It is often said that when digging yourself into a deep hole, know when to stop digging, so there will be room to get out of what you’re getting into, especially if it is a mess.
A minimum viable product (MVP) is the case of not testing the depth of a river with both feet, otherwise sinking of drowning will be inevitable.
When introducing a new product to the market, the entrepreneur does not immediately release a package of an already made product, service or software, rather he releases a product with minimal features, so that there are chances of development and growth in the future, to bring about perfection.
If, for example, you operate a financial institution, say a basic school and in need of a snack vendor, do you just get anyone to sell snacks to your pupils? Definitely not! There would indeed be a process the vendor and the product intended for sale must go through.
The quality, cost, size and packaging of the product are features of the minimum product whose viability would be considered before getting to its consumers, which are the pupils.
After having checked out the initial product presented, the vendor modifies what would now be the MVP based on the feedback that’s gotten upon presenting the very first product with the hope of making it appear and taste much better than the former.
The same applies to the development of technical game apps and social media apps. You will find that there is always a need to upgrade these apps to the latest version.
Just recently, this writer got a notification of an upgrade from WhatsApp, stating that the current version in use will no longer be available if not upgraded to the new and latest version within a stipulated time.
This is simply as a result of the fact that only minimum features are available to users of these applications, where the organizations owning them depend on the feedback they get from the users to effect possible and working upgrade of the software.
Looking at what Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook is an insight to how an MVP works. The initial idea was to get only the students on campus connected and created a website called “Facemash”, where users could determine what is hot and what is not by simply comparing two pictures.
The effectiveness of the initial website propelled Mark to upgrade it to “Thefacebook”, which was released to a segmented audience of 4 top American universities – Harvard, Stanford, Columbia and Yale, and it further became accessible to all based on feedback gathered from the selected users and from thence, the cycle keeps going on.
Minimum viable product is not without its pros and cons, as it is with every other thing there is on earth, because everything and everyone seeks validation.
Some pros of minimum viable product are discussed in the following paragraphs but is not limited to just these few points.
Cost – effectiveness
When trying to test the waters by not putting both feet in the river, MVP is your best bet. You are able to channel your product/software to the market on a budget that will not tear pocket.
In essence, the big financial commitment is not the priority because the product is only launched to segmented audiences, to aid the gathering of feedback that will influence the end product’s viability in the market.
Time – effective
Beating about the bush is not a game to be played when an immediate need is to be met, a solution is being prescribed to a problem, hence the need for conciseness and promptness.
MVP is the game that gets you straight to your target audience and save you quite a lifetime.
Customer Feedback Oriented
MVP aids gradual development of a product with minimal features on a quick note, thus it gives room for feedback from users so that new measures and parameters are promptly applied for modification of the product or software in use.
Cons of MVP
One disadvantage of the MVP is the fact that it does not help in defining your idea as clear as possible.
Due to the nature of MVP, one might be lured to channel several products or software to the market and end up sinking all the way, which is not a very good decision.
One needs to define one’s MVP. Do not venture with too much or too small so that the idea of your MVP is not defeated. Therefore, be precise and tactical about what you want. This is saying know what you want and go for it.
The human mind is always rumbling like a troubled ocean seeking peace in the inner part of the earth, which could bring us to a point of doubt. We ask; can this work? Am I on the right track? What if and what nots.
It goes on and on. Well, nothing is ever enough! Where you are sure that minimum viable product would not work, there is room for Initial Viable Product (IVP).
Initial Viable Product (IVP)
The Initial viable product is, in simple terms, the release of a non-minimal product. It is the very first product idea you choose to launch.
Be rest assured of its openess to critics and criticism, but you do not have to explain your intentions. You owe no one an explanation. On the long run, it just might be the deal breaker, a breakthrough!
An IVP is a finished product, it does not give room to test for viability and there is nothing minimal where it is concerned.
It is the original idea you had conceived, developed to a level of production and further channeled straight to the market.
If your idea is to produce a doughnut, for example, then your IVP would be the presentation of a packaged already processed doughnut, just as you have imagined.
If however, it were a minimum viable product, you would present flour, a sachet of butter, a cup of sugar and maybe a frypan or an oven, depending on whether or not it is to be baked or fried.
We can simply say IVP is all about the specific product and MVP, a process rather than a product. IVP is therefore a product with a clearly defined form.
Pros of IVP
It protects your ideas
IVP protects your ideas in a better way so that the actual product or software of thought from the get-go is what reaches the end users.
It gives room for originality
Because your IVP is not modified or a minimal product, it gives your end users a first taste or experience of the originality of your product or software.
What influences IVP rests on the wings of how a product is intended to be perceived, acquired, used and discussed in the market at large.
Being original and constant is the real deal. Which do you choose to be?
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