Jul 29, 2020

Reader question: Do we need to build MVP for every product?

Hi Budi, the way I see Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a minimum product with minimum requirement to test to the users. Is it true? If so, do we need to build MVP for every product that we’ll build? – Sandy

Hi Sandy,

MVP gets popular in the industry, for good reasons. The idea of MVP is to validate the hypothesis we have as cheaply as possible.

Imagine if you want to build a new product, mainly the primary question is: Does anyone want to buy or use this product?

With MVP, we’re basically saying, let’s not build the real product just yet because we don’t know if people even want to buy or use this. Instead, let’s build a prototype to test our hypothesis. One of the most popular stories was from Dropbox. Drew Houston, the co-founder of Dropbox setting up a simple video and sign up form to join the waiting list.

In that video, Dropbox as a product is not yet ready to be used for a large number of users. Probably still have lots of bugs. But, by doing that, Dropbox validates an important value hypothesis: Does anyone interested to use this? And this can be measured by how many people are actually signing up the waiting list to see how many people are interested.

Now, for your second point, do you need to make MVP everytime your team builds a new product? I’d say, yes in most cases. Just to name a few top reasons for startups to fail: no market need (42%), ran out of cash (29%), get outcompeted (19%).1

MVP reduces the risk of failing greatly. You should read this book: Lean Startup, by Erick Ries if you want to dive deeper into this topic.

Thanks for the question! Hope this helps! P.S. If you want to send a reader question, please feel free to send email


Footnotes:

  1. CB INSIGHT - The top 20 reasons startup fail.

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