new product is to launch with an MVP. Even Amazon was launched with just 5 products, compact discs, computer hardware, computer software, videos, and books (which was later narrowed down to just books). This MVP laid the groundwork for Jeff Bezos to build a $915 billion company.
1. Test The Need
Before spending all the time, effort, and expense on bringing a completed product to market, it’s important to make sure there’s a place for it. A perfectly designed product doesn’t matter unless there is a need.
Launching with a minimum viable product lets you dip your toes and test the waters, before diving in headfirst. This allows you to find the cross-section between what your product offers and what people need, so you can build off of a truth that can steer you towards success.
In the Amazon example, Bezos initially looked at 20 different product categories. By slimming that down to one, he was able to perfect the customer experience. Amazon worked out ideals for purchase behaviour, shipping preferences, and more. They were able to use this learning of customer needs to expand into an ever-growing stream of categories and offerings.
2. Earned Feedback
The most successful products are ‘alive’. They grow and change based on how the customers use and respond to their features and functionality. Getting genuine, meaningful feedback is the only way for a company to make improvements based on real needs.
Launching an MVP gives early access to feedback through customers and data. This provides the insights required to grow your product into a competitive powerhouse in any industry.
Where product testing and focus groups can help in early-stage feedback, only an MVP can let you see how your product performs in the real world.
3. Streamline Product Launch
Launching a digital product isn’t fast, easy, or cheap. And in the early stages of a product, especially in a new business, those three factors are all paramount to success. An MVP is the best way to streamline your product launch.
One of the clearest benefits is that minimizing the number of features means minimizing the required man-hours. That leads to lower costs, simplified execution, and faster time-to-launch. It’s the best way to get projects out on time and on budget.
There is also an additional benefit of better usability. It’s much easier and more effective to do a great job with a few features than to do an okay job with many.
In short, do more with less, not less with more.
4. Fast to Market
It’s a fast-moving world, exponentially so in the digital space. Being quick to get to market can make all the difference, especially for a fledgeling business. The sooner a product hits the market, the sooner it can start earning sales revenue.
Getting that sales revenue going early can mean not having to wait to raise funds for the next stages of marketing or iterations of the product. As well, it establishes the product in the marketplace - making it easier to grow and dominate that space. Even if you're not first to market, coming in early is still a big benefit for establishing your presence and authority.
Building User-Centric MVPs
In an overcrowded market for digital products, you need an edge to launch an MVP that stands apart. Torinit is the strategic partner you need. Our team of product managers, technology analysts, and development experts will help you create compelling, scalable, revenue-generating products.
Contact us today and discover how Torinit can help you grow.