What means to create a SaaS MVP
In order to succeed with minimal risk and cost in an environment where 92% of launched startups fail, every project should start with the launch of a minimum viable product. In this article, we will analyse the main mistakes that are often made when creating MVP for SaaS startups.
The concept of MVP was introduced in 2001 by Frank Robinson, co-founder and president of the consulting firm SyncDev. Robinson defines MVP as the result of “synchronous development” – the simultaneous development of the product and the study of the target audience, its reaction to the product. MVP is a version of a future project that allows you to collect maximum practical data on how customers interact with it, at a minimal cost.
The usefulness of the matter to build SaaS MVP is proved by examples of large companies at the moment. For example, Daniel Ek and Martin Laurentson launched a small service in 2006 with one function: music streaming. Today, their product – Spotify – is valued at $21 billion, collaborates with major recording studios, and has an active audience of 50 million people.
In 2008, when renting a hotel or accommodation while travelling was a big problem, two enthusiasts decided to go outside the box and rent out their apartment by simple fax. In fact, this is also an MVP in which the main function was tested. The experiment showed that the product will receive demand, and today Airbnb is one of the largest platforms for finding short-term rental housing.
Top Mistakes to avoid in SaaS MVP creating
Let’s go back to the statistics and remember that only every tenth startup has some chance of “breathing deeply.” Many teams, inspired by the idea, forget about the basic principles of creating a minimum viable product.
We fully understand and accept it. And so that you do not learn from such a bitter experience, we will tell you about the most popular “rake” that entrepreneurs most often step on.
The first and most common phenomenon is the desire of entrepreneurs and MVP teams to make the product perfect, immediately and the first time.
The main task of the product team is to test the hypothesis and quickly get feedback from users at a minimal cost. And for this, both a workable product with 1-2 functions and a small prototype are suitable. If your idea carries value for the target audience, then trust me – they will turn a blind eye to trivial design or poor optimization.
A simple MVP is not a “raw” MVP
There is another side to the perfectionism coin. Some product managers often misunderstand the point of quickly launching a Minimal Viable Product. And as a result, a non-functioning product enters the market that cannot be interacted with, and this is at best.
MVP should be simple and high quality. How to build an MVP for SaaS properly, we described in this article.
Lack of feedback
A key indicator of the success of a minimum viable product is market demand. You can and should measure it with the help of feedback from potential customers. Think of your user feedback as the heartbeat of an MVP. It needs to be kept in a “healthy” state.
Sometimes they forget about it. Product teams get carried away with the development process, “flirt” and … Here they have a finished product that no one needs.
To avoid such a fate, key metrics should be identified at the planning stage. For example traffic, a number of downloads and orders. In general, targeted actions are performed by your customers.
Promises into the void
In the food market, everything is like in everyday life. They gave you a promise, broke it – it’s insulting, painful, and annoying. After that, you reconsider your attitude towards your counterpart. In our case, it is the attitude of the client to the brand.
Of course, we are sure that the teams do this with the best of intentions. They want to please their audience with cool ideas. But holding presentations or announcing new features “on emotions” is a marketing strategy that leads to a frustrated user and lack of trust.
Make decisions on a “cold head”, think everything over. Promise only what you can actually deliver.
Big investments are not a guarantee of success
Let’s say your idea has potential. The future product will benefit and delight the target audience. Your friends are investors, and they promised you a big sum. Okay. Very good. But there is one caveat: despite such inputs, often the success of a startup or minimum viable product depends on the team.
The team is the driving force for creating an MVP. If your colleagues have a common mission and goals, your idea is already better than many. When selecting a team, pay attention to such important qualities as soft and hard skills. Determine the appropriate personality type and behavioural factors of partners with whom you are comfortable working.
If you have read up to this point, then you definitely managed to learn the definition of MVP, learned about the advantages of this approach and determined further actions for the development of your future product.
Once again, I would like to fix the most important rules and facts to keep your startup or MVP from getting into the infamous lists of dead products:
- use MVP, PoC or CustDev if you want to test the idea for viability;
- MVP approaches are needed to get quick feedback without wasting a lot of resources;
- create a valuable product, and only then – a simple one;
- constantly respond to external impulses: feedback from the target audience, changes and behaviour of competing companies;
- the key to the success of an MVP and a startup is not in the coolness of the idea, but in a well-coordinated team;
- do not give “empty” promises and learn to control the inner perfectionist;
- determine the appropriate management method and critical MVP functions;
- carefully read the guide to creating a Minimal Viable Product.
When preparing the article, our team tried to acquaint you in as much detail as possible with all the nuances that can be encountered along the entire product path – from developing an idea of SaaS MVP development and forming a team to launching a product on the market.