As many in the entrepreneurial world, I have become a big fan of Eric Ries and his Lean Start-up philosophy. The big idea is that instead of creating a fully featured, branded, buttoned up product or service, you instead create a series of Minimum Viable Products (or MVPs).
The beauty of the MVP approach is that you shift your thinking from building the perfect product to instead testing your “hypotheses” about what customers really want. Your goal is learning from real customer feedback as quickly as possible, rather than wasting time going down wrong paths.
While the MVP is especially useful for new product/service creation, I find the MVP concept to be an incredibly useful structure for all aspects of lean businesses.
Here’s the approach. You start by admitting that any idea is nothing more than a “best guess” for what will grow your business. You then state your hypothesis clearly and in writing so you have a record. Finally you test that idea against real customer reactions.
Here are some ways that I have been using the MVP approach in marketing:
The reason that I love this approach is twofold.
Ultimately with a constant stream of MVPs, you know that each iteration gets you a step closer to building your business (or takes you just one, temporary step off track).
Do you use the MVP approach in your business? Share you experience below.