Avoiding The Minimal Viable Product Approach
We’re all familiar with the growing popularity of the MVP (<ahref=”http: en.wikipedia.org=”” wiki=”” minimum_viable_product”=””>Minimal Viable Product) right? For those not familiar I will briefly touch upon it. An mvp approach is described as the process of introducing a product into the marketplace extremely quickly to test out and using feedback from customers to make further advancements or product adjustments. Frank Robinson came up with the term and author Eric Reisincreased the popularity of this concept.
We know that sometimes this is most definitely the proper approach if you’re off on your journey towards creating your successful startup. However, it’s certainly not the only way and may not always be the right way based on personal experiences. There are certain circumstances where it might make more sense to avoid the MVP approach. Those mentioned are by no means right or wrong. In fact, you may have the complete opposite results as with the creation of any product or service. However, from my experience here are three circumstances where it may not make sense. Disclaimer: It’s always important to use your best judgement based on the analysis you’ve personally done. Here are a few circumstances when you should think about avoiding the MVP approach.
Your Product is Consumer Centric Versus B2B
When there is heavy reliance on consumers or if your product is consumer centric the MVP approach may not be the best approach. That is, unless you’re creating something brand spanking new that the market has never seen before. There are lots of products in every market and most likely many demanding consumers surrounding those products. Consumers want things to work perfectly. They want to buy something and have it work better than they anticipated. That is the nature of the consumer world.
High bars are set and more often then not, goals must be met. Taking more time to develop a product and ensure that it works really well for the consumer before releasing it makes more sense sometimes. That doesn’t mean that you cannot have flaws or issues with the product post launch. It just means that you’ve put all efforts forth in creating something that consumers would love to both purchase and use.
Marketplace Competition is Really Fierce
When the marketplace is fluttered with lots of comparable, closely competitive products, it may not be best to take the MVP approach. The reason I say this is because it’s quite common for someone to try and jump into a market without paying any care to the complexity and existing advancement that their competitors yield. They’ve got a stronghold on those that try to come in without having things perfect. Bugs, mishaps and other events may reflect poorly when your competitors have already solved those problems in a flawless manner.
You’ve Mistaken Simplicity For Minimal Viability
Just because a product has a simple function or core doesn’t mean that it’s a minimal viable product. A product can still be simple while being well researched, fully developed and ready to launch into the marketplace. If you’ve done your market research, determined what’s important and identified all assumptions, features etc and your product is still simple yet 100% ready then it’s time. Stop worrying and just take it to market.
Now with all that being said. If you haven’t yet done so, I suggest reading The Lean Startup by Eric Reis. It’s well worth it! So long as you are taking action and reading at the same time. Don’t let it further delay your success. Go get ’em!
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