What is an MVP: A Quick and Easy Guide for Non-Technical Founders

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The basic concept of the Minimum Viable Product has been applied to a range of industries, including healthcare, education, government and the non-profit sector. In addition, the MVP concept is also used for software applications and mobile phone apps.

Wippli is building our MVP! But if you’re not familiar with startup lingo or software development processes, you might not know what that means exactly. We are here to spell it out, getting you up to speed on what a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is, plus what it means for Wippli that we’re finalising building ours.

 

Introduction to the MVP

A Minimum Viable Product is essentially a stripped-back version of a new product. An MVP is a product built with just the core (i.e. minimum) features, so that it can be market-tested fast. In business, MVPs help you validate key concepts, fail fast, and learn quickly. It gains the maximum amount of feedback with the least effort and it’s all about rapid product development.

This makes them highly appealing for startups and entrepreneurs where there are great ideas that need to be validated without a huge amount of up-front investment, whether these are in healthcare, education, government, non-profit, or any other sector. The MVP concept is most widely practised when developing software or apps.

A Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle.”

MVPs are born out of the Lean Startup movement and was originally coined by Eric Ries.

 

Emerging applications - Different types of MVPs

 

Minimum viable brand

Branding when launching a startup can’t be overlooked, but you might not have all the ingredients (or time up your sleeve) necessary to complete a full brand strategy. The minimum viable brand concept allows you to skeleton brand essence, values, audience, market differentiators, experience, and visual elements like logo and look.

 

Minimum Viable Team

With a Minimum Viable Team, you have maybe a handful (at most) of team members to help launch your startup. This might be a product builder, a salesperson, and someone who’s a business expert. All the little tasks to do in between? You’ll quickly learn what you can do yourselves and what you’ll need to outsource.

 

Minimum Viable Co-founder

The Minimum Viable Co-founder concept is really a “how-to” pick your co-founder. It involves aligning on vision, passion for the product, complementary expertise, one co-founder with detail orientation and one with big-picture thinking, plus differing perspectives.

 

Is an MVP the same as a prototype?

Prototypes are often mentioned alongside MVPs as early-stage product validations. However, a prototype is usually for internal use only, whereas an MVP is a working product that users can test out. For example, a prototype of Wippli might just be mockups of the screens involved in our workflows - it could even be just sketched out on paper - while an MVP allows you to complete actions within real screens.

While one doesn’t require the other, a prototype typically comes before an MVP in the design phases.

Wippli_MVP_BlogPost_July2021_20144_Final

 

What are examples of the Minimum Viable Product?

 

Airbnb

Without money to build a business, the founders of Airbnb used their own apartment to validate their idea to create a market offering short-term, peer-to-peer rental housing online. They created a minimalist website, published photos and other details about their property, and found several paying guests almost immediately.

 

Wippli’s MVP

We’re building a web-based workflow management software that's designed to make digital tasks between a supplier and a client a breeze - from information discovery phases through to delivery. 

Wippli is based on our global experience working remotely for more than 20 years. It was the answer to an internal workflow problem - one that others working remotely also complained of. To design Wippli, we ideated a workflow, then implemented, tested and continuously improved over more than 450 requests, with 300 of those confirmed end-to-end jobs with 12 real businesses. The outcome? We achieved an average of 33% time saved, turnaround and dependability. So now, we’ve packaged all our workflow's steps, defined the logic, given it a name, plus made it beautiful and easy to use. And we’re just about ready to share our solution with the world.

Our MVP is going to be a more lightweight version of our full anticipated product, but we have some design rules we’re following throughout development. 

  • Powerful technical stack - We’re making our tech stack solid from the beginning, built on industry-standard products and tools
  • Scalable - Scalability is a must, for perfecting our MVP without code rewrites
  • Modular - While Wippli is modular by design, this needs to be apparent in our codebase, too
  • Human-centred - We take the user-first approach to design choices and follow Lean principles to deliver value to the user at every step
  • Up to best practices - Software development best practices will be ingrained in our development cycles
  • Sparkling clean - Code will be readable, clean, and documented

We’re testing our MVP with customers soon

We’re confident that we’ve got a great product on our hands - but we need customers to help validate what we’re doing. Our MVP go-live is scheduled for release in September and we’re signing up customers now so they can give our product a try. Currently, we have Checkbox.ai, Pulse Agency, Dell Boomi, Aware Super, and Brannium on board to see what Wippli can do for their task and workflow management processes.

If you’d like to join in finding out what Wippli can do for you and your business, then make sure to sign up for early access to our MVP. Get in on the productivity action and help us make the best product for you.

 

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