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MVPs are they advisable or not (Minimum Viable Product )

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Coffiejason

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Hello Fastlaners,
This is my second post on the this forum, my first was question here was answered by MJ DeMarco himself I was amazed and honored he actually did and I hope it happens again.

So I read a book titled "the lean startup" by Eric Ries which says its necessary to build a Minimum Viable product or MVP which the implementation of the basic functionalities of your project as quickly and cheap as possible to test customer reactions. I noticed this concept repeated in alot of other books.
So my question is it advisable to do that ? Does representing your idea in this way drive away customers in the long run ? Would customers be willing to use a barely working version of your website or app ?
 

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TheKingOfMadrid

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For most apps/products - this fits in 'feel good' business advice for me.

You can barely get the attention deficient public to look at the traffic when crossing the road, let alone your application that doesn't work. Especially with apps which to most people just 'appear in the store' - despite telling them it's a prototype, people will literally forget that and wonder why it doesn't work and their image of your app will be a non-working one.

It's better from a sales perspective to say you have an elite team of ninja app developers that empowered the essence of Steve Jobs and create fully functioning applications in one night.

Even if you not everything works - make sure the bare fundamentals work 100% and then if there are issues you have money coming in now so you can hire people to fix it quickly and write some BS copy to put a spin on it.

It's different with investors of course, or very unique apps that fulfill a large market need, since most apps or websites aren't like this then I don't agree this is more important than having paying customers ready to give you their money.
 

Andy Black

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Hello Fastlaners,
This is my second post on the this forum, my first was question here was answered by MJ DeMarco himself I was amazed and honored he actually did and I hope it happens again.

So I read a book titled "the lean startup" by Eric Ries which says its necessary to build a Minimum Viable product or MVP which the implementation of the basic functionalities of your project as quickly and cheap as possible to test customer reactions. I noticed this concept repeated in alot of other books.
So my question is it advisable to do that ? Does representing your idea in this way drive away customers in the long run ? Would customers be willing to use a barely working version of your website or app ?
(I haven’t read The Lean Startup.)

MVP to me just means getting confirmation people want to buy - as soon as you can.


For an info product maybe you send people to a page where you have a bit of sales blurb and finish with a call-to-action like:

“Signup to the $5/mth newsletter”

Or

“Signup to the $5/mth community”

Get a signup then scramble to create the first newsletter issue, or welcome them into your hastily created Slack, Discord, or Facebook group.


For a SaaS, maybe it’s selling access to a Google Sheet you created instead of the full-blown app.


Instead of thinking

“What MVP should I create?”

I find it more helpful to think:

“How can I help someone and get paid this week?”


Does that help?
 

johnp

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Depends on your situation. If you're bootstrapping then yes.

To give you an example:

A little over two years ago I had a SaaS idea that I knew could get pretty sophisticated. Took about $2k and had a dev build a very lightweight version of my idea. From there, I just kept iterating and reinvesting profits back in. Today, I have a 1,000% ROI on that initial investment and a pretty robust platform. I take an MVP approach to everything, even new features.

I'm now at the point where I can't keep up with dev, money is rolling in, so I'm trying to think through the next phase. Keep bootstrapping grinding it out or raise money.

The obvious downside to MVP is that it's a very SLOW process. Most people will never get out of MVP stage because they lack patience and aren't willing to keep iterating.

The upside is that you can minimize risk early on.

Plus, what's interesting is that the product I have today is way different than what I originally set out to build. Customers will guide the development. So yeah I always suggest a launch and learn approach, especially if you're new to all of this.
 

Hadrian

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All good points here... A landing page with an email signup option is a good cheap place to start... then maybe make an MVP that does ONE thing really well.. and leave all the extra features until you have market validation... :bulb:
 

Jon L

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I think the point of an MVP is that it each word in the acronym matters:

Minimum - don't do more than is necessary
Viable - It needs to have a chance in the market. Producing a functional, but crappy looking product when customers will expect it to be spit-shined means that it is NOT viable.
Product - It needs to be packaged together with all of the necessary marketing materials, pushed appropriately in whatever sales channel its in, etc.
 

Johnny boy

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It's not about having a shitty version of your full fledged idea, it's a well built, simple, little thing that solves a little problem that has the lowest barrier of entry that you can still get into.

If you're getting into real estate, you wouldn't start with buying an apartment complex, or a shopping center. You would either wholesale some houses, or save up some money and buy a single family to flip or rent out.

Best example I can find:

Screenshot (33).png
 

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