Please raise your hand, if you’ve ever heard about the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and have no clue what it is. If your hand is held up high then don’t worry, this blog is for you.
The MVP is the process of building a product with the minimum set of features in order to deploy it, solving the problem at its most basic level. For example, if the problem was: I have nothing to sit on. Then the basic solution will be to build a seat. You would put on hold any aspirations of adding hi-tech features until you have first mastered the basic skills to produce an initial solution to the problem.
The purpose of a MVP is to verify your idea, allowing you to build the product with the minimal resources necessary to check that it solves the problem. This is also known as prototyping and these initial products are ideal to conduct consumer testing, with the view to refining your offering and increase your chances of innovation success.
Let’s use another scenario as an example. You wouldn’t simply build a team or set-up a sales and marketing process before you have defined what the problem is that you are solving, or identified what your customer’s real needs are – would you? Although commonly related to products, the MVP can also be applied to creating services and process innovation too.
Providing the minimum viable service for your customers to test is vital to ensure proof of concept. Any MVP will provide the opportunity to show your customers a first version of it, as soon as you have it. It’s an important activity to minimise wasting time, money and resources, on an idea that potentially nobody wants. This is a crucial part of the innovation process, as consumer testing will help you get to know your customer better and recognise their needs.
Audience testing will identify areas of improvement and aspects of the offering which needs further development. After all, it’s better to change the product, many times if necessary, to create something that people really want and need.
Quite often, inventors can fall into the trap of hiding their invention away from everybody. Working on an idea in isolation, blind to what everyone else thinks, can be a dangerous oversight in business. Always remember, your idea will only have value if your customers are willing to pay for it – so make a MVP and ask people what they think!
In doing so, you can truly build a product, service or process that people really love. At ATI, we have a team of Innovation Experts which can help you do just that. Offering innovation support with proof of concept, prototyping and guidance in specialist areas such as Intellectual Property. Speak to us today and tell us about your idea, let’s see if your innovation has legs?