How to Start a Business
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An solo entrepreneur in Canada explains why you need to develop not MVP, but MVT instead

Homebodify
January 22, 2024

Today, I'm going to talk about my current product development process, focusing on creating products that stand out in the market. 

The key to developing “designs that sell” involves fulfilling a few critical conditions: first, the capability to progress an idea without relying on a developer; second, ensuring a low risk of failure; and third, the ability to gauge market reaction to just a single feature. The Minimum Viable Test (MVT) methodology aligns perfectly with these conditions, and I’ll delve into why I believe MVT is the ideal strategy for this process.

Source : Unsplash

Why MVTs, not MVPs, are right for Initial Product Development

The difference between MVT and MVP

In the startup world, the concept of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is well-known. An MVP is a minimum-functionalized version of a product, released to measure user response before full-scale market launch. However, MVPs often require considerable resources, and it’s challenging to either acknowledge this investment or to halt the process once initiated. Especially in creating B2B products, I’ve noticed a tendency to depend excessively on user input, which may not align with the broader market demand.

It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. — Steve Jobs

MVT, in contrast, tests a specific concept or feature before the product or service is fully developed. It focuses on establishing core values, identifying and validating risks, and quickly determining the market reception of an initial concept or idea.

The Critical Role of MVT

Startups, often limited in resources, especially in development, may find executing a proper MVP challenging. MVT, on the other hand, allows for proactive, streamlined actions without a complete product, enabling efficient decision-making with rapid feedback. This approach is vital in the fast-paced marketplace, where user needs and expectations are constantly evolving. MVT empowers product creators, even those without a development team, to swiftly validate the feasibility of an idea and make prompt adjustments, significantly enhancing the product development process’s efficiency. The extent to which MVT contributes to faster market entry, however, depends on the team’s dynamics.

Reason 1: Managing Risk and Minimizing Costs

Incorporating MVT at the early stages of product development helps manage significant risks and reduce costs. Developing a service into a product is a resource-heavy and time-intensive endeavor. MVT aids in avoiding the unnecessary expenditure of resources in these preliminary phases.

For instance, Alberto Savoia’s ‘Fake Door Pretotype’ method, discussed in his book “The Right It: Why So Many Ideas Fail and How to Make Sure Yours Succeed” is a technique I frequently utilize due to its resemblance to MVT.

Landing page created in a day with Framer using the Fake Door Pretotype technique

My preferred method for validation without a fully developed product is to create a landing page as though the product exists. Observing the market’s reaction to calls to action, such as early access sign-ups, subscriptions, or free content offers, is insightful. Endeavoring to develop multiple ideas into MVPs for public release can be a substantial risk in terms of time and money.

Additionally, MVTs provide crucial insights into user interest and acceptance of certain product features or concepts, guiding the direction of future product development. This strategy is particularly significant for startups or small businesses with limited capital and resources.

Reason 2: Leveraging User Feedback for Iterative Improvement

MVT is instrumental in enhancing your product based on direct, specific user feedback and market response. User feedback aids in the iterative improvement of product features, design, user experience, and more. This iterative process of enhancement can quickly reduce your product’s market risks, enhancing its success prospects. While MVPs are a viable option, I’ve found them less conducive to rapid iteration and improvement based on feedback due to their broader scope.

Therefore, effective utilization of this process necessitates focusing on Atomic Unit Testing for validation rather than trying to implement multiple features to give the product an MVP-like appearance.

Minimum Viable Test (MVT) diagrams

Limitations and Alternatives to MVT

Since MVT primarily focuses on testing initial concepts and features of a product, it might not capture the product’s entire complexity. Even if MVT mitigates certain risks, it doesn’t guarantee a seamless transition to an MVP. To counteract this, it’s essential to analyze MVT results continuously and diversely, and progressively expand the testing scope. In my opinion, version control and data tracking are as critical to MVT as they are to design and development. Furthermore, if the product lacks depth, it risks losing user interest over time. Therefore, continuous engagement through regular content production and dissemination of information is necessary.

Despite superficial similarities, the methodologies of product creation through MVT and MVP are distinct. It appears advantageous to commence with MVT for rapid, iterative risk validation, then transition to either a decision-driven, resource-intensive MVP, or proceed directly to product development.

Conclusion

MVT is anticipated to become an increasingly integral tool in product development. The recent surge in dialogues on idea validation through no-code tools and ‘Pretotypes’ reflects a similar trend. MVT will empower not just product designers but anyone aspiring to create a product, enabling agility in adapting to rapidly changing market demands and technological advancements. It will serve as a key strategy for continuous innovation and enhancing user experiences. MVT’s role extends beyond the initial stages of product development, offering opportunities for ongoing learning and improvement throughout the product lifecycle. I encourage everyone, not just designers, to embark on their MVT journey today.

Written by Homebodify (Link)

Original Text: https://homebodify.substack.com/p/advantages-of-mvts-over-mvps-in-early

Rreference : https://review.firstround.com/the-minimum-viable-testing-process-for-evaluating-startup-ideas, https://www.pretotyping.org/ 

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Homebodify
Homebodify
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Engaging and sellable designs and marketing stories for designers dreaming of becoming a Designpreneur.