3 Successful Examples of Using an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) by@pedrofullstack

3 Successful Examples of Using an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

MVP means minimum viable product and it is a way to get the most knowledge about the target of a product with the least effort possible. MVP is the bare minimum you can put together to deliver the value from your product to the customer and make him pay. This is better understood with examples, here are 3 stories that I know of that will make the concept clearer. The MVP is not a P, but it is the next step, if you want to know what you are trying to sell there is the feasibility of the project. On the examples above was always money changing hands, but that is the key.
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Pedro Henrique

A concept that was first introduced in the Lean Startup book by Eric Ries, an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a way to get the most knowledge about your product’s target customer with the least effort possible.

An MVP is the bare minimum version of your product you can put together to deliver value to your customer; value that’s worth paying for.

This idea is better understood with examples. Here are 3 stories that I hope will clarify the concept of an MVP.

Someone I Heard Of

There is a story that became famous in Porto Alegre’s startup scene (the city I used to live in). A guy wanted to start selling muffins at the university and parks around town to pay for his expenses while working on his graduation, but he couldn’t afford to lose any money.

He knew his muffins were good, all his friends praised him for that, but he was not sure if people were willing to buy food from a random guy on the street. To validate his idea, he put an empty box on his bicycle and added a sign saying “muffins R$5,00”, and then he waited at the university's exit when classes ended. When the buyer had his wallet on hand and was ready to pay he would say “oh no, there are no more muffins!”.

By doing that in different places and times he figured out:

  1. people would actually buy from him
  2. where and when he should be selling
  3. using the bike as a stand actually made people pay more for the muffins.

Someone I Know

I met a group that was starting a bike-sharing business. Their idea was that people would rent the bicycles they were not using through their app to people who wanted a bike to ride. By talking to both parties they managed to make the deal happen.

They then moved to a second MVP, where they put together a Facebook page and successfully facilitated a rental between two persons that did not know each other.

They continued doing more and more iterations of this process until finally arriving at the full app. Eventually, they were chosen for a startup challenge and moved to Spain and I lost contact with them.

A Very Famous Example

The classic example of MVP is the way Nick Swinmurn validated his idea for Zappos. He couldn’t buy the pair of shoes he wanted from the local mall and thought it would be a good idea to buy them online, so why not create an online shoe store?

Before investing in his idea, Nick decided to test it out with an MVP. He went on and advertised shoes online, but he had no stock. Every time someone bought a pair, he would go to the store, buy that pair and send it to the customer.

By doing this, Nick was able to prove that people are willing to buy shoes online. He also had more confidence in the business, more knowledge on how to operate and market it, and was able to begin investing in what would become one of the largest e-commerce businesses in the USA.

Ok, But How Do I Use It?

You know what your product is supposed to do and which problem you want to solve. With that base, can you create something that emulates your final product with the least effort possible?

Keep in mind that this is not a POC(Proof of Concept) where you want to validate the feasibility of the project. It is the next step. You want to know if someone will actually buy what you are selling. In the examples above, there was always money changing hands; that is always the key validation.

I can’t give you a recipe for how to make an MVP because that changes with every product. But, hopefully, I managed to give you a better understanding of the concept behind it.

react to story with heart
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