A minimum viable product has many benefits as opposed to the traditional development method. In this article, I’ll share with you 7 benefits that will hopefully convince you to start with an MVP.
#1 No Wasted Time
The first of the these reasons is that you won’t waste your time. As a startup founder you don’t have precious time to waste. From marketing to raising capital, a startup is a race that has no time for slip ups. The usual plan is to get your team around a whiteboard, sketch up some of the screens and send out your CTO to figure it out, while you go out and talk with investors.
Unfortunately there are many issues with the method of development. First of all, there is little to no input throughout the development process. Second, you’re not getting the product into the hands of customers as early as possible. Which means you are just guessing as to whether the features you’re making are actually valuable to your future customers (if there are any).
Starting with an MVP avoids this by decreasing the time between product releases and getting customer feedback throughout the entire process. So, if you went down a rabbit hole just to find out none of your customers seem to have any interest in it – you haven’t wasted years but only weeks. I wouldn’t even consider that a waste, that’s valuable research.
#2 Greater chances of success
Going the MVP route will improve your ability to succeed. Why? Facts are more valuable that guesses. What I mean by that is that everything you thought about while coming up with your startup concept is only a guess, it’s an assumption. If you were to take your guesses and run with them that would be like turning your back to the basketball hoop, closing your eyes and hoping for the best.
Truthfully, how many shots do you think you’d make? (I now, I’ve seen the youtube videos, but really even they had probably thousands of shots). Rather, why not first make sure there is even a remote chance you can make the shot (for example, you’re not 3 miles away). You do this by taking your startup guesses and developing only the core features needed to be able to get feedback from your customers.
#3 You can iterate
While on that note, another benefit of starting with a minimum viable product is that you can iterate throughout the process. Since you will most likely pair agile development with your MVP, if that feature you were working on didn’t fair so well in front of your customers. Then you can either scrap it and work on a new one or take your feedback and change the feature to meet your customer’s desires.
#4 You can focus on the core foundations
Again as mentioned previously, it is a great benefit to be able to focus only on the core foundations/features. Developing an MVP means you don’t have to initially worry about scale or illustrations or having a world-class design. It really just has to work.
#5 Speed to market
Because you only have to focus on the core features, this will result in less time to market. You can get selling once you have at least one core value proposition to demo to customers. Your initial customers should be so exited they’ll even pay for it before it’s done being developed. Customer’s paying you to create a product (before it’s even built) is a pretty good sign that you’re on to something good. This will also be very valuable to tell your potential investors, when they see you already have paying customers they should recognize the potential for success.
#6 Team input
Throughout the entire MVP development process, you benefit by getting input from your entire team. Rather than only the CTO, who don’t get me wrong has many amazing ideas, but I’m sure your team members have great ideas too that you wouldn’t have been able to think of otherwise.
#7 Save money
I think it’s clear by this point that you will save tons of money by starting with an MVP. You’re not paying for the best developers to get you a full production product with all the bells and whistles. That’s expensive. But a prototype will minimum functionality, that’s something even your CTO can throw together in a weekend.
To conclude, I hope by these 7 reasons for starting with an MVP you’re thoroughly convinced to abandon the traditional method of product development and join the thousands of startups that are going on to succeed with their business.