How To Determine Your Minimum Viable Product

How To Determine Your Minimum Viable Product


When entrepreneurs hit on an idea, they usually fall in love with the solution. As many have learnt though, a solution isn’t enough. You need an MVP which is the smallest solution you can build that also captures customer value.

Finding MVP guinea pigs

Your first step is to determine what the big problems are of your potential customers. Not all problems are big enough to warrant spending money on fixing them. Speak to your target market to clearly understand how they’re presently solving the problem and how it can be improved.

If the problem is worth solving, start defining the MVP. How are you going to make your product or service accessible to users? A complex and non-user-friendly offering isn’t going to work.

Related: Product [Im]perfect

Build a demo to identify areas for development and improvement. Focus on complex or undesirable areas. Get your demo working and generating interest, and then conduct more formal solution interviews to get to the ideal solution. Chances are the MVP is already quite different to your initial idea.


The money issue

Don’t think that an MVP isn’t worth any money. Avoid heavy discounts or giveaways because they lead to poorly motivated customers and hamper development of the price model.

Use AIDA to kickstart your MVP

AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) is used in marketing and advertising but can be used for MVP development:

A – Get attention by showing you understand the customer’s problem
I – Generate interest with a compelling demo using real-world scenarios

D – Walk your customers through the solution step-by-step, demonstrating metric improvements they’ll enjoy

A – Last is action. Identify your early adopters and have them commit to providing feedback.
Test your price point, and importantly, deliver support so your guinea pigs get optimum value.

Related: How do I know that my product is market-ready?

Tracy Lee Nicol
Tracy-Lee Nicol is an experienced business writer and magazine editor. She was awarded a Masters degree with distinction from Rhodes university in 2010, and in the time since has honed her business acumen and writing skills profiling some of South Africa's most successful entrepreneurs, CEOs, franchisees and franchisors.Find her on Google+.