Truth bombs about building MVP
In the last article, Interpreting the misinterpreted MVP we tried understanding few misconceptions around MVP and what are the main objectives of a good MVP.
MVP is one of the best approaches to learn, pivot and achieve PMF in an agile and lean way. But with that comes multiple assumptions and risks which if not accounted then can impact the process in terms of cost and time.
MVP needs commitment
With great MVP comes great commitments. The process is highly iterative and one has to be committed towards learning throughout the process. Situations like- “Let’s start again!”, “This feature has to be modified”, “The user behaviour is different as expected”, “We need to pivot!” and many similar ones are expected and one has to be prepared. As you go you learn a lot about product, users, market and even yourself.
Seeing the problem with different lenses like forest and trees is very helpful. You focus on the details but also do not lose the bigger picture.
In the previous article, we saw a sketchnote (Sketchnote 2) that described the better way of building a MVP. In the same diagram, we can add another visual and make it more descriptive.
The arrows added in the diagram shows that the process isn’t linear and can be(and is mostly)too and fro. Hence, commitment towards iteration is the key and one important assumption MVP will need.
Dependent on early adopters
As shown in the product adoption curve, MVP is consumed by Innovators and Early adopters. These are the users who have shown interest in your product, are enthusiastic and curious to try it and are open for feedback. These early adopters help your product to push from Early Adopter stage to Early Majority.
While building MVP, you expect your Early Adopters to use the half-cooked product, promote it and even give feedback.
That’s a big assumption. Hence be objective about knowing your early adopters, their interests and capabilities. Also know exactly the core problem and create value by solving that, thereby delighting the early adopters.
High product expectations
Even though MVP is not a complete product but still the stakes are high. This is mainly because:
- Users have evolved and have more access to tech now
- Very high competition and hence increase in benchmark while comparison
- Users have used multiple products and hence expect more
This surely doesn’t mean that the MVP should be bombarded with features but it surely means that users expect a good quality product that adds value and solves their core problem. This is valid for UX, UI and core functionality of the product.
MVP sets a parameter
It is like once said by The Eagles in Hotel California song-
You can check-out any time you like,
But you can never leave!
One of the most critical risk to consider while building MVP is the gravity it holds.
The process is iterative, includes half-cooked product and is in test stage but the statement often said- “Let’s get something out and check” has a huge price!
When there’s a MVP launch though there will always be changes, pivoting and many time feature rebuilding but it makes a parameter for you, an anchor in the ocean. Moving out of it is tough and often this gravity is ignored that can cause multiple repercussions like:
- risk of burning your loyal early adopters
- risk of stretching the product adoption curve
- more cash burn
This can be avoided by launching the minimal and important features which solves the core problem and highlight pieces that differentiates the product from others.
MVP process also includes factors like the resources, the time of launch, market and also your knowledge and confidence about the product fit and the core problem you are solving.
With this we conclude the MVP series. In first part we learned how MVP is misinterpreted in multiple ways and how it can be re-defined in terms of definition, process and objectives. Next here we learned various assumptions and risks to consider that can be very helpful to avoid roadblocks or reiterations.
MVP process is many times misunderstood, mismanaged, little frustrating, includes risks and also puts an anchor to your product. But it is MVP that gives you a leap in product adoption and reach product market fit.
After all, what’s fun in product building if not a bumpy road with series of implacable problems to be solved?