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Hackernoon logo10 Great Ways to Evaluate your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by@bharti

10 Great Ways to Evaluate your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

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@bhartiBharti

Do you know the main purpose of building Minimum Viable Product or MVP? The answer is to validate the product that you will be launching in the market.

Many people have some misconceptions about MVP. We need to clarify that it does not indicate an unfinished product but a Minimum viable product is a means of getting the feedback for your final product.

You don’t need MVP to see whether your product can be technically improved or not, but you actually need to identify whether your product should be built in the first place or should not be built at all.

Let’s understand it with an example. Suppose you want to validate whether unmanned drones can be useful for collecting data about crops’ health. This project might seem viable technically, but there are chances that your MVP could ultimately fail. Why? Because it does not validate the business’s viability by testing company capabilities &, more importantly, the market.

Before moving further, let’s understand why you need to develop and validate MVP for your product?

Imagine that you have an idea and a perfect plan for your new business, web service, or application. You think that everything is defined, and your product has rich features that your end-users will definitely love. And the only thing remaining is the development either with an in-house developer team or external vendor. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, everything literally!

How and more specifically, why? Then, the “rich features” of a product might not be as exciting to your target users, or the backlog might be overloaded with “rich” features or the budget that is reaching the sky!

But, No worries! Validation of your MVP will save you from all these hurdles and minimize your product’s risk of failure.

Validating Minimum Viable Product

There are many ways to validate your minimum viable product. But here, we have listed a few solid ways to verify your Minimum Viable Product or MVP. Let’s begin!

1. Customer interviews

Source: Steve Blank

Customer interview is the most common way to validate your minimum viable product. Here, you will get feedback from customers who are going to use your product. Conduct the interviews with your targeted audience, listen, and understand issues to gain insight. These insights will enable you to take care of recurring issues.

The customers’ feedback will be honest while talking face to face because People may lie or sugarcoat the opinions online.

You can ask your customers whether or not the product solved their problem, met their expectations, and enquire about their future expectations by asking them to fill up the survey form.

2. SaaS & PaaS

Platforms such as Facebook Connect, Heroku and MongoDB, Amazon Web Services, Drupal, WordPress, or services such as LiveChat, Google Forms, Mailchimp, and Chargify are all great pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that is a validation of your minimum viable product. These platforms and services will assist you in the development procedure and accelerate your MVP time to market.

To validate their MVP, Groupon started life as a customized WordPress website. On that site, founders emailed subscribers PDFs & posted deals manually.

There are many development and design frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, Nde.js, Django, bootstrap.js, Twitter Bootstrap, ZURB Foundation that are useful shortcuts saving time and money.

So, you can instruct the developer of these frameworks to build and validate your minimum viable product. So, hire MVP developers to get all these amazing benefits.

3. Fundraising

Crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and many more offer a great platform for running MVP tests. These sites are collections of minimum viable products where the market response is recorded by the interest people express terms of contributions to the campaigns.

Your product will have exposure to a set of active and interested users. You can build and launch your final product in the market with the funding raised from these platforms.

Image source: Kickstarter

There are many success stories like Ouya gaming console & Pebble: e-paper watch that began as Kickstarter campaigns and raised millions of dollars and created a buzz even before development started.

4. Explainer videos

You will agree that if an image is worth a thousand words, then a video that displays the user experience of your product is worth a million words. Dropbox is the most popular startup that has used an explainer video for validating the MVP. Take a look at the video;

Source: DropDaBox

In this video, they had demonstrated Dropbox’s intended functionality. And even without a real product, there was an increase in signups from 5,000 people to 75,000.

5. Landing pages

These are the web pages where your potential customers will get more information about your product and business. These landing pages display the interest of the users with the way they interact & behave on the page.

So, when you create a landing page for your MVP, you can track customer analytics with tools such as KISSmetrics, Google Analytics, etc.

6. A/B Testing

It is a technique to validate which version of your page is more effective among the developed versions.

You can show two different versions of a page to the users for A/B testing of your MVP. After that, you extract information regarding the audience interaction with tools such as Google Analytics, Unbounce, etc.

Image source: Smashing Magazine

7. Wizard of Oz

The name of this model is quite fascinating, isn’t it? So, let me tell you the reason for this name. Do you remember the hero of the famous fairy tale, the Wizard of Oz? That hero used to use special tricks to pretend to be some frightening characters.

Similarly, here we also use tricks to give customers the impression that MVP has all the demanded features. In fact, it’s all a facade.

Your users or the customers think that they’re using and interacting with the real product, but all the behind-the-scenes work will be done by you or your team manually.

You will be amazed to know that Amazon.com initially started as an online bookstore has tested its MVP with Wizard of Oz. Owners ordered the required books from distributors as per the consumers’ orders, and they didn’t keep books in stock. And, now it has grown so well that It’s on everyone’s lips!

8. Emailing

It is one of the simple and easy ways to validate your MVP. You can send emails to understand how many receivers follow up with the email or click on the links.

Once you send the emails to users, ensure to trace users’ actions with the help of tools such as Yesware or use the built-in plugins.

9. PPC Ad campaigns

Image Source: Neil Patel

Once you have your final product, you are going to use the PPC campaigns. Thus, it is a great way to verify your minimum viable product.

Facebook and Google enable you to drill down your target audience’s demographics and provide insights about the aspects or features of your product that are most appealing to your audience.

And if your MVP fails to generate leads, then your idea is not good enough, or your ad is flawed.

10. Blogs

The blog is also a good way to verify your MVP. The reason is it offers you two-way communication with your product’s potential users.

With the help of blogs, you can discuss and collect feedback about a product. By the extent of keenness, the users are showing in your product, you can have an honest opinion about your minimum viable product.

11. Pre-order Pages

These pages are more famous with gadgets, books, and other interesting products for testing MVPs. Here, the aim is to persuade customers enough with your product to make them pay in advance.

Image Source: Oculus

The virtual reality gaming kit called Oculus Rift created their pre-order page prior to the production. And you can find a many such projects on Kickstarter. It gives you the idea about the demand of the product you want to build.  

You need to make the product presentation look as appealing & attractive as possible because customers will resist putting their money at risk way before the product is even born.

Getting out the door

When you are thinking about developing a new product, it is useful to build the MVP for your product and even more to validate your minimum viable product.

So, while testing your hypotheses & verifying your MVP, you can consider the techniques mentioned above. And make sure to choose the one that best fits your business model and market. With MVP development service, you can kick-start your MVP development to ride the wave of success!

Also published behind a paywall on https://medium.com/devtechtoday/top-10-solid-ways-to-validate-minimum-viable-product-you-need-to-know-db9187888088

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