What is an MVP? Simply put, an MVP is a minimal viable product. This means that the product or service should only include the essential features necessary to test and determine whether it is feasible to expand it further. An MVP is not lower quality than a final product but still needs to fulfill the customer’s needs. It must be easy to use, engaging, and suitable for the users.
There are various reasons for building an MVP app: validating an idea, generating initial income, and attracting investors.
Here are a few steps to help you validate your startup idea and get to MVP.
Let's dive in.
How to validate your idea
V - Voting: focus less on vanity likes, and more on if people would use your startup idea. 5 votes: great, 50: build an MVP. 500: quit your 9-5 and pitch YC.
A - Asking: 'if you don't ask, you don't get'. Ideas are similar. Get real feedback from niche users. Let Kernal be your first signal to dig deeper. It all starts with outreach. Peek the Member Directory & slide into DMs.
L - Learning: the startup world rewards those that learn the quickest. Your goal should be to kill or double down on your idea as soon as possible.
I - Iterating: forget perfectionism, fall in love with the process of iterating on feedback. With your outreach list: show them, build it, take feedback, and repeat.
D - Diligence: do your research. Approach people with good track records and make every minute worth their time. Build your true fans at every step.
A - Analyzing: pull key themes from your research. What's the TAM? Then take a night off and see where the data is taking you.
T - Testing: words are cheap, but user testing is gold. Flag top people that you think would actually test your product. Sweeten the deal with something.
E - Earnings: monetization is king. Is this an idea you can earn an income from? Go find out. Research competitors, ask mentors and interview customers.
Now that we've validated, it's time to build.
How to build an MVP
1) 🎯 Target Real Life Problems
2) ✨ Define your target audience
3)🥇 Prioritize MVP Features
4) 🏗️ Build MVP
5) 🧪Test MVP
6) 📏 Exercise ‘B.M.L.’ — Build, Measure, Learn
How to Launch your MVP
There are a number of ways to launch your MVP. The best way to figure out what works for you is to experiment and see what gets the strongest reactions while remaining efficient. The Lean Methodology is an approach you should research and apply so that you use resources wisely. Once you develop a product or service that is just enough to prove that the concept works, it’s important to get it in front of potential users as quickly as possible. Whatever approach you choose, it’s crucial that you develop a feedback loop before launching so you can expand to a full product in the right direction. This will help you to validate the concept and build investor confidence.
Here are 4 ways:
Trial - Start by offering a trial of your product to a small group of people. This will help you test the feasibility of your idea and see if there is enough interest in it.
Hackathon - A hackathon is a great way to get your startup idea out there and get some feedback from experts in the field. By participating in a hackathon, you can learn about different software development platforms and gain valuable insight into what people are looking for in innovation.
Crowdfunding - Another way to get feedback and support for your startup is through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding allows people interested in your product or service to pledge money to help fund it. This can be a great way to gauge interest in your product and see if you have the resources needed to create it.
Co-creation - Co-creation is another great way to get feedback on your startup idea and build relationships with people who can help you make it a success.
How to measure success
One of the most important things you can do to measure success with your MVP is to determine if it is meeting the needs of your target audience. This can be done through surveys, interviews, and observation. Additionally, you should track user feedback and analyze whether or not changes are needed to make your MVP more successful. If all of these measures show that your MVP is meeting the needs of your target audience, then you can say that you're headed in the right direction.
Building an MVP is a great way to get started with your startup. By focusing on the essentials, you will create a product that is easy to use and understand. Doing this will help you test the market and determine whether your startup is viable. Once you have a strong foundation, you can move on to developing the features and functionality that will make your product stand out.
We hope these tips and tricks are helpful. Please let us know in the comments if you have any resources or examples that will be helpful for the rest of the community.
If you're building an idea on Kernal we always encourage you to post a progress update and share the learnings of validating and building an MVP with your peers. Through this shared knowledge and support we'll continue to move forwards 🚀
A platform with nearly 10,000 members, 2,000 ideas, and 200 MVPs, Kernal is an expanding community of founders, operators, and investors focused on validating pre-seed startup ideas. Users find themselves posting new ideas, browsing startups with momentum, and providing expert feedback to take the next steps of scaling a startup idea. This exclusive community is the most supportive place to be for builders at this stage in their journey. We welcome you to join here.