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MVP vs OTT? Why Minimum Viable Product Makes Sense

Remember your first car? Was it a Lamborghini Diablo? An Aston Martin DB7? Porsche 911? Thought not. Whilst you no doubt thought it was pretty damned wonderful at the time, it was highly unlikely to have been a supercar. Bet it was more an aged dinked Ford than a brand spanking new gleaming Ferrari. There’s good reason for this – well, reasons. Cost will have been the major one, but also do you really need a heated steering wheel, paddle shift gears and launch mode? Why take out a second mortgage to own a car you’re more likely to crash when a cheap runabout will still get you from A to B perfectly comfortably?
 
What’s this got to do with MVP, software and websites? Well, quite a lot, actually and it’s a very simple way to explain what a Minimum Viable Product is and what its benefits are. And at AVAMAE, you know how we love simplifying the complex.
 
 
Satisfying Software and Sites
 
A simple definition of a Minimum Viable Product is a version of a piece of software, or a new website, that provides just enough key features to satisfy its users. It’s not for everyone, but it can be a sensible move because MVP can be used to gauge user response and gather feedback. These learnings can then be used to design and develop more features.
 
 
Build From the Basics
 
An MVP is the most pared down version of software or a website that can still be released. Achieving it takes experience as it has to balance three key characteristics to a budget:
 
  • It has enough value that people are willing to use it or buy it initially
  • It demonstrates enough future benefit to retain early adopters
  • It provides a feedback loop to guide future development

 
Up and Running, Not Bells and Whistles
 
What attracts a lot of AVAMAE clients to the idea of a Minimum Viable Product is that they’re committing to the minimum outlay to get their idea up, running and in the hands of their end users. Yes, they could have gone all in with software or a site that’s packed to the gills with impressive features. But if they then find it’s not something people in reality want to buy or use, all that investment is for nothing.
 
 
The Journey, Not Just the Road Ahead
 
The way we look at every project is by asking ourselves and the client 'what’s the overall aim?' What does the software or site need to do right now at launch and then in the years ahead. Using the principles of MVP, we often recommend to our clients that we design for now but with future aspirations always front mind.
 
It’s also sometimes difficult for clients to get their heads around MVP as it’s all too easy to get bogged down and focused on multiple details of a site or software. Of course, we have an excellent eye for detail, but instead of fussing over minutiae that will make little difference to the overall success of the project, we invite our clients to take a reality check.
 
 
Reality Check
 
We encourage clients to first create a well thought out and constructed MVP and to test the market. Once we see how the users and audience react, we can then come back, spec out future phases of development and introduce features that are a direct result of the initial feedback.
 
 
Scalable and Affordable
 
Everything we do is bespoke. Don’t be fooled though, bespoke does not mean expensive, it’s simply made to measure your current needs and is 100% scalable. So, when we build for you, we build for the future by making further development easy to implement.
 
 
Want to Know More?
 
Interested in Minimum Viable Product and have a project in mind? Email teresa.mccahill@avamae.co.uk or call +44 (0) 20 7509 6932.
24 January 2019
Blog Author
Oliver Pluckrose
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