WebBY RabIT software engineering · September 11, 2018

Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) help you gather important feedback and estimate market interest. The MVP is the initial version of your product that only has the core features that are essential to solving an existing problem for your prospective customers. Methods like the Wizard of Oz MVP, Concierge MVP or the Piecemeal MVP and others have are proven successful in measuring early interest.

This first version needs very little investment of resources into product development. MVPs can be immensely useful if you want to validate your product on the market as early as possible.

A few weeks ago, we talked about ways to validate your business idea, and why it is important to do so.

This model has contributed to the development of various tools and methods that can function as MVPs. Examining the pros and cons of each solution for your business will help you select the right type of MVP.

 

1. Landing Page

A landing page can help you acquire early followers, tell people about your product idea and even collect revenue for future product development. You can tell about your project in detail, present its advantages and ask people to support your project. If they like your product idea, they might become your first subscribers.

You can also get users’ feedback with the help of a landing page. This will help you to know your target audience and their opinion. You may also get suggestions that will help you make your product better.

 

landing page mvp

 

Pros

  • Can be set up cheaply and quickly
  • Can easily be matched with online ads
  • Can be tested and optimized easily

Cons

  • The conversion rate is low (about 1-3% of people sign up)
  • Hard to fit all vital information into one page
  • Cheap looking landing pages can hurt your brand

 

 

2. Explainer Video

Explainer videos explain what your product does, and why people should purchase it. It is a good option for making a presentation about your service or product to users without even creating it. The Dropbox MVP was famously presented in this format.

 

Pros

  • Explains your product in a simple and easy way
  • People are more interested in watching a short video than reading
  • You can share the video on social media
  • Good for branding

Cons

  • You may have to spend a lot of money to make an explainer video
  • You need to devote a significant amount of time to get the message right
  • You may find difficulty in explaining a complex product or service in a few minutes

 

 

3. Concierge MVP

With a concierge MVP, you will have to perform each and every function of your service or product manually. To resolve the problems of each customer, you will have to work with them directly. By completing each step of customer orders yourself and collecting direct feedback, you can determine how your end product should look like.

A famous example for this type of MVP is Food on the Table (later acquired by Scripps Networks Int.).

 

concierge mvp example RabIT

 

Pros

  • You do not have to spend time and money on developing a concierge MVP
  • You can communicate face-to-face with real customers
  • You can collect information with the help of a few subscribers

Cons

  • You have to spend a lot of time and effort to manually finish the service
  • Good salesmanship is required to persuade people to try your new solution
  • This only helps optimize the core service, UI/UX optimization comes later

 

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4. Wizard of Oz MVP

The Wizard of Oz MVP creates an illusion of a fully functional product, but secretly depends on manpower to deliver the solution. On the front end, you deliver the impression of a completely functional product; however, on the back end of the product, you have to execute all orders manually.

With this approach, you can quickly create effective prototypes. You can also test the market response to your service or product without really creating anything.

A great example here is the first site of Zappos, a specialized footwear eCommerce startup.

 

wizard of oz mvp

 

Pros

  • You can set up a Wizard of Oz MVP cheaply and quickly
  • You can use online advertising and social media to generate interest

Cons

  • You have to spend a lot of time and effort to manually finish the service
  • People can feel cheated if they come to know that there is no real product

 

 

5. Piecemeal MVP

With a piecemeal MVP, you can deliver the new service or product by using already existing solutions. The utility of existing products is combined to deliver additional value to the initial customers.

 

Pros

  • You don’t have to invest much money
  • You need not spend time on MVP development

Cons

  • You may find difficulty in coordinating many products
  • You may have to spend money on subscription fees

 

 

6. Single-Feature MVP

To create this type of product, you need to determine what should be the core functionality. Understand that while you are creating a single-feature product, that one feature has to work extremely well.

 

Pros

  • Focused on solving one specific problem for a specific audience
  • You can get your product to market fast with relatively low costs
  • You can expand it later without much difficulty

Cons

  • You have to invest some money into development
  • You may struggle to determine which feature you should focus on

 

Choose the solution that best fits your available resources (personnel, money, time). Take into account the requirements and characteristics of delivering your solution, and select the type of MVP that suits them the most.

The minimalist nature of your initial offering should not bother you. Don’t rush into launching a polished product that nobody wants.

 

If you need help planning and launching your MVP, feel free to tell us something about your project during a free consultation. We can help you test your concept and turn it into a profitable software product fast. In a few weeks, you can already launch the initial product version on the market and start collecting valuable customer feedback.

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.

Startup & MVPBY RabIT software engineering · August 07, 2018

Entrepreneurs, very often in their excitement, start developing a business idea into a tangible product without determining whether there is a market for it. When you do that, you are likely wasting your time and money on a product that no one wants. That is why it is essential that you know how to validate a business idea first.

Validating a business idea enables you to find out if there is a need for it in the market, can it solve crucial pain points, the number of potential consumers, and how much money they would pay for it. Here are a few ways to validate your idea before developing the product prototype.

Already have a validated business idea? Here is something to help you choose the best software development company for your business.

 

How to Validate a Business Idea?

 

1. Do an Online Search:

It is possible that your idea is not unique at all. Through a simple online search, you can discover products that might have germinated from a similar idea-seed. It is better to think of a new idea if your concept does not offer something extra special or improves the way of doing things.

 

2. Set Up a Landing Page

Setting up a standalone web page, the landing page, helps determine if there is a market for your business idea or not. Your landing page should have a value proposition, concise content, images, and clear call-to-action, and you can promote it on start-up platforms, social media platforms, through SEO and targeted ads. If there is a need for the product, the target audience would flock to your landing page; and if not, you will know from the results.

 

Create an Explainer Video

Visual content does a better job of explaining than text. You can properly demonstrate your product, its features, and benefits through explainer videos. The live and animated videos can tell the target audience about the value proposition. Moreover, you can accelerate engagement with them. This helps to identify the merits and demerits of your business idea.

Here is the very first DropBox demo video voiced by founder, Drew Houston back in 2008. This simple video about an MVP helped grow their beta subscriber list from 5,000 to 75,000 people overnight.

 

Hypothesis Testing

You can assess your value proposition via hypothesis testing methodology, without developing a product prototype. You can use either a Wizard of Oz MVP or a Concierge MVP to validate your business idea.

  • Concierge MVP: You provide the value proposition manually to a small group of test customers, without involving any technology. You perform the service following the same steps as the final product.
  • Wizard of Oz MVP: In this method, you make the test customers believe that the process is automated, and no humans are involved. They see the working front of your product (often a simple landing page), while you complete the service manually in the background.

 

Crowdfunding Sites

With crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, you can gauge the level of interest in your business idea, as well as determine whether the product can solve specific pain points. Moreover, you also find out if the product is exciting enough to get funded.

 

Single-Feature MVP

Single-feature minimal viable product (MVP) enables you to test one core aspect of your idea. You give your end-users this one-core-feature product to use, to get early feedback. It is one of the easiest methods by which you can validate or invalidate your business idea, and you can do so on a shoestring budget.

Now that you have a basic idea about how to validate a business idea, you can get creative and start reaching out to your customers to find out first hand if your idea really has merit or not.

 

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Here are some useful tools that can help you on your idea validation journey:

Toolkit for concept testing – QuickMVP, SurveyMonkey

Create modern landing pages – Instapage, Leadpages, ClickFunnels

Drive traffic to your online pages – Google Ads, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads

 

If you need more advice on how to validate a business idea, or plan your first MVP, feel free to ask your questions via e-mail at info@rabit.hu, or by signing up for a free consultation here. We will do our best to answer all your questions, no strings attached. Thanks for reading!

RabIT software engineering

RabIT is an innovative software engineering company from Hungary. Our goal is to help startups and enterprises drive growth through technology innovation and make a real impact in their industries.

Code quality and transparency are our main priorities throughout each project.