7 Powerful MVP Strategies to See If the World Really Wants Your Product

Every entrepreneur has faced the risk of investing a lot of time and money in something nobody really wants — ergo the frequently recommended strategy ‘minimum viable product’ (MVP). Basically, MVP is the methodology you use when launching a new product and testing its features in the real world while incurring minimum loses. The product to be tested has just the core features and nothing but. It is typically given for testing to a group of potential, knowledgeable buyers, i.e. early adopters, who are willing to provide feedback for developing other features of the product and are able to understand the vision of the final product just from the marketing information provided. In other words, it is the least you can produce to be able to test if the world truly wants your product. A point worthy of mentioning is that this methodology doesn’t apply to testing products alone but also to examining services, channels, promotions, market segments and much more.


Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

In the words of Eric Ries, a Sillicon Valley entrepreneur who pioneered the concept of the lean startup movement, “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” However, over time this definition got simplified into ‘the least you can do to see if your product/service will have success.’ Many people often misunderstand and misuse this methodology. They assume it’s the easy way out of the whole process of adapting the product to the market needs. As Laura Klein, author of UX for lean startups, points out, “An MVP is not an excuse for a crappy product. MVPs are all about learning, and you don’t learn anything from a crappy product except that people don’t like crappy products.” So, although the initial testing might be done, you’re definitely not – you’re only at the beginning! After that, the real work starts: adaptation and test reiteration. Maybe you think you have a clear vision of your ultimate product or service, but this realization takes a lot longer than you think. Road to perfection is paved with many amendments.


  1. Testing Your Book Idea with a Blog Series

Very many bestselling authors have used this strategy. Writing a book is a long and painstaking process – unless you are a natural-born, super-fast genius. You can spend months and maybe years writing and questioning yourself, “Will anyone really want to read this?” A faster way to test your market is to write an e-book. Still, this too takes a lot of effort. That’s why writing a blog series is a quick, painless method to see if you’re on the right track. Through social media plugins and comment sections on your blog you can end up receiving more valuable advice from unknown readers than your mother ever gave you.


  1. Hosting a Free Webinar as a Prelude to Creating an Online Course

Free Webinars are a reliable tester to feel the needs and wants of prospects. Simply take all the main topics your online course plans to address, and organize a 60-minute Q&A video session around them. Then, offer a series of paid online workshops and check the number of signups. This will tell you if there is a market for your course-to-be.


  1. Online Conference Before an Actual One

You are planning to organize a conference, which you believe is going to be a roaring success. The time and money to be invested in this venture – finding speakers, sponsors, organizing accommodation, dealing with the technical aspects — are indeed considerable. Organizing a video summit before an actual conference is a great way to generate interest, presell tickets and attract sponsors and notable speakers while incurring minimal expenses.


  1. Crowdfunding Websites

Since the naissance of the crowdfunding movement, it has never been easier to test the market for your product. Kickstarter, Indiegogo and similar websites are a great place for running MVP tests. In one place, you can get everything: attention from the interested community, donators and potential sponsors, basically all-in-one.


  1. Landing pages

Landing pages are often misinterpreted and misused as nothing more than email-list builders. Aside from being a beautiful opportunity to advertise the features of a product to highly interested prospects — they already made an effort to visit your website — checking the metrics of the website tells you about the suitability of your price plans and the level of interest in different features of your product.


  1. A/B Test

Similarly, A/B test involves showing two different versions of a web page to its visitors. The version, which performs better, i.e. generates more conversions, is a keeper. This is a great strategy for checking which marketing pitch, product design solution or call-to-action is more attractive. No need to guess, tools such as Google Analytics will give you all the answers.


  1. Customer interviews

Steve Blank, who developed Customer Development Methodology, says, “In a startup no facts exist inside the building, only opinions.” He stresses that customer problem presentation is a gold mine for eliciting actionable, genuine advice from customers. He also points out that customer interviews should not be treated as sales pitching but an opportunity to hear your customers’ unbiased opinion about the strengths and weaknesses of the product.


Why Risk When You Don’t Have to?

Life of an entrepreneur is fraught with many risks as it is — so, why risk even more if you don’t have to? Determine if the belief in the success of your new product idea is based on informed judgment rather than a hunch. MVP strategies are trustworthy and easily accessible tools to do just that – so, why not them?


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