Minimum Viable Product for Most Valuable Players

OK, this has probably happened to everyone at some point – you invested a lot of money or time in something that turned out to be worthless. Imagine buying an entire series of books and, after reading the first one, realizing that further reading is pointless. Perhaps it would be enough to only buy the first volume? 

And what about the the writer: is it better to create a series of books and then publish them, or should the popularity of the first volume encourage the next one to be written? Maybe he or she should start with a short article instead?

Business Value has many Names

Generally, we can say that an MVP is a product which plays a minor but valuable role. In other words, it is a product with minimum features: and this brings certain advantages. Here is what a client gains with using the Minimum Viable Product (depending on the situation):

  1. Information on interest – or lack of interest – in the market for its product, and on how users react to the appearance of the finished product.
  2. Knowledge about how useful the solutions are.
  3. Knowledge about the practical skills and methodology of the company which has been entrusted with the task (building relationships based on trust).
  4. Experience in outsourcing-based cooperation.
  5. Experience in working with projects that use the time & material accounting method (another degree of trust).
  6. A piece of software ready for development.
  7. A complete feature that can already act alone and bring revenue.

Knowledge and Experience

It may be worthwhile to group all those benefits into two themes:

  1. Knowledge and experience (an MVP takes even the simplest forms, such as a landing page or explanatory video)
  2. The product as such.

Thanks to the MVP and the use of appropriate data collecting tools, the customer receives information which allows key business decisions to be made: those concerning the fate of the project (and its shape) and those related to the manner of cooperation with the company supplying the software.
Considering the first issue: this is the right moment to listen to the demands of the market once again and decide whether to continue the project, change its shape or maybe suspend it indefinitely.
The second category of business decisions is influenced by the experience acquired in cooperation with the company supplying the software. In this case, a small MVP equals minimum risk associated with outsourcing the project.

The Product itself

We cannot forget that in certain circumstances, functions performed by an MVP can translate directly into generated revenue. In the case of multifunctional information systems, an MVP may be the first – and crucial – acting feature that will benefit users. The whole course can be developed throughout the years, but this one specific function can generate profits immediately.
In the second part of our MVP discussions you will read all about the situations which call for the use of an MVP. Stay tuned!
Any questions, shoot!
author: Błażej Jelonek