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How do I choose my MVP?

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ycee

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Sep 22, 2019
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Hey Fastlaners,

I'm working on a remote consultation platform, similar to Jane App - Practice Management Software for Health & Wellness Practitioners. It would be a platform for doctors to set timings, send special links to patients, collect payments, take video consultations, and give prescriptions. It's basically a replacement for the physical location of the clinic. (SaaS)

I've made a rough business plan and the idea is clear in my head, low fidelity mockups would be ready by weekend.
Was wondering if I should hire a coder and build out the app directly, or just build a landing page and see if I get interest.

Since this is more on the B2B side, I'm a bit skeptical if doctors are the kind of people that would sign up for a service and wait for a month for it to get delivered.
I have seen early interest as I've spoken to a couple of doctors online who said they'd use something like this. And the existence of Jane.app also is some validation of consumer behavior.

How do I choose between building just a landing page to see early interest vs. building out an MVP with the minimal feature set?
Would appreciate any help here.
 

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johnp

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I went through the MVP process

I tried the MVP thing a few times. Never had much success with the whole launch a B2B SaaS thing with a landing page. Even if someone opts-in and expresses interest, it doesn't mean that they will pay you when the time comes.

My take on the whole thing is that you really need to build something early on. Figure out the core feature and build around that. If it takes longer than 3 months to launch your MVP then you're building too much.

Cut out the bells and whistles (i.e, signup, onboarding flow, etc) for the core features. Onboard people yourself. That will actually work great for doctors. Provide amazing support and continue building.

That's exactly how I did it. It's really hard. I have a thread on the inside about it.

I just don't believe all of the BS about launching a SaaS with and testing demand with landing page. But who knows, I guess maybe some people have done it.
 

cmatth

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Jul 25, 2020
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I tried the MVP thing a few times. Never had much success with the whole launch a B2B SaaS thing with a landing page. Even if someone opts-in and expresses interest, it doesn't mean that they will pay you when the time comes.
I agree with this but still think it is useful to do some initial tests. I've tried to launch 2 SaaS products in the past without doing my due diligence around how I would get my product in front of customers and it didn't turn out well.

I think if you approach these tests as a way to get an initial idea about engagement and conversion rates, as well as to see which communities respond best to your type of engagement, it can be very helpful. I wouldn't rely on 100% ( or even 10%) of people who opt in to your landing page to purchase.

As a side note @ycce, I work in the medical field and would suggest you really spend some time thinking about how you are going to market to physicians. They are not the easiest group to convert and historically dont like changing between software unless there is a good reason to.

My opinion would be to really dive deep into what pains / problems they have before thinking about what solution you're going to offer them.

One final thing - depending on where you live, storing and exchanging health information requires additional security and uses its own "file format". See HIPPA and HL7 for the United States.
 

johnp

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agree with this but still think it is useful to do some initial tests. I've tried to launch 2 SaaS products in the past without doing my due diligence around how I would get my product in front of customers and it didn't turn out well.

I think if you approach these tests as a way to get an initial idea about engagement and conversion rates, as well as to see which communities respond best to your type of engagement, it can be very helpful. I wouldn't rely on 100% ( or even 10%) of people who opt in to your landing page to purchase.
Yeah, I could see it working.

Personally, I'd rather build something really small and test with that so I can get better feedback about something real, especially when dealing with customers who are busy. If I had just thrown up a landing page and based things on conversion rates then things never would have panned out for me and I'd still probably be bouncing from idea to idea. But hey, that's just me!
 

Flint

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I tried the MVP thing a few times. Never had much success with the whole launch a B2B SaaS thing with a landing page. Even if someone opts-in and expresses interest, it doesn't mean that they will pay you when the time comes.
It's because a landing page is not an MVP in its intended sense. I recommend thinking of an MVP as a Minimum Viable Business. That is, you need to connect enough loose ends to test your business model assumptions and not some product features. You want to see value and cash flow/exchange first and foremost.

As such a form of a scaled down product is just a subset of what could be created, maybe not even required to test the above. A landing page would test only several aspects of @ycee's business model. It wouldn't address/expose/test key risks as pointed out by @johnp and @cmatth above.

@ycee, it may be you don't need to create any software/landing page and still be able to test the hell out of your idea. For example, you could be connecting patients with physicians by making phone calls and scheduling their appointments, letting them call you back or exchange emails to arrange followups and prescriptions etc. Do you see how this manual approach tests different critical points compared to a landing page?

Note that I'm not suggesting a landing page/software should not be developed. My advice is to shift the focus from tools to processes/flow. It may well be some tools are still necessary. But think in terms of value and cash flow/exchange, end to end, even if the early process is very lean/manual/laborious.

Also, a word of caution. This specific field is regulated and the MVP/MVB may not be as trivial as the suggestion above due to patient data protection etc. Telemedicine businesses need to be registered and are regularly audited, at least in the UK. Check your local regulations and requirements.

Personally, I'd rather build something really small and test with that so I can get better feedback about something real, especially when dealing with customers who are busy. If I had just thrown up a landing page and based things on conversion rates then things never would have panned out for me and I'd still probably be bouncing from idea to idea.
Exactly, fully agree.

As a side note @ycce, I work in the medical field and would suggest you really spend some time thinking about how you are going to market to physicians. They are not the easiest group to convert and historically dont like changing between software unless there is a good reason to.
+1

Hear it (and more) from the horse's mouth:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVvuH45xQbs


On that note, @ycce, have you researched the market space? How will your service stand out/differentiate from dozens of similar offerings?

I think the idea is great and very potent, so don't let my comment stop you from working on it. Execution is key though and there's a lot to be addressed on the way to success.

Good luck!
 

peterb0yd

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I would encourage you to start with a landing page and build your marketing assets BEFORE building any product but with one small difference.

Provide a way for customers to buy the solution at a big discount with a full money-back guarantee if you fail to provide the solution or if they're unhappy with the solution.

There are a few major benefits for doing it this way:

1. You will validate the product 100%. If people are paying money, you've hit a nerve. If not, find out why.

2. You will learn the sales cycle like a beast. Once you have the product built, you'll know how to sell it immediately and will already have a few customers to get testimonials and case studies from.

3. You'll build a better product. Let's say you start selling X benefit but find out the prospect only cares about Y benefit. Go build for Y instead of X. Already built for X? Sorry, a few months and thousands of dollars wasted.

This information is based on a program I joined that covers SaaS product-market fit and early stage growth (Salesprocess.io)

Hope it's helpful.
 

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