A Minimum Viable Product or just MVP is the concept that underlies the Lean Startup method. The history of this method, like the history of MVP, roots back to the 20th century. However, only in 2011, Eric Ries managed to clearly outline this method, describe what an MVP is, and how to properly approach the process of its development. His book, The Lean Startup, became a bestseller and has been a practical guide for aspiring entrepreneurs to this day.
MVP development is a process of creating a minimal version of the product, which allows you to validate a particular hypothesis. Most often, this is either a hypothesis of a problem existing in the market or a hypothesis of an appropriate solution. In the former case, you are just probing the market to understand whether you have identified the existing problem correctly. While in the latter case, you let users try your product and even gain the first adopters & profits.
Summing up all the above, we can say that the essence of the MVP is to get the maximum benefit with minimum investment as quickly as possible. The question that we will discuss in this article is whether it makes sense to continue using this technique in 2020.
Why MVP is so important?
MVP remains the best option to start your business from scratch, regardless of whether it is a startup or a larger enterprise. The reason for this is several MVP laws that always work.
Opportunity to get investment
Obviously, reaching out to investors empty-handed or with a project on paper will unlikely bring the desired result. You’d better present a working project that has been tested in the market, and this should be proven statistically.
That’s right, the MVP does not always bring you profit. But if your MVP was able to collect valuable feedback or data, and verify the hypothesis, then this is a huge argument for investors to start financing your project.
We already mentioned that feedback would be extremely useful when negotiating the deal with investors. But it is also of key importance to the entrepreneur, as this feedback is provided by real users in a real market environment. Thanks to it, you can make a decision on whether to supplement your MVP and turn it into a full-fledged product, start building something completely new or even abandon the whole idea.
MVP is about speed. If you interview a thousand people, asking them what an MVP is, half of them will say that it is an opportunity to quickly test an idea and abandon it in case of failure.
In fact, with the right approach, a certain type of MVP will indeed give you an answer to the main question quickly enough. In this market, there is the following rule: in a month, release a complete MVP and then process all the feedback to decide in which direction to move.
Low costs and user engagement
We decided to combine these two points as they have already been partially discussed above. Besides, this does not apply to all types of MVPs. Some of them are so large-scale that their development requires massive resources. While others require no investment at all. Therefore, it is hard to be objective here.
As for user engagement, this is a characteristic of a solution-MVP only, which provides users with a minimum product.
Why do we still need an MVP in 2020?
Because it works. Because at its core, it is the best way to start building any business. Reread all that is written above. MVP is based on an honest approach to business, minimal expenses, and maximum benefits, even for users. These are all components of a successful company. Therefore, even in 2020, the MVP remains an excellent and, most importantly, working solution for almost any business. We already talked about it above, and you could catch yourself thinking: does the MVP really work for a business of any scale?
The question makes sense since some experts and entrepreneurs began to talk about the MVP’s death. They say that in the era of high technologies, the MVP and the Lean Startup method are no longer needed. Even for small startups.
In general, we agree that projects based on high technologies like AI, VR, and AR, are expensive, and hardly fit the MVP concept. However, we insist that MVP is about the right approach to building a business and an honest attitude to the overall process, as well as the users of a product. And this is the answer to the question of why we need an MVP in 2020.
We hope that we have managed to convey our main idea to you. Of course, you may disagree with us, and have your own arguments in this regard. But we base our opinion on the history of business, especially in the IT industry, which had existed far earlier than 2011. All the concepts that are included in the Lean Startup method have been followed before and are still being followed by various companies.
And, as things stand now, there is no new universal approach to building a business except for the MVP model. Still, we agree that rapid technological development can change the way entrepreneurs approach this process. And high technology can really turn (and will) the whole business world upside down. Let’s see what the future holds in store for us.