Only a few months ago, would you have ever imagined that Twitter would be bought by SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk? But the real story is not written by Musk but was written by a group of people back in 2006. Former Google employees Evan Williams and Biz Stones along with mastermind Noah Williams began a podcasting platform called Odeo, but then Apple launched its podcasting platform (through iTunes) before it did.
So along with another team member Jack Dorsey, the three friends decided to launch Twitter – an SMS service platform. But the investors did not like their MVP, and the team had to test the prototype among a small group of users to finally launch it at the right time. If Musk’s recent poll (Should he continue as the Twitter CEO?) is any indication, Twitter has continued the culture of testing a new idea, or a feature among the users first before the launch.
What’s the morale of the story? Testing a product is important. But should that product be complete or barely functional?
Here’s where your MVP (minimum viable product) becomes crucial. That is easier said than done. Building an MVP that attracts investors enough to fund it is indeed a magic potion that is not complete without the right spells.
There are three important principles of MVP building:
- Viability Testing
- Quick Development
- Cost Efficiency
The bigger idea behind building an MVP is to test your assumptions. That takes us to the next important segment – how to build an MVP that raises money. Once you have identified the problem, and done your research, you need to get into the business of building an MVP.
Here are some important considerations while building an MVP that makes money
1. Create User Profiles
While building an MVP, it is crucial to create user profiles based on which your product may be tested among the actual set of users.
Here are some things you may need to create these profiles:
- Who is my user? Male, female, binary?
- What are his/her/their likes and dislikes?
- What do my target users do professionally?
- What do they do in their free time?
- Their income, their spending ability
- Their culture, language, age group
2. Make a List of Key Features
Based on the user’s persona, market research, and the problem to be solved, you will now have enough data to list key features of your product, service, or mobile application. Focus on the most essential features of your product. Think of it as a segregation of necessities, comforts, and luxuries. The most important features are those that will solve the most pressing part of the problem.
For instance, for a taxi aggregator app, the most important features would be locating destinations, calling service, and listing registered drivers to drive taxis. The least important features would be add-ons such as a parcel delivery service or a profile photo of the users, etc.
3. Create your MVP
Instead of hiring expensive talent, teams, or resources, build a strong framework for your product or service first. And then train your existing team to build upon that framework. Once your team knows your vision, the target audience, and the solution, they will follow the process of MVP development in a more organized way. Create an agile development process based on constant user feedback, and learn as you go. Pay a lot of attention to the ease of use – be it an offline service or product, an app-based service or product – user experience and interface are the most crucial factors.
4. Create a Marketing Strategy
Identifying and building an important solution is one thing, marketing the same is quite another. For instance, the whole concept of carpooling has existed in the United States for a long time. But when Lyft was launched, it did not sell its service based on things like cost-saving, or time-saving features but on the concept of ‘ride sharing’. Even though the company was solving those problems, it marketed itself in a way to make carpooling an exciting experience to lure customers.
Here are some things you can do:
- List features with the most humane appeal
- Create a content strategy around those features
- Identify the best platforms to create a buzz around the product
- Identify product advocates who will testify
- Inquire with friends/employees about what they like best about the product.
- Create clear messaging around the above feedback
5. Launch the Product
An MVP should not be overloaded with features. Make sure that all the bugs on your website or mobile application are fixed before you launch the MVP. Double-check that a proper launch buzz was created over all your business channels.
6. Analyze the Feedback
First, focus on delighting your customers instead of sales. It is important that a positive buzz be created around your product or service. Create a feedback loop to help you get consistent feedback on the product. Encourage your early users to rate your service or product or provide feedback for improvement. Actively seek suggestions, and analyze the feedback. The whole point of building an MVP is to learn and improve as you go. This initial feedback will help you course-correct sooner, so your MVP will be ready to show to the investors.
Remember that a product that’s well thought-out, has a solid framework in terms of business and usage, and solves a real-world problem will always find buyers.
If you need help building a bestselling MVP, talk to us.