Why Minimal Viable Products are So Important

Too many entrepreneurs conceive products and services with too many “bells and whistles.” The problem is that creating these products and services become too expansive because they are too complex. As a result, the entrepreneurs have too many opportunities to fail….They can fail to raise the increased capital that is needed to develop the bells and whistles. They can fail by taking too long to get to market. And they can fail because when they finally get to market, customers may not want what they have.

A better solution is to start by creating the minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP is the version of your product or service that allows you to gather the maximum amount of customer intelligence with the smallest amount of effort.

For example, the minimum viable product could simply be a survey given to prospective customers. Or it could be sketches of a new product that you show to customers. Or it could be just a very basic version of the product you’d eventually like to create.

By focusing on the MVP, you need less capital (or no capital), and more quickly get to market to get customer feedback. This feedback will give you the best information on what additional features customers desire in order to buy your product or service. And it better positions you to raise outside capital as needed (since you’ve lessened or eliminated the key risk factor that customers truly desire what you are creating).

So, what can you do to simplify your proposed products and services and/or create and get your MVP to market?

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