Most of us don’t want to take a product to market unless it’s perfect. It’s understandable but a mistake, because no product will ever be finished and perfect. It also keeps a lot of great products from reaching the market. In order to finance that stroke of genius that is your business idea you’ll need to start making money as soon as possible, while continuing to work to get closer to perfection. Creating a minimum viable product (MVP, a term popularized by Eric Ries among others) gets you started, lets you get to know your market and start a revenue stream.

The road from idea to a minimum viable product is a tricky one, for any company. There are so many questions. How many features are enough? Should I launch under my own brand name or use a test brand? How do I know what works?

Start with an MVP

So, you’ve got a killer idea? Great, let’s make sure you get to make it a reality. Speed is of the essence here (unless you’ve got a couple of billions to develop and re-develop your product with). Start with determining what the core functions of your idea are. Just as an example, let’s say you’re making a project management tool.

Ask yourself:

  • What’s unique about your approach?
  • What is the core of your application?
  • What’s absolutely needed for it to be useful?

Once you’ve answered that, try to shave off a little bit more, if at all possible, just to be sure. What you’re left with is a plan for an MVP.

Measure everything

Once your MVP is out there, measure everything. How many visitors convert to customers? How many back off when they see your pricing (if you choose to charge at this point)? What functions are most widely used and which ones aren’t used at all?

Collect as much behavioural data as possible, analyze it and let it guide the way forward for your product development. The information you gather may even change your view on what the full product should be, and that’s fine. Adapting to the customer is, as you know, not optional and it has benefits.

Now that you have your data, you can take your fantastic idea and not only make it real but successful as well.

There are many different ways to go about launching a new application, and there are several ways of doing it using a method with an MVP. Using an MVP cuts your time to market, and can save you a lot of resources.

You also have to consider which platform to use, what the total cost of ownership will be (and your own pricing structure) and more. Luckily, we have several blog posts on those topics and more in the works. Subscribe to our blog and be sure not to miss anything!