“I have the idea of the century”: here is a sentence that we often hear from entrepreneurs… But many projects never find a market, or at least not in their original form. So before you spend too much investing in your startup, you need to test your idea to avoid launching a product that is not suitable for the market. Thanks to digital technology, testing your startup idea is relatively simple and inexpensive.
What is an MVP?
In the startup ecosystem, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is often referred to as the first stage of business creation. According to Definitions-Marketing, “MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product and refers to a process of product innovation and development that is particularly prevalent in the field of computing (software, mobile applications, etc.) and to a lesser degree in the field of technological products.”
The principle is to release a version 0 of your product to test your market before investing time and money in it. Smart, don’t you think?
By releasing a version 0 of your product, you will be able to collect a maximum of information that will allow you to propose a complete first version that is adapted to the needs of your customers. This is a very important step that will push you to adapt and evolve your idea and perhaps change your “idea of the century”.
Creating your MVP: where to start?
Should I do a market study?
Obviously, you need to study the market you are entering: who are the players, what are the major structural trends, the networks of prescribers, etc. But if your product or service is innovative, an MVP will allow you to test the market directly without having to conduct, initially, a good market research. Indeed, when a brand new product is proposed in a market, quantitative (or even qualitative) studies will not reflect market realities.
The best way to validate your market is to create an MVP and test it against different targets that you have identified. The number one objective is to ensure that customers will pay for your product or service. Even a small amount paid by your prospects would show that you are on track.
Identify your different customer targets
After your market research, you need to determine your targets. Who will be interested in your product? BtoB or BtoC? How old is your buyer persona and what are his or her interests? You can conduct a survey using Type Form or Google Form to get more details about your prospects. The ideal is always to go directly and meet your future buyers. For example, by selling your products on a market or by organizing discussion groups.
The opportunities offered by digital marketing will also allow you, via Facebook, in particular, to target different categories of population in order to send them a message and thus determine which target is most sensitive to your offer.
What are the minimum features to develop?
Depending on the conclusions of the previous two steps, you will need to be able to list the final features of your product. Be as specific as possible in explaining your features and their objectives.
Readjust your MVP
Using your first list, make a second list with the essential features as soon as you launch your MVP. This step is very important and it will take you time… Not easy to choose among your features. But don’t forget that your MVP is there to allow you to make mistakes at a lower cost! Don’t miss it.