Technology has been evolving rapidly and modern innovators keep coming up with new products at a breathtaking speed. However, the product strategy for each new and emerging technology or tool usually starts at the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage.
A Minimum Viable Product is a particular stage of product development for a tool, website or app where a new product is unveiled with features adequate to cater to the early stage users/beta-testers. Subsequently, the continuous feedback of the early users enables the company to tweak, remove or add features and capabilities to the product to make it a complete solution.
There are plenty of instances where companies started their products and services as MVP and have subsequently undergone steady upgrades to become great success stories. One of the commonest examples of an MVP is none other than the games we play on our smart devices or apps and social networks such as Uber, Facebook, and WhatsApp etc.
In fact, building an MVP is the go-to process for almost all the machinery and digital companies. This leads us to the question, ‘why do companies need to build an MVP?’
There are many smart reasons why companies get going with an MVP.
In the tech-oriented world of 21st century, first-movers are usually at an advantage. It is well known that perfecting a new technology or gadget can take a very long-time, but, it might not be feasible to wait that long. Hence, by launching an MVP, companies can cut down on the release time and also gain early mover’s advantage.
By shortening the product development cycle by launching an MVP into the market, companies are often able to cut down on their implementation costs. Subsequently, the revenue generated from the product sales can be further utilized towards product improvement consistently.
Since the early MVPs take less time to develop, and are only launched in limited numbers, they prove to be a very useful tool to find out your TG’s response to your product. It is always better to first dip your feet into the water to get used to the water-current and temperature etc before diving headlong into it. This is the luxury that MVPs afford to product makers.
Since an MVP is essentially an initial model of a product made available to limited audience only, the companies are able to test its performance in real markets without having to spend the large amounts that are typically spent on full-fledged product launches and making them available at the national and international retail outlets.
By testing the markets through a Minimum-Viable-Product, companies can not only evaluate their product’s performance under actual user scenario, they also receive insights in the form of consumer feedback on the products. Hence, they can not only avoid product failures, but, find out what their TG wants. This insight then enables the product makers to improve or upgrade their product to make it a win-win scenario for all.
By launching the MVP version of the product, website or app, companies are able to generate buzz about it without having to spend on a launch blitzkrieg. This early buzz and audience interest is then converted into early sales. This helps the companies launch their new products on a much stronger footing and make it a success.
Creating and introducing an MVP has become a crucial part of a company’s product development cycle. At times, it is also referred to as a prototype or beta version especially for websites or mobile apps. As illustrated above, such a practice has numerous benefits for the companies as well as the end-users. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that strategic introduction of a new MVP can be an important tool of business growth for tech and digital products companies.