Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a task not to be taken lightly. The startup or enterprise business must clearly understand the goal of doing it, the possible limitations and the need to build something AWESOME.
Let’s be frank: MVP, as we know it today, has drifted quite a long way aside from the concept initially proposed by Eric Ries in his The Lean Startup book around 7 years ago. The idea was to build a product with an absolute minimum of features, as a Proof of Concept, to ensure the main product idea is feasible and there is a market for it.
Since then quite a lot of project managers fell for the fallacy of “minimum viability” of the product. Unfortunately, in waaay many cases this meant the sub-par quality of the design and limited functionality, as everything was sacrificed in order to implement several core features fast. This has lead us to the situation we witness today — where a plenty of poorly-built MVPs try to compete for the customer’s attention in order to get the next round of funding and have enough resources to become fully-featured products.
Jump-start your MVP to win the hearts of the customers: add some AWESOMENESS!
While being a somewhat depressing picture, this situation provides a unique opportunity for any fast-witted entrepreneur. All a startup needs to do to win the hearts of their audience is provide a well-designed and smoothly performing product with essential features and one (or two) GREAT bonuses that allow the product to stand out from the competition.
Yes, designing and developing an awesome feature will need some time and resources. However, it is better to do the things slowly and end up with a high-quality product than add another meager offer to the line of wannabe successes.
This all applies to entering the densely populated market, of course. When there are zero alternatives, as you try to conquer the underserved market niche, your MVP will be awesome because it will be unique. In that case, you need just to implement the core functionality that solves the customer’s pain and provide smooth UI/UX. This way you will provision a Proof of Concept that will ensure there will be a demand for a fully-featured product.
Final thoughts on why your MVP must be awesome
It is quite obvious the software developers have to make trade-offs from time to time. However, we think product quality should not be sacrificed at any cost. If you are building an MVP — just make sure it solves the real-world pain it is intended to solve and does so with style. Include fewer features, but make them run smoothly and provide an AWESOME user experience. This way your product will test the market, gain positive feedback and cause the needed traction to ensure the target audience is willing to buy a full-scale product you will deliver in some time.
What do you think of the concept of adding some awesomeness to an MVP? Do you follow the same concept while creating your products? Please share your experience below!
Initially, I’ve posted this story on my company’s blog — https://itsvit.com/blog/mvp-not-enough-product-must-awesome/