Many organizations develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to validate a business idea and gather user feedback. In most cases, MVP product development will be the most effective way to test the core functionality of a product idea on the intended target audience.
Throughout the years, there have been several Minimum Viable Product examples that have achieved a great deal of success. Minimum Viable Products can evolve into full-fledged digital products if proven successful.
Users often won’t even realize they are using a Minimum Viable Product. This post will explain what a Minimum Viable Product is, the different types of Minimum Viable products businesses can make, and examine successful Minimum Viable Product examples.
What Is a Minimum Viable Product?
A Minimum Viable Product is the first product version that has enough core functionality to be released to users. Minimum Viable Products are software products that include just the core components.
Organizations use Minimum Viable Products to gather real-world user feedback and test their business model. A Minimum Viable Product starts with a hypothesis that an organization wants to validate with potential users before fully investing in software development.
The true value of a Minimum Viable Product is that it enables organizations to save money and test the market to measure the demand for their product before investing in software development and adding complex features.
How To Decide Which Features Should Be Included in a Minimum Viable Product?
Organizations that want to develop a good MVP will likely wonder what features should be included. The solution to this is simple. A Minimum Viable Product should only include the features that bring the idea to life.
Your organization’s Minimum Viable Product concept should include only the core functionality and features necessary to make the software work. What those features and functions are will be different for every project.
For example, if you want to build an online store, a Minimum Viable Product should include a browseable catalog, shopping cart, payment system, etc. In this example, users should be able to browse items and make a purchase.
Are Minimum Viable Products Prototypes?
You might hear the term MVP software prototype, but Minimum Viable Products are not prototypes. A Minimum Viable Product must be fully functional. On the other hand, software prototypes do not require full functionality and are typically used as a sample for stakeholders or other internal purposes.
A prototype will never be released to the public. However, MVP product development aims to gain early adopters, and Minimum Viable Products are released to the public to generate valuable feedback that can be used to improve the final product.
The Different Types of Minimum Viable Products
There are multiple approaches your organization can take toward developing a Minimum Viable Product. Learn more about each type of Minimum Viable Product template, so your organization can choose the best MVP strategy for its objectives. The most popular types of Minimum Viable Product are:
- Single Feature MVP
- Piecemeal MVP
- Concierge MVP
- Wizard of OZ MVP
Single Feature MVP
The single feature MVP is a basic approach to MVP product development where one feature is the focal point. For example, an organization will identify its users’ most significant pain points and develop a feature that solves that problem.
Typically, the single feature correlates with a unique selling point, not the entire business model. Therefore, the single feature MVP approach works well for companies trying to determine their product’s technical feasibility.
This MVP approach also works well for organizations trying to validate a unique selling point to consumers.
The classic piecemeal MVP approach is great for organizations that want to validate an idea without developing a new solution. How does that work?
In this situation, an organization will take components and resources from tools that already exist and piece them together to create a Minimum Viable Product. This approach not only demonstrates if the product will work, but it saves an organization time and money developing a new solution.
Organizations that have a tight budget will be interested in this approach to MVP development and can gain a lot without investing a ton of money or time.
A concierge MVP is human-based. Instead of relying on a program to serve customers, a human will complete most functions and collect feedback on the service idea.
For example, if you want to build an application that offers users personalized selections on a subscription basis while testing the idea, you would have a human manually selecting options. Once the idea proves to be a success, a solution is developed to complete these tasks automatically.
The concierge MVP is a great way for businesses to test if there is market demand for their idea.
Wizard of OZ MVP
The Wizard of OZ MVP relies on human operation. This type of Minimum Viable Product is half-functioning and half-manual. Users think they are using a fully functioning application, but there is a human behind the scenes responsible for the core functionality. Hence the name, Wizard of OZ.
This approach is best used for testing the representation of the feature or application itself. Humans cannot deliver several features simultaneously, so the human involvement aspect of these MVPs should be kept to 1-3 main functions.
Successful Minimum Viable Product Examples
Organizations interested in developing an MVP concept will want to know about successful Minimum Viable Product examples. There are tons of MVP examples that ended up being very successful.
We don’t have time to cover every Minimum Viable Product example that succeeded, but we think these MVP examples are representative of the potential MVPs possess:
When Jeff Bezos created Amazon, he built a single feature MVP. The single feature Amazon MVP was an online book marketplace. From these humble beginnings, Amazon has grown into one of the largest online marketplaces and a significant player in cloud computing.
The initial Facebook MVP was only available to a small target audience at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Stanford. After a year of testing and feedback, the social network was rolled out to everyone in the United States and quickly became the largest social network globally. Like Amazon, Facebook has evolved significantly and is now offering several other services and products.
Dropbox took a different approach to its MVP. Instead of building a product, Dropbox created a video that explained what their product would do. We haven’t covered this approach here, but it is valid. Dropbox’s MVP video was effective, and it helped the company increase signups, and ultimately, it led to one of the most successful file storage apps.
Many organizations develop a Minimum Viable Product. It is a great way to test ideas and generate user interest without investing significant resources or time. If you want to learn more about how a Minimum Viable Product could help your organization or how to develop one, reach out to a skilled app development partner.