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A friend came to me with an idea; they had identified a niche, researched and validated it, and wanted to build a web app MVP for it. When I gave them a quote, they were shocked. They could not understand why it could take that time and cost estimate. I sat with them to break out what they asked to be built. They were asking to create a full blown-out app and not just MVP. I realized that the very definition of MVP with many founders has blurred to a point where unnecessary cost and time are spent, and they take longer to create and fail, which is hugely detrimental to the process!
In my experience, when people come to me with a requirement to build a minimal viable product, their goals are far from what they need to be accomplished. Many make this mistake where they "over define" their MVP.
With tech being so readily available and accessible these days, many founders make the mistake of building too much and want to do it all in a short duration and with the least money possible. This is fair only if you truly know and have an excellent "defined MVP."
It's easier to build and fail than ever before, which means you need to be clear in your role of building the MVP.
If you're reading this, chances are you're one of those who have an idea and are seriously considering building your MVP. If that's the case, good news! You've already made it a step further than most people.
Why does defining your MVP matter?
We live in a golden age of entrepreneurship. It's never been easier to turn an idea into a business. With the rise of online marketplaces, mobile apps, and SaaS, it's possible to take an idea from concept to production without any upfront costs or technical expertise. But that has made it even more important for entrepreneurs to be clear about what they want their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to do.
Too often, entrepreneurs rush into building out their MVP with no clarity on what they are trying to achieve, resulting in time and money wasted on an ineffective product.
Steps to building a successful MVP:
Step 1: Set your Goal.
❓ Are you building for validation?
❓ Do you need a proof of concept?
❓ Are you looking for funding?
Let's say your idea is to create a community for DIYers who customize Ikea. Your goal, to begin with, might be to validate it. Creating a landing page that clearly states the value and is discoverable should be your first challenge. You may be at a stage where financial backing and a user base can be solved; however, validating the ability of tech to address the problem in a scalable manner may be the question. Building this proof of concept (prototype) should be your priority.
You might develop a great product, but if you haven't aligned your actions with your goals, everything you do will work against your success.
Step 2: Identify your strengths.
❓ Which part of the business are you good at?
❓ Do you have a community to support you?
❓ Have you found your niche?
You must ask yourself what YOU bring to the table.
For example, you have a captive audience; a community you run on WhatsApp that you want to create a product for. You already have users to target; you don't need to work on marketing initially. It might be more vital for you to have a smooth onboarding of these users to your product from WhatsApp than make your product discoverable. In other cases, Your strength may be in marketing, operations, or finance. In these cases, it might be more critical to have a plan based on what you are good at and what you can solve, which would be centric for the MVP.
Without knowing what you bring to the table, it's tough to make the most of it. Once you know your strength and define your MVP, you will be playing towards your power.
Step 3: Identify your limitations
❓ Which part of the business do you absolutely have no idea about?
❓ Can you identify the gaps and blind spots in your business?
❓ Which is the most cost-draining aspect of your business?
This is the time for you to leverage the strength of others.
If your biggest problem is getting users, like many startups, you need all the help you can get from SEO and growth hacking tools. It might be more important for you to have a simple but well-optimized website with a clear call-to-action than it is for you to add on features within your product.
By knowing your limitations and bringing in the right people to address them, you will have a better idea of how much this will cost you in achieving your goal.
In conclusion, explore the three steps and define your MVP.
✅ M - Minimal; the most minimalistic solution.
✅ V - Viable; it is just minimal enough that it breathes and has a life of its own.
✅ P - Product; I can’t stress enough on how harnessing the power of NoCode platforms will take you further in your journey in less time. Making expensive hires and spending a million bucks creating MVP when you have great tools that help build your MVPs for less than half the price should be a no brainer!
If you need more guidance or looking to build an MVP without breaking the bank, write to me!