5 Common Mistakes Startups make with their MVPs
In a 2014 post, Fortune reported that 9 out of 10 startups fail. The most common reason? Neglecting correct MVP development. MVP or Minimum Viable Product is a pivotal first step into transforming your startup to a full-fledged service provider or product manufacturer. MVP allows you to test your core assumptions and if completed properly, can provide an invaluable source of information and insight to your further product management strategy.
At BluEnt, we keenly observe the developmental environments for startups and we often work with them in close collaboration. Honestly speaking, most startups are clear where they want to be after a few years, if and only if everything goes well but their roadmap is not as clear as it should be.
Reason? Loopholes in MVP development.
All too often, founders will make mistakes that cripple their bright ideas, right from the very start. This way, even if the enterprise does get off the ground, it will not stay up much longer.
What the heck is an MVP and why do I need to work on it anyways?
A Minimum Viable Product or an MVP is an initial version of your product with bare minimum features. Simply speaking, the minimum for convincing that your startup idea is worth being focused on.
The idea of an MVP is to gauge user reactions to your product and recording their feedback as early in the developmental phase as possible. This minimizes the risk of creating products which are of no-use and saving on wasted developmental costs and time.
Sounds easy? Unfortunately, it is not. Most founders make the following mistakes that strangle their startups to an early demise.
- Testing deep waters with finished products
Most startup founders mistake the idea of an MVP. Instead of developing a prototype with mare minimum essentials for testing and user feedback, they go for a polished and finished product. The mistake here that you make is, assuming what your users actually want, without basing your attributes on their honest feedback and test logs. The result? Months of developmental time, resources and money, all going down the drain over a product that does not solve any problems of users.
- Procrastinating with User Feedback
Trust us, we know how passionate you are about your idea and business. As a founder, it becomes difficult to open it up to users at a stage when the idea has only the quintessential in sight. It can be tempting to delay the release to beta users or garner feedback until your idea is more advanced.
- Wrong turn. The longer you wait for feedback, the more time, energy and money you waste, especially if your product or service is not really required. Not to mention, the false hopes you motivate yourself every day with.
- The right turn? Distribute your idea as soon as you can with your users. The sooner you do that, the better. There are a couple of reasons behind this. Firstly, you can start working on feedback and amendments sooner – if your idea is worth using. Secondly, you can get started on your next idea – if this one fails and lastly, the sooner you spread the word on your idea the better. Who knows who else is working on the same idea with you?
- Focusing on Scalability from the beginning
One day I’ll have thousands of users, one day I will be featured in Times and one day, I will be big. It is a fabulous approach and you SHOULD have a growth mindset. However, do not get into daydreaming. There is absolutely no need to massively over-engineer your MVP. Do not spend longer than required on creating the early versions of your product. Instead of focusing on scaling your product or operations, it is better the maximize the growth and networking avenues, so that your product is better received as it grows.
- You are not a know it all
I know better than my users – this is a fundamental MVP developmental problem. This can happen in several ways like not asking for feedback, ignoring user feedback and being in the complete dark about which areas your application falls short of. So, you create a product that no one can use because you feel you have a better understanding of business, products and services than your customers.
- Too much testing is bad for building your own MVP
“Too much of anything could destroy you. Too much darkness could kill, but too much light could blind."― Cassandra Clare
While not reaching out is bad enough for your business, being too social can also kill your MVP. It is indeed lucrative to have an MVP that sorts out everything at once. The outcome of such development is going to be a complex, excessively feature-laden and slow app which is tacky and does not give the user an understanding of what is at its core. Establishing an essential MVP feature set is a tricky business and you need experience or right consultation to guide your way through. BluEnt, with more than 18 years in the development industry has seen its fair share of startup stars and failures. We have the right skills to identify the core features of your idea and give you an MVP that reflects on these features. Get in touch with us and we would be happy to discuss the next big thing over a cup of coffee.