From product idea to MVP
This workshop clarifies the purpose and goal of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and how to communicate it to the development team that will build it. It is based on the latest trends and practices and explains common misconceptions.
- Webinar or in-person
- Duration: min. 1h, max 2h
- Includes Q&A
- Includes pitching with feedback
- Based on real examples
- Frequently updated to reflect latest practices
Part 1 - What is an MVP?
The first part is a practical discussion on why we need to build an MVP in the first place, which should be its characteristics, and what we expect to get out of it.
A few words about the presenter but mainly the workshop's structure and takeaways.
The purpose and goals of an MVP
We build a Minimum Viable Product to . We expect to get enough feedback for the next iteration of our product.
- Validate our solution against the problem we focus on
- Get enough feedback for the next iteration of our product.
- Iterate till product-market fit and beyond.
Therefore, an MVP should be a functional product that customers can use.
The characteristics of an MVP
We need to iterate fast and get the most meaningful feedback from customers. Therefore, we have to:
- Build fast to shorten the time required until we can get more feedback
- Build the minimum features that solve the problem so that we get more accurate feedback (and build faster).
- Target a niche audience to solve one version of the problem at a time (and get more precise feedback and build faster).
Getting feedback with an MVP
In each iteration, we need to get fresh feedback from customers and develop insights to help us make the required changes and improvements to our product based on:
- Assessing the value generated from our product, i.e., to what degree it solves the problem.
- Identifying the payment intent of the customers, i.e., their willingness to pay and the price they believe is fair for our product.
- Analyzing customers' behavior as they use our product, i.e., their interactions with its features.
How to build an MVP
There are practically two approaches:
- Build an in-house team.
- Difficult to find a tech co-founder (CTO)
- It takes time and money to build and retain a tech team
- Outsource to external resources.
- Freelancer (reliability)
- Software agency (they may do not understand products).
- Hire a tech team (ideal if they understand products and can be dedicated).
Questions and Answers
The presenter will answer any questions from the workshop participants.
Part 2 - MVP specs for developers
In the second part we explain how to create the minimum specification for an MVP so that a development team can estimate the time required and the cost involved in designing and building it.
The overview describes a general idea of what is needed, the vision, and the product's goal. In a nutshell, you write a synopsis of the whole spec. This part familiarizes the reader with the product.
You need to decide who will use the software or, in other words, which roles the users of your product will take.
Define why the product is needed or describe the problem it solves. Additionally, prove your timeframe or the deadline for getting it to the market.
What tasks can users do with your product? Or what functionality do users expect, and what features will the product have? Specifying views (pages or screens) will make it easier, provided you have thought through that.
Specify what you expect from your software regarding performance (speed), reliability (e.g., max allowed downtime), security (e.g., login methods, data encryption), portability (e.g., web application working on both desktops/laptops and tablets/phones), and scalability (e.g., the number of user it should handle monthly and concurrently).
List the tools and platforms that are needed to realize the project. The technology stack comprises the backend (database, servers, etc.) and the front end (framework, 3rd-party components, etc.). Additionally, your project may require some integrations. For example, it can be a payment system like Stripe or integration like REST API.
User flows (UX)
The user flow technique helps us understand how users interact with our application. It allows us to communicate that information to the developers, QA testers, and product managers so they will have a clearer understanding of our solution to the problem.
Wireframes (UX) and mockups (UI)
A wireframe is a low-fidelity, simplified outline of your product. You can usually recognize it by its distinctive block layouts, use of lines to represent text, and “✕” squares indicating placeholders for future images. They are intentionally simple to allow experimentation. A UI mockup visualizes the final product, including layout/hierarchy, color, typography, icons, and other UI elements. While mockups are high-fidelity designs, they are static and have no functionality.
Here, you work on describing steps to build the project. Divide the work into milestones and tasks, and decide how they will be done. Include design, development, and marketing to create a feasible product without gaps in some areas. It's a good idea to focus on creating MVP and then adding features.
Q&A plus pitch to get feedback
The presenter will answer any questions from the workshop participants and provide specific feedback to pitched products.