Questions

What is the best method for presenting minimum viable products to potential customers?

What is the best method for presenting minimum viable products to potential customers? I currently have Deck, landing page... Ultimately what will make the MVP investor ready? About: The company is a professional collaboration network that allows users who register to create a professional profile visible to others.

6answers

Whoa, start by reading the Lean book again; you're questions suggest you are making a classical mistake made by too many entrepreneurs who live and breath Lean Startup. An MVP is not the least you can show someone to evaluate whether or not building it is a good idea; an MVP is, by it's very definition, the Minimum Viable Product - not less than that.

What is the minimum viable version of a professional collaboration network in which users create a professional profile visible to others? A website on which users can register, have a profile, and in some way collaborate with others: via QA, chat, content, etc. No?

A minimum viable product is used not to validate if something is a good idea but that you can make it work; that you can acquire users through the means you think viable, you can monetize the business, and that you can learn from the users' experience and optimize that experience by improving the MVP.

Now, that doesn't mean you just go build your MVP. I get the point of your question, but we should distinguish where you're at in the business and if you're ready for an MVP or you need to have more conversations with potential users.

Worth noting, MOST entrepreneurs are ready to go right to an MVP. It's a bit of a misleading convention to think that entrepreneurs don't have a clue about the industry in which they work and what customers want; that is to say, you shouldn't be an entrepreneur trying to create this professional collaboration network if you don't know the market, have done some homework, talked to peers and friends, have some experience, etc. and already know that people DO want such a thing. Presuming you've done that, what would you present to potential users BEFORE actually building the MVP? For what do you need nothing more than some slides?

It's not a trick question, you should show potential users slides and validate that what you intend to build is the best it can be. I call it "coffee shop testing" - build a slide of the homepage and the main screen used by registered users; sit in a coffee shop, and buy coffee for anyone who will give you 15 minutes. Show them the two slides and listen; don't explain, ONLY ask....
- For what is this a website?
- Would you sign up for it? Why?
- Would you tell your friends? Why?
- What would you pay for it?

Don't explain ANYTHING. If you have to explain something, verbally, you aren't ready to build your MVP - potential customers don't get it.

Keep working with that slide alone until you get enough people who say they will sign up and know, roughly, what people will pay. THEN build your MVP and introduce it first to friends, family, peers, etc. to get your earliest adopters.

At some point you're going to explore investors. There is no "ready" as the reaction from investors will entirely depend on who you're talking to, why, how much you need, etc.

If you want to talk to investors with only the slides as you need capital to build the MVP, your investors are going to be banks, grants, crowdfunding, incubators, and MAYBE angels (banks are investors?! of course they are, don't think that startups only get money from people with cash to give you for equity). Know that it's VERY hard to raise money at this stage; why would I invest in your idea when all you've done is validate that people probably want it - you haven't built anything. A bank will give you a loan to do that, not many investors will take the risk. Still, know not that your MVP is "ready" but that at THAT stage, you have certain sources of capital with which you could have a conversation.

When you build the MVP, those choices change. Now that you have something, don't talk to a bank, but a grant might still be viable. Certainly: angels, crowdfunding, accelerators, and maybe even VCs become interested. The extent to which they are depends on the traction you have relative to THEIR expectations - VCs are likely to want some significant adoption or revenue whereas Angels should be excited for your early adoption and validation and interested in helping you scale.


Answered 10 years ago

You have asked two questions. The first is what is the best method for presenting your MVP to potential customers.

A deck and a landing page is likely insufficient for an MVP so I'd suggest that you're still in the earliest stage of customer development which is design research.

The good news is that design research is all about asking the right questions. Questions around your concept might be:
What kind of collaborative efforts are you engaged in right now that require you find new and unknown collaborators?
When seeking new collaborators or looking for new collaborative work, where do you currently look?
What are the most significant problems associated with finding new collaborative work or workers with these existing sites or platforms?
On a scale to 1-10, 10 being most painful, rate the frustration you feel from the problems associated with the current state of finding new collaborative work or workers.

From there, you know what and who to optimize your product for, assuming you get enough validation from this process to proceed to build a real MVP, and that is going to need to be more than a deck and a landing page because you need to prove that people will sign-up for this AND that business can be transacted from these profiles in order to show that this is a viable business.

There have been a number of startups that have tried but died or pivoted away from the idea of a professional profile and a number that continue to struggle so I'd caution you to really do a lot of design research including ensuring you look at everything like this past and present.

To answer what will make the MVP investor-ready, it's evidence that you can inexpensively acquire people willing to complete a profile, and that there is business that can be conducted specifically because of these profiles, and specifically through your platform with some truly minimum viable number of profiles and transactions.

Happy to talk through this in a call. This is in a related space to my company so I monitor it fairly closely.


Answered 10 years ago

Based on your question '....best method for presenting MVP to potential customers?', I'm assuming that you are yet to attract or in the process of attracting your audience. If so, I think you may be jumping the gun here. I'd say
1. Build your audience first.
2.Engage them as you build. Ask them as you build what they want. Because your 'product' is tailored to the client and almost dependent on their engagement, you have to make it more customer-centric.
Some Questions for you to think about if you haven't already:
a. How are you attracting your clients?
b. What are they looking for?
c. What will keep them engaged on your website?
d. Would they feel comfortable referring your services to their network(s)?
e. How do you ensure that they are engaged on your website?
f. What will engage them?
g. Besides a profile, will your customer help generate content that could help expand the reach of your website, i.e. Are they consumers of content or co-providers?
h. What use is another professional profile in addition to others like Linkedin? Why yours? etc

After answering these and more questions, knowing who your clients are and finding out what they 'want', your Minimum Viable Product could then become the most attractive & tangible thing/service you can offer your clients FREE of charge. Use that to grow your audience, then gradually implement revenue generating perks or additional services worth paying for.
Feel free to give me a call to further discuss this.
Cheers,
Chike


Answered 10 years ago

The answer to the question begins with the definition of MVP. A minimum viable product (MVP) is a concept from Lean Start-up that stresses the impact of learning in new product development. Eric Ries defined an MVP as that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. This validated learning comes in the form of whether your customers will purchase your product. A key premise behind the idea of MVP is that you produce an actual product (which may be no more than a landing page, or a service with an appearance of automation, but which is fully manual behind the scenes) that you can offer to customers and observe their actual behaviour with the product or service. Seeing what people actually do with respect to a product is much more reliable than asking people what they would do.
The primary benefit of an MVP is you can gain understanding about your customers’ interest in your product without fully developing the product. The sooner you can find out whether your product will appeal to customers, the less effort and expense you spend on a product that will not succeed in the market.
Teams use the term MVP, but do not fully understand its intended use or meaning. Often this lack of understanding manifests in believing that an MVP is the smallest amount of functionality they can deliver, without the additional criteria of being sufficient to learn about the business viability of the product.
Teams may also confuse an MVP–which has a focus on learning–for a Minimum Marketable Feature (MMF) or Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)–which has a focus on earning. There’s not too much harm in this unless the team becomes too focused on delivering something without considering whether it is the right something that satisfies customer’s needs.
Teams stress the minimum part of MVP to the exclusion of the viable part. The product delivered is not sufficient quality to provide an accurate assessment of whether customers will use the product.
Teams deliver what they consider an MVP, and then do not do any further changes to that product, regardless of feedback they receive about it.
Proper use of an MVP means that a team may dramatically change a product that they deliver to their customers or abandon the product together based on feedback they receive from their customers. The minimum aspect of MVP encourages teams to do the least amount of work possible to useful feedback which helps them avoid working on a product that no one wants.
Now we will look at the step-by-step process of presenting your MVP to the potential customers:
1. Identify and Understand the Business Needs
At the very beginning, you should have identified a need as to why the product should exist. This could be an organizational need, or a customer need that addresses a current gap.
a) Determine the long-term goal and write it down. Answer this simple question: Why are we doing this project? A coffee shop chain, for example, may have the long-term goal of reducing time-to-checkout by 30%.
b) Identify success criteria. Next, identify the criteria that will determine whether or not the product will be successful. This will likely — and probably should — consist of more than one metric. Our coffee chain, for example, might define success by reaching that 30% time-to-checkout reduction, having 100,000 active monthly users, and reaching $1 million in monthly transactions via their app.
2. Find the Opportunities
In the first stage of planning your minimum viable product, you should have already identified market gaps or identified a problem that needs to be solved, whether for your company or for consumers. The next stage of MVP development consists of finding the opportunities to solve these problems and add value via your app.
a) Map out the user journey(s): The user journey is most easily divided into three parts: the user, user actions, and story endings.
i. Identify the user(s): These are the people who will be using your product. It’s possible that you will have more than one category of user. For example, if you have a service appointment booking app, you may have both the appointment scheduler (customer), and the service technician.
ii. Identify the story endings. For each user, there will be a story ending, which is the end goal of the user.
iii. Identify the jobs (actions). The jobs are the actions that the user or users need to take to reach the story ending and achieve the goal.
b) Create a Pain and Gain map for each action: The pain and gain map allow you to identify all user pain points and the gains the user achieves when each is addressed. This exercise lets you determine where you have the greatest potential to add value. You are then able to focus your minimum viable product on these areas while adding the less impactful ones to the product roadmap for future releases.
i) Write down the actions the user needs to complete. List the actions that you identified when mapping out the user journeys.
ii) Write down the pain points for each action. The pain points are brief summaries of the problems or inconveniences that users have when trying to complete that action.
iii) Write down the gain for each action. The gain is what value is achieved when that pain is addressed.
c) Summarize the pains and gains into opportunity statements: There are several ways to summarize pains and gains. One is to use opportunity statements that follow a “How Might We” format. For example, “How might we make it easier for users to book appointments?” This helps you translate the pains and gains you identified in the previous step into feature sentences.
3. Decide What Features to Build
In this stage, you will be able to discern what features to include in your minimum viable product, as well as the features to include on the product roadmap that are a lower priority.
a) Use opportunity statements to finalize your features. Using your opportunity statements from the previous step, finalize what features you want to build out. At this stage in the MVP development process, you will want to create feature sentences. For our Pet Adopters that are applying to adopt animals, for example, the opportunity statement “How might we expedite the application process?” could become “Reduce application processing time by 10%.”
b) Provide a breakdown of the features to include in the product roadmap. List the user and the specific opportunity statements and provide a breakdown of the features to include in the product roadmap.
c) Use a prioritization matrix (or similar method) to prioritize features. This step helps you identify where you can make the most impact on your product in relation to the urgency of the feature. Using a prioritization matrix, you can make the final decision on what absolutely needs to be included in your minimum viable product, and what features can be included in later releases. Below is our recommended format for your MVP prioritization matrix.
At this point, you should have a strong foundation to get started with developing your minimum viable product. You have identified and understand your business or customer needs; you have found the opportunities to address the pain points, and you have decided what features to build and their priority. Now, you can focus on getting your MVP to market.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call: https://clarity.fm/joy-brotonath


Answered 4 years ago

When presenting a minimum viable product (MVP) to potential customers, it's essential to focus on showcasing its core functionalities and value proposition effectively. Here are some methods that can make your MVP investor-ready:

Demo Sessions: Organize interactive demo sessions where you can walk potential customers through the key features and benefits of your MVP. Allow them to experience firsthand how your product solves their pain points and adds value to their professional lives.
User Feedback Sessions: Conduct user feedback sessions to gather insights and suggestions from potential customers. This not only helps you refine your MVP based on real user input but also demonstrates your commitment to customer-centric development.
Case Studies: Present case studies or success stories illustrating how your MVP has helped other users achieve their goals or overcome challenges in their professional collaboration endeavors. Concrete examples can effectively convey the value and impact of your product.
Interactive Prototypes: Create interactive prototypes or simulations that allow potential customers to explore the functionality and usability of your MVP in a hands-on manner. This can provide a more immersive and engaging experience, helping them better understand the value proposition.
Pitch Decks and Landing Pages: Utilize well-designed pitch decks and landing pages to succinctly communicate your MVP's value proposition, target audience, and key features. These materials serve as essential tools for capturing investor interest and generating leads.
Ultimately, what makes an MVP investor-ready is its ability to demonstrate a clear understanding of market needs, a compelling value proposition, and a scalable business model. By effectively presenting your MVP through various channels and gathering feedback from potential customers, you can enhance its appeal to investors.

For further insights into building a minimum viable product, I recommend checking out this comprehensive guide: https://www.cleveroad.com/blog/how-to-build-a-minimum-viable-product/. It provides valuable tips and strategies for creating an MVP that resonates with users and investors alike.


Answered 2 months ago

To create a winning MVP presentation, start by clearly defining your product and its unique value proposition. Use visuals and storytelling to engage your audience and highlight key features and benefits. Be sure to include data and metrics to support your claims and demonstrate the potential success of your product.

Launch your MVP to a small group of target users early on and gather feedback promptly through surveys, interviews, or analytics. Use this feedback to iterate on your MVP, making enhancements or adjustments that align with customer needs and preferences.


Answered a month ago

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