In startup environment mistakes are very common; nine out of ten startups fails. This is hard but, bleak truth. However, to avoid failure rate many startups started to build Minimum Viable Product.
But, still, there are few startups, who are facing failure. According to CB Insights, number one reason of startup failure is releasing out the product, which has no market need.
However, my goal isn’t to list them all for you, but rather to point some common mistakes to avoid when developing your minimum viable product.
But before, diving into the mistakes, let’s first clear out the common misconception startups have about MVP.
They think that MVP is all about focusing on the minimum part of the product and releasing in the market as quickly as possible. But the truth is that MVP is much more than just a minimum product, it is perfection by subtraction.
Mistake 1: Inexperienced Team.
Do you really think a lack of technical skills can effectively develop your MVP product?
If yes, then you are definitely on the wrong path because building an MVP is just like building another piece of software, which definitely require service from other experience departments like UX/UI designers, developers, Q&A testers, and project managers.
You cannot just build an MVP product by handful developer and a graphic designer. You will need an experience and a good team.
A good team is what which possess the ability to change the product, adjust to the different compensation plan, take up a new marketing approach, and re-brand the business, or even tear down a business and start all over again.
A good team is what many startups don’t have. This is the reason why many startup careers end before it even started.
Here are some common problems that happen when you have an inexperienced team by your side:
1. Interpretation problem
Definitely, this problem occurs when you have a wrong and less experienced team by your side. You will face a problem on how to interpret the feedback from the customer.
So, there is no use of collecting data from the customer, if you do not know how to interpret it.
2. Not taking action
What is the use of going with the idea, if nobody can deliver?
This happens when you have a team of wrong people by your side because they do not have experience of delivering the right product at the right time. It just like wasting your resources without getting anything tangible done.
Mistake 2: Building a perfect product.
There are some people who hate the product concept with sketches. They want to see something that looks finished. But, have you ever thought what if it’s rejected by your potential customer?
All your money and the time you have put in building a product will be wasted.
The idea of MVP is to provide your customer with the general understanding of how your product will look like, with a right feature. You do not need to add to extra feature to lure your customer.
Remember, MVP is all about implementing the right and minimum feature of the product but, not the finished product.
Here are two ways which will help you to decide which feature is valuable for your product:
1. Feature Selection Process:
The Feature Selection Process is an activity, which is conducted by you and your technology partner by understanding your end user goals and vision for your application.
This process helps your designer and developer team to identify the features, which are essential in delivering the best outcome for your MVP.
2. Outline each proposed feature.
Outline each proposed feature with their benefit and development time because it will give you a clearer picture of how long it will take to develop that feature.
This outline process will make your selection process easier because you will able to see which features will deliver the required outcomes in the shortest time possible.
Mistake 3: Ignoring the right way of building an MVP product.
There is two way of building an MVP product one is the right way and other is the wrong way. Let first discuss the wrong way of building an MVP product, which most of the folks are doing.
In this, you are keeping your customer unhappy in every release of MVP product which definitely means that your consumer will not go to stay with you for long.
You will be thinking what the right way of building MVP is, here it is.
This model is called cupcake model. In it, first MVP is represented by a simple skateboard, and then you move on adding some feature in your first MVP which allow the user to complete their goal and this release will also help you to gather some valuable information.
From here you can move on building the final market product but, keep in mind that in every release of your MVP product try to release something which offers a better solution for the user.
Mistake 4: Choosing the wrong development method.
Most startups directly jump into building an MVP product without knowing the correct development method of building an MVP product. This is a reason why most startups give up the project in the middle.
There are two ways of building an MVP product- Agile and Waterfall method.
But, if you are building software MVP product than agile is far better than traditional waterfall method and the reason behind is that it’s quick and it completes the project at the certain time frame.
Ambysoft’s 2013 Project Success Rates Survey concluded that agile methodology is better than traditional waterfall methodology in the following factor.
And in the same survey, it was also found that agile method has 64% success rate, compared to just 49% for the waterfall method.
Another thing you must know about agile methodology is that it is hourly based payment model whereas, waterfall model is based on fixed price model.
Here are some benefits of using agile development method:
- It helps you to release your MVP product quicker.
- It removes all the bug or issues which appear in the development phase of the product and deliver you a high-quality product.
- Agile provides greater transparency of the project; you can see how much time has been spent on the different part of the MVP and what the results are.
- Agile provides you greater flexibility. You can change the direction of your project whenever you want.
Mistake 5: Skipping the Prototype phase.
In MVP, prototyping phase is an important part, which startup should not skip. By creating a prototype, you can bring your project idea to life, reduce risk and remove puzzle of your product.
Here are some areas of application prototyping which you should not forget:
1. Interface architecture
This area of prototype focuses on building the base structure, as well as the information and interaction foundation of your application.
2. Low-fidelity interactive prototype
This area of prototype consists of low-fidelity wireframe that maps out your application’s information architecture and shape and includes interactive elements.
3. High-fidelity interactive prototype
This area of prototype includes graphic image and number of interactive elements, which allow you to navigate the application.
4. Production Design
In this phase, all the feedback of the user implements in the product for smoother development transition.
Benefits of the prototype phase.
- It brings your idea to life.
- It helps you to deliver your vision in front of the investor.
- It set the foundation for development.
Mistake 6: Ignoring User feedback and Analytics.
Listen carefully to any feedback given by your user, It is because you are creating a product for users to make their life easier. If they give you any sign about the particular feature of the product which they do not like- Ask them what is wrong and try to bring a product to perfection.
And do not forget to implement analytics into your website and in your mobile app. Here are some metrics you should keep in mind if you want to measure the success of your MVP.
- Daily active users (DAU);
- Retention rate;
- Average time spent within the app or website.
Mistake 7: Not fulfilling the promise of users.
If you promise your user that this particular feature or service will be on your product then come to your user expectation. Do not lie to your user, be true.
It is because your users are sensitive to lies, and will not pardon you. If you have lied to your user then have the courage to issue a public apology because this will save your business, product and your reputation. And always remember that fair business is the best one.
Mistake 8: Building MVP when it’s not required
This is one of the common mistakes many startups often make. Having learned the principle of lean startups, many new startups do not resist their temptation and start building their MVP right away without doing the marketing research.
Due to which, many startups build the same product which is already on the market. They lose their money, time and the effort they have put in building that product.
In such cases, Instead of building a minimum viable product, you must first focus on validating your business idea and making a product which is not in the market and it solve the user problem.
If you want your business to be successful than this are the mistakes you must avoid when developing a minimum viable product.
And remember, be attentive and flexible throughout the development process of the minimum viable product.