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Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a concept in which new products and/or services are launched in the market with basic features but enough to get the customers attention. The subsequent development and feature enhancements are done basis the feedback from the initial customers. Frank Robinson had coined the term in 2001

 

An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Pinkulal Karan on 26th Jun 2020

 

Applause for all the respondents - Raj Saxena, Hardik Jain, Pinkulal Karan, R Rajesh, C S K Kumar, Rajeshwari, Premkumar T

 

Also review the answer provided by Mr Venugopal R, Benchmark Six Sigma's in-house expert.

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Q 274. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a popular technique to launch innovations in the market. What is an MVP? Provide some examples of popular products that were launched using MVP but enhanced later.

 

Note for website visitors - Two questions are asked every week on this platform. One on Tuesday and the other on Friday.

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Minimum Viable Product (MVP):

MVP is a concept that originated in the lean startup methodology introduced by Eric Ries in 2011. A minimum viable product is the version of a new product which allows a team the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

 

Minimum Viable Product is a strategy used for fast and quantitative market testing of a product or product features. MVP is a version of a product that allows the team to collect as much feedback from customers for the product with the least effort. Visionary customers can fill in the gaps on missing features, if product solves a real problem. MVP allows you to validate your product idea without having to invest time and money in building the complete product.

 

MVP is a prototype to test the core of your idea or the biggest assumption in your business model. Usually it does not cost much money and it is easy to apply. The MVP approach stipulates step by step product evolution keeping in mind user feedback. It also corresponds to the philosophy of ‘ship early, repair later’. We can define MVP as a release of some features to be validated within the market. It bring the core value for early adopters.

 

The goal of the MVP is to build the smallest feature set. Some of the benefits of MVP are –

·         Early customer acquisition

·         Resource optimization

·         Value proposition focus

·         Saving time and money

·         Verifying market trends

·         Building a user base

.         Attracting investment

 

The purposes of the MVP are as follows –

·         Brand building quickly

·         It helps manufacturers decide what methods would be best used to make it

·         It gives an idea of costs and pricing

·         To test a new idea/feature

·         To understand product market fit

·         Demo to investors

·         Get a promotion at work

 

The core principles which decides features in a MVP are minimize friction, think scarcity, focus on closing the loop for the user, refine with user feedback and usage data, less is more in MVP, be prepared to pivot if it’s not working.

 

image.png.e0adf6a446c87277133fa7ad9b6d63fa.png

 

Some of the examples of popular products that were launched using MVP but enhanced later are –

 

 

Twitter

Spotify

Uber

Facebook

Dropbox

Amazon

Airbnb

Instagram

Whatsapp

Groupon

Pebble

Product Hunt

iPhone

Adwords Express

Buffer

Etsy

Foursquare

BDRThermea

Second Market

Zalando

Zappos

Cruise Automation

Microsoft Excel

Zynga

Product Hunt

Angel list

Kickstarter

Pinterest

KPIs

Special Events

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Q 274. Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a popular technique to launch innovations in the market. What is an MVP? Provide some examples of popular products that were launched using MVP but enhanced later.

 

What is an MVP?

Definition: - Minimum Viable Product is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with basic features to satisfy early adopters or to get attention of the consumers. And the final product is released only after getting detailed feedback from initial users.

This concept has interpreted by Eric Ries, a consultant and writer on startups.

Description: - its most basic version of product a company wants to launch in market like website, Automobile and electronics. Company seeks response of customers/buyers and this technique helps to company in making final product as much better.

Key features: - It has three Key distinct features.

1.       It will have sufficient features for initial customer/buyers.

2.       It will have feedback mechanism to guide future improvement.

3.       It demonstrate enough future benefits to customer so that they can adopt product

 

Provide some examples of popular products that were launched using MVP but enhanced later.

 

1.       Farmville game play – Fully leveraged the concept of MVP and new gameplay features developing while progressively improving overall experience.

2.       Facebook – It was all about linking students via their colleges and making them post messages to their boards. Concepts was already exists but it shows unstoppable.

And there are many more.

-          Airbnb

-          Dropbox

-          Twitter

-          Groupon

-          Zappos

-          Pebble

-          Amazon

-          Spotify

 

Thanks to resource:-

https://www.techopedia.com/definition/27809/minimum-viable-product-mvp

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/minimum-viable-product

https://cxoforest.com/blog/minimum-viable-product-examples/

 

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MVP is most basic version of product or service that can be released for consumer be a product, app. 

 

Example- Amazon, groupon, Twitter, Facebook. 

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Minimum Viable Product(MVP) - This talks about the essential features/functionalities that can be built into a product or an application. What to be built into aproduct/application depends on customer needs/demands in an existing market. In a new market, customer needs/innovations can decide the minimum viable product.

 

Why MVP is important?
You do not create a product/application in a monolithic way but rather produce the product on an incremental way. This ensures that you are building the right productat early stages of the product/application life cycle. The objective is that in case your assumptions about the needs of the customer varies or if the product is not meeting/satisfying customer expectations then this MVP approach gives a chance to quickly resurrect the product development into the right path. It gives early feedback to the business stakeholders, product developers. Products/applications built using agile and/or lean methods naturally tend to use MVP approach because of

this.       


What are the benefits(things that can be accomplished) using MVP approach?
1. Reduced time to market(as minimal features/functionalities only are built into a product)
2. Rapid response to customer needs/demands.  
3. Getting early feedback from the market which helps in shaping a better and accepted product/application(system) 

 

How to achieve minimum viable product(MVP)?
As MVP is all about bringing onto the features/functionality of your product/application, how to decide the minimum viable aspect of a product/application will be the first one.  There are several ways. An ideal way is to understand the customer needs by having a survey, focused interview, Questionnaire. Post such a discussion, prioritisation of features/functionalities can be done through techniques like Kano Model , MoSCoW(a popular Agile prioritization technique akin to Kano model,in principle).

 

Conclusion:
MVP saves a lot of time because you try to build the right product/application(system) at the first (or every instance when it is an incremental build) and get a rapid feedback thereby ensuring right product/application is produced in quick time.By doing an incremental build, you minimise the inherent defects in your product/application. In order to have rapid deployment of a product/application, building it through a MVP approach results in an incremental build at a shorter cycle - say Sprint or Iteration (in agile terminology). This gives focused attention on the product/application, qualitative product/application and the right product/application to the customer

 

 

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Minimum Viable Product is essentially a working, commercialised prototype of the grand future end product, which has just enough features to satisfy early customers, while also including mechanism for getting feedback and suggestions which may potentially be incorporated into the future designs. This is useful especially to avoid wastage or expenses in adding non necessary features in initial design, instead letting the customer decide the features that may prove useful in the later design stages that could be potentially more profitable.

 

Examples:

1. AirBnB : Started with an air inflatable mattress in living room with breakfast included. Advertised on Craigslist by the founders to make some extra pocket money. This expanded to other house owners and now is one of the modern age success stories.

 

2. Amazon : Started as an online book catalogue where jeff Bezos would take an order, buy from the distributor and ship it to the buyer. This then expanded to include CDs, computer parts, software, music etc..all from his garage. The rest is history.

 

3. In general, most crowdfunded products online are MVPs, the best example being the iconic Pebble Smartwatch which started with a basic premise, garnered feedback for its further iterations and for the relatively brief time it lasted, blazed a trail of glory in the Smartwatch industry and inspired other smartwatches.

Note: To be an MVP, it should be commercially viable, meaning it should generate income even as an early 1st iteration or prototype. 

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Minimum viable product is is a technique when a product is launched in a market with the basic features , instead of building a complete finished product , test pieces of the product are launched and checked incrementally and in an iterative manner.The thought behind this is on the concept of two facts that needs to be evaluated , 1. Is the feature that we think is required really the one that the customer is asking for or is it an assumption that we make on behalf of the customer that probably they are looking for it and not opined by any other members. 2.Does the new feature address the bigger issues of the overall product .

 

We use the MVPs for running experiments There would be a series of hypothesis that we would be testing , this would save a lot of development time since we know what exactly are the requirements and some of them that we assume to be are important are apparently not really important.This helps us make the final product better.

 

The advantages of MVP are

1.Three will not be a challenge in terms of selling since the product will have minimum features that the customer is willing to pay for

2.There is a regular and constant feedback mechanism from the user perspective and based on quantum of benefit we can incorporate the same

3.Benefits could be futuristic for customers who are used to the product

Purpose of MVP is to launch a product quickly at a relatively lower budget.This implies and establishes the balance between what the product can offer vs what the customers actually need

 

Examples of some popular products that were launched using MVP and were enhanced later are

1.Facebook – Initially this was used to connect friends /students of a class and helped them post messages to the board. The one key benefit compared to the other social platforms was the ease of use and simplicity due to which it gained its visibility. Post that the different enhancements that were done on bringing people is very substantial

2. I phone – When Apple launched the first version of iphone it was lacking even the basic functionalities like copy paste and search option , MMS option not available etc however instead of building a single feature in the product, this was done incrementally and in an iterative manner by using features that the customer was interested.

3.Uber – Earlier version of Uber was referred to as Uber cab started as a very simple mobile interface however if we look at the features it currently has that includes more features based on the increase in users and as the company grew like Auto credit card payments,Fare estimates, live tracking of the drivers etc which improves the customer experience

4.Airbnb – For travelers who looked for accomodations that were cheap and met their objectives when this was initially launched , the website was  not very user friendly however later they added very clear information about Area, price, map of the location etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Minimum Viable Product (MVP):

Minimum Viable Product is a version of the product, to develop the product based on the customer expectations & experience.

The experience for the customer is done by launching an early stage version of the product which meets the basic requirements for the early customers.

Getting insights through MVP is less expensive when compared to launching a product with advanced features, which causes increase in cost and risk due to failure of the same.

In the way of ROI vs Risk or Effort, the MVP is in the upper left quadrant of ROI on the vertical axis and risk, which correlates directly to effort and time to market, on the horizontal axis. Graphical represent as below:

 

In further go, the very simple way of understanding MVP is the experience in kitchen “while cooking a dish you tasted a bit at start for finalizing the quantity of ingredients to be added for serving”.

Origin of the term was in the year 2001 by Frank Robinson who defined it and then popularized by Steve Blank and Eric Ries.

Features of MVP:

Ø Able to test the product with minimal resources

Ø Learning in an accelerated pace

Ø Reduction in engineering hours

Ø Less time to launch for early customers

Ø Good base for building the product further

 

Popular Products launched using MVP:

Mostly the tech based organizations taken the advantage of MVP due to its features.

Following are the list of generally known products launched using MVP –

1.     Facebook

2.     Airbnb

3.     Amazon

4.     Twitter

5.     Uber

6.     iPhone

 

 

Some of the journey, briefing as follows:

Facebook:

The Facebook as it was called when they launched, the MVP did was connect students together via their college or class and let them post messages to their boards. Also the simplicity of the Facebook is one of the key reason for its traction of students towards it. This allowed almost all of the features that came after to build on that success.

AIRBNB:

Short term ease renting at affordable cost by eliminating the middle persons is the key mission statement behind Airbnb. Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia lived in an apartment in San Francisco and had difficulties for paying their rent. That's when they decided to give a try and to realize their dream to start a business. To test it they provided accommodation for those who came to town to attend a design conference. Brian and Joe took a few pictures of their apartment, created a simple web page and soon enough had 3 paying guests. Further AIRBNB expanded.

AMAZON:

Amazon started off selling books online, challenging the global book sellers. Amazon focused on the books at a low price in the year 1994 with a simplistic web design was all it took for the company to grow and branch out to towards current state.

 

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Benchmark Six Sigma Expert View by Venugopal R

When a company wants to launch a new product, there are certain concerns that need to be addressed:

  1. How do we know whether the product function and features will be useful and appealing to customers?
  2. Customers can provide relevant feedback only if they actually feel and use a product, but it may be too expensive to launch a product and then modify it based on feedback.
  3. It would take too long a time to develop a product will several features, and what happens if there are too many adverse feedback?
  4. It could be too expensive to invest on many features only to realize later that they need major modifications. There is a risk of losing the market as well.

The Minimum Viable Product is a term introduced by Frank Robinson in 2001. It refers to a version of the product that will be launched in the market and it will be functional but with only minimal set of features.

 

By launching a product with bare minimum features, but fully usable by customers, the company will be able to obtain very realistic feedback from the early users and further evolve the product. It is very likely that prior to launching the MVP, the company would have done adequate market studies and even developed a prototype. However, the MVP is a version which is actually hitting the market commercially. Especially for newly conceived products, it is very difficult to obtain the customer expectations and requirements, unless they actually get a practical feel of the product. That is why MVP became important.

 

Strategically, the MVP provides an avenue to enter the market, at the same time use iterative approach to keep gathering the feedback and continually upgrade the product from its minimum viability to maximum viability.

 

The thought process of MVP is comparable to that of Agile methodology used in software development. One of the principles within the manifesto of Agile development is to keep delivering versions of working software frequently and obtain iterative, incremental and evolutionary progress.

 

Some of the popular products that impact the day-to-day life for most of us that used MVP are Facebook, AirBnB, Amazon, Uber. If we examine the origins of these companies, they have started in a very small scale, but offering a completely viable service before growing enormously.

 

Facebook’s MVP was about linking students through their college / class and getting them to post message to their boards. All features were built upon the success over period of time.

 

Airbnb started with an aim to provide affordable short-term rentals. Their MVP was by offering accommodation to 3 guests who visited a design conference.

 

Amazon’s MVP offering began with a simple web design to sell books at low price – from then on, they have grown to their current levels in e-commerce.

 

Uber’s MVP was to offer cheap taxi services by linking some of San Francisco’s iPhone users who were willing to make credit card payments through an app, with drivers.

 

It may be appropriate to say that by using MVP, products and services are built by a company for its customer in collaboration with the customer, by using valuable customer inputs.

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Interesting answers from everyone, especially the origins of some of the world's most famous brands. The best answer has been provided by Pinkulal Karan. Congratulations.

 

Also review the answer provided by Mr Venugopal R, Benchmark Six Sigma's in-house expert.

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