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Understanding Minimum Viable Products (MVPs): A Guide for Non-Techie Founders

A minimum viable product (MVP) is an essential part of the startup world. It's a version of your product with just enough features to be usable by early customers.

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A minimum viable product (MVP) is an essential part of the startup world. It’s a version of your product with just enough features to be usable by early customers. Keep reading to find out more.

As a non-technical founder, the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) may seem daunting, but it’s an essential part of the startup world. This guide aims to clarify what an MVP is, why it’s valuable, and how to go about building one.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

A Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is a version of your product with just enough features to be usable by early customers, who can then provide feedback for future product development. It’s a strategy used by startups to validate the core functionalities of their products without investing in full-scale product development.

The Value of MVPs for Non-Tech Founders

An MVP is more than just a bare-bones version of your product; it’s a powerful tool for learning about your product’s market fit. Here are a few reasons why MVPs are invaluable:

1. Risk Mitigation:

By creating an MVP, you can test your product in the real market with minimal risk. If it fails, you have invested far less than you would have in a full-fledged product.

2. Cost-Effective:

Developing an MVP is significantly cheaper than developing a full product, allowing you to allocate resources more wisely.

3. Customer Validation:

MVPs allow you to gather feedback from real users early in the process, which can guide the direction of your product development.

4. Attract Investors:

An MVP can help demonstrate the potential of your product to investors by providing tangible evidence of its functionality and market fit.

Building Your First MVP: A Step-by-Step Guide for Non-Tech Founders

1. Identify the Core Problem:

Your product must solve a specific problem for your target market. Identify this problem clearly.

2. Define Key Features:

List all the features your product could have and then identify the core ones that directly address the problem you’re aiming to solve. These are what your MVP should include.

3. Develop Your MVP:

With a clear focus on the key features, start developing your MVP. As a non-tech founder, you might need to collaborate with developers or a tech team for this stage.

4. Launch and Test:

Release your MVP to a segment of your target audience and gather as much feedback as you can.

5. Iterate Based on Feedback:

Use the feedback to make necessary changes and improvements to your product. This step might need to be repeated several times before you reach your final product.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating an MVP

  • Too Minimal: While the idea is to start small, your MVP must have enough functionality to solve the customer’s problem effectively.
  • Ignoring User Feedback: The purpose of an MVP is to gather user feedback and learn. Ignoring this feedback defeats the purpose.
  • Lack of Clear Goals: Be clear about what you hope to learn from your MVP. This will guide your development process and help you measure the success of your MVP.

MVPs are Vital to Success

An MVP is an effective and efficient way to validate your product idea, gain valuable insights, and steer the direction of your product development whether that’s a website, mobile app or web app. As a non-technical founder, understanding the concept and process of building an MVP is an important step in your entrepreneurial journey.

Matt Ville asterisk

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