‘I’ve seriously just come up with the next golden egg. It’s going to be as popular as Facebook and as disruptive as Uber.’ Have you heard a friend say this before? Or maybe you’ve had your own ‘eureka’ moment for the next disruptive innovation. If so, hopefully you’ve also taken the time to identify your target market, spoken to customers, uncovered the job-to-be-done, generated multiple possible solutions and have decided on the best possible concept. Oh, you have? That’s great! Well then let’s move on to building your MVP, that is, your Minimum Viable Product.
Based on Lean Startup principles, Eric Ries describes it as as something that “allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort”. Make no mistake, an MVP is NOT the smallest product imaginable, or an inferior version of the ultimate concept. In fact, the MVP might look nothing like the final product or service.
It’s about testing your riskiest hypotheses and assumptions as rapidly and economically as possible. Here are some methods for testing your brilliant ideas:
- The Im-Perfect Landing: This is a terrific way to test the behaviour-intention gap. Very often we ‘intend’ to do something (like go for a jog) but our actual behaviour doesn’t align (we ended up snoozing the alarm ten times). Creating a landing page to capture real purchase behaviour is a great way to test the risky hypothesis about customers’ willingness to buy your product.
- Video Spectacular: This is a simple video which brings your idea to life by explaining what the product or service is. Video spectaculars are especially effective for complex concepts. Combining this with an Im-Perfect landing can be a great way to test hypotheses. This worked wonders for Dropbox!
- Money-Talks: Crowdfunding your idea through platforms such as kickstarter and gofundme are a good way of validating whether there is a market for your idea; before you’ve even spent money developing the product or service (but watch out for some service fees).
Of course, you can mix and match these methods. There are also many cost efficient ways to build your MVP. Some great resources include Unbounce for creating landing pages, Fiverr for outsourcing video spectaculars and SurveyMonkey which allows you to build quick surveys.