When it comes to product development, there are different approaches. For larger corporations who have time and money to
waste spend, they tend to spend a lot of time on the planning and development phases. But what about for startups who have neither to waste? The months it can take to launch a product may be more than they’ve got before a competitor swoops in and makes all that work null.
For this group of businesses, the minimum viable product is the better route to go. With this method, you put together what’s pretty much a prototype, a bare bones version of your product, and see what the reaction is in the marketplace. Let your early users shape where the product goes from there.
Early adopters are thought to be more honest and open in their feedback if they understand this is an MVP. They know the product can and probably will have more features, and they can help shape what it becomes. It’s like handing half-formed clay over to a group of artists, who then shape it into their own version of what they think it should be. You compile all their ideas into what the final product becomes.
Brands tend to try to be all things to all customers by including a deluge of features on a product. But by doing this, they never really understand which features customers really do want, and which weren’t necessary. When going the minimum viable product route, you’ll have some people that are happy with the base product, and then you’ll get great feedback on features that others want. You can chart which features get the most requests and focus on those. Essentially, you’re getting market research with the product already in the market.
So before starting work on your next product, ask yourself whether it’s a good idea to create a shotgun effect product that appeals to too many customers, or a basic one that your customers can help shape into what’s really useful to them.