Today a lot of people talk about minimum viable products and when you talk about those, it is also very essential to ask yourself what should I really have inside my MVP and how many feature should I have and that’s what we’re discussing in this post here. So, the first thing that’s worth mentioning is that MVP is not a “shit” product and this is really something that other people get wrong. They say “oh I’m just going to put this thing online and it doesn’t have to work it doesn’t have to do anything just testing if it works.” So, the problem is if you don’t build at least something that is viable it doesn’t really tests whatever you are trying. Now, what is viable? It is the keyword that actually means that you’re able to test whatever it is you’re trying and see if that works. So if you’re going to make a product and you want to test whatever, and if you just put up something that is quick and fosters a form and don’t really have everything around it, it’s not good enough though it actually looks like a real product. The founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman said “if you’re not ashamed of your first product then you released so late” and that is true. It is totally true but that is not the same as to release a shit product, because you can easily be ashamed of whatever you put online and have everything to test your hypotheses. That is something we will touch upon here by describing a case.
Let’s say you want to make a software that automatically generates job applications and CV and then automatically applies to jobs. So your mission should be “getting a job is as easy as clicking a button”. This is a horrible idea for sure, but suppose you want to make this software, then what will your MVP be? So the core assumption here is that people want to generate resumes on a website to save time.
So instead of having to ride a job application they can generate it on this website and they are good so you should not implement this website here which would take a lot of time to do. What many people would do is something like a registration for automatically applying to jobs doing payments for getting payment; integrating subscription so each month you charge and lot of things those things are simply just wrong. It’s not a part of the MVP. Your basic assumption was you wanted to test will people want to save time or do they not? So, what I would do will make a very simple and free website where anyone could also generate a job application and download it by providing an email address. This means you’ll not waste time doing everything around it. You are just testing your idea and you are also getting an email address, so when your product is out you can actually say “hey we released now and you can pay each month for premium products” and so forth. It might even go viral if it is a good product. So you actually save a lot of time.
The other thing I wouldn’t do is just releasing something where you can see what the company is, what kind job it is and then say click and generate a resume, because this is just too simple. The core product which was to generate resume has to be good. It doesn’t have to be polished and very professional but the core product has to be so good it actually tests resumption. So the main point is, implement whatever is needed to test the hypothesis and ignore everything else, and make it as simple as possible. But don’t forget to make it as good, so good that the core product just works. So, just a quick note before ending, making an MVP takes quite a lot of time, because, even though it is minimum, it still has to be viable. And while MVP gets to test hypotheses, well sometimes you don’t even know whatever you are doing at all makes sense. And there comes a concept named pretotyping. And this is not the same as product prototyping. Though there are many more options but the main point here is, why spend a lot of time creating an MVP when we can build pretotype? Prototype is basically cheating the customer, cheating the visitor to believe something is there, to keep up the interest you just say “thank you for your interest we actually are developing this product”. So that means you can actually do something really simple to check if there interest or not. Suppose you make a prototype of the previous example where CV will generate automatically, you keep all the field and give this big button so when they press that button to generate resume, it shows “Thanks for your interest, we will get back to you when we are launched”. So you can actually test the interest and if it is positive, you can go on or if not, change the plan. That’s a great way to determine if you should continue investing your money and time or not.
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