The Minimum Valuable Product or Minimum Viable Product that is also known as MVP is a concept in the revolutionary lean startup methodology designed by Eric Ries. I don’t want to discuss the history and the story of this in this article. I want to show you what is MVP and how you can use it to run your startup as soon as possible and maybe even right now! So let’s get right into it.
Meet our Youtuber
John is trying to be a Youtuber and make money from advertising in his videos. He wants to provide videos to help teenagers with their dating problems like how to behave in a date or how to dress and so on with help from the experts in this subject. Everything is as well as he wanted to be. He has a good idea, his idea’s market capacity is very large, he knows how he wants to monetize it and he is expecting a high hit rate on his market.
As soon as he wants to start, he faces the most confusing problem in his career! “How am I going to start?” John thinks that he needs a staff like the experts or a director for his videos and a person who can edit the videos in a suitable way for Youtube, a cameraman maybe and a lot of other people to make a perfect video for his audiences. In the other hand, he needs some pieces of equipment for making the videos like a camera and a mic at least and unfortunately, he can’t effort it. So what should he do now? Let me know what you would do if you were in his shoes in the comments.
The answer is in the MVP: What is MVP
The MVP has three letters as you see which means that it has three rules that you must follow in my idea. Let’s take a look at these three rules and solve John’s problem and help him to continue to make a fortune from his idea.
As it’s obvious your first product should be minimal. It means that you have to ignore the “perfects product” that you want to give your audience in your vision. You have to ignore as many as features that have costs for you and when I say costs, I mean money, time and energy that you are going to spend to provide that particular feature. So John won’t need any director or unnecessary staff like it (don’t mean to insult anyone, I’m saying this just in this case). Be greedy in ignoring features! As a matter of fact, ignore the whole project if you can! Just kidding, never give up on your dream, actually I’m here to not let you down but still be greedy and ignore features as much as you can and if you continue reading I will tell you what “as much as you can” means in this very article.
The second rule is to be valuable. Remember when I said ignore as much as you can? I lied! When I say valuable I mean that you must have the very features that your idea is all about and that’s the limit you have in ignoring features. In John’s case, it means that he can’t ignore the main feature which is answering teenagers’ question about dating. I consider these kinds of features that you can’t ignore as the “functional requirements”. It means that if you ignore them in your very first product you actually didn’t start your idea and you did something else. So John still needs to pay for experts to be on his videos and answer the questions of teenagers.
Obviously, it has to be a product! It means that your product must be usable for your audiences. Again in John’s case altho I said John wouldn’t need a director or an editor for his videos but he has to make sure that his audiences are capable to use his videos in order to find their answers. Which means that the video must not have any noises or any interruption so the audiences have a comfortable time watching it and are able to see and hear so they can actually be satisfied by finding what they’re looking for.
Let’s put it all together in a nutshell
The MVP is all about to run your own business as fast and also as cheap as possible. In your way to building your MVP, you should keep three things in mind. First, it has to be a minimal version of what you are offering to your customers. Second, it has to offer the main thing that you are trying to offer to your customer in your vision. At last but not least it has to be usable for a real audience or customer of your own. That’s the message I wanted you to take home with you after you read this article.
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