Top List of Errors in SaaS MVP Development
In order to succeed with minimal risk and cost in an environment where 92% of startups launched fail, every project must begin with the launch of a minimum viable product. In this article, we will analyze the main mistakes often made when creating MVPs for SaaS startups.
The MVP concept was introduced in 2001 by Frank Robinson, co-founder and president of consulting firm SyncDev. Robinson defines MVP as the result of “synchronous development” – the simultaneous development of the product and the study of the target audience, their reaction to the product. MVP is a version of a future project that allows you to collect maximum practical data on how customers interact with it, at minimal cost.
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The usefulness of the material to build SaaS MVP is proven by examples of large companies today. For example, Daniel Ek and Martin Laurentson launched a small service in 2006 with a single function: music streaming. Today, their product – Spotify – is valued at $21 billion, works with major recording studios and has an active audience of 50 million.
In 2008, when renting a hotel or accommodation while traveling was a big problem, two enthusiasts decided to think outside the box and rent their apartment by simple fax. In fact, it is also an MVP in which the main function has been tested. Experience has shown that the product will receive demand, and today Airbnb is one of the largest search platforms for short-term rental accommodation.
Top Mistakes to Avoid When Building a SaaS MVP
Let’s go back to the statistics and remember that only one in ten startups has a chance to “breathe deeply”. Many teams, inspired by the idea, forget the basics of creating a minimum viable product.
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We fully understand and accept it. And so that you do not learn from such a bitter experience, we will tell you about the most popular “rake” on which entrepreneurs most often step.
The first and most common phenomenon is the desire of entrepreneurs and MVP teams to make the product perfect, immediately and the first time.
The main task of the product team is to test the hypothesis and get user feedback quickly at minimal cost. And for this, a workable product with 1-2 functions and a small prototype are suitable. If your idea has value for the target audience, then trust me – they will overlook trivial design or poor optimization.
A simple MVP is not a “raw” MVP
There is another side to the coin of perfectionism. Some product managers often misunderstand the value of launching a minimal viable product quickly. And therefore, a product that does not work enters the market that is impossible to interact with, and that is for the best.
MVP should be simple and high quality. How to properly create an MVP for SaaS, we described in this article.
Lack of return
A key indicator of the success of a minimum viable product is market demand. You can and should measure it using feedback from potential customers. Think of your user feedback as the heartbeat of an MVP. It must be maintained in a “healthy” state.
Sometimes they forget it. Product teams get carried away with the development process, “flirting” and… Here they have a finished product that no one needs.
To avoid such a fate, key measures must be identified at the planning stage. For example traffic, number of downloads and orders. In general, targeted actions are carried out by your customers.
At the food market, everything happens as in everyday life. They made a promise to you, broke it – it’s insulting, painful and annoying. After that, you reconsider your attitude towards your counterpart. In our case, it is the customer’s attitude towards the brand.
Of course, we’re sure the teams do it with the best of intentions. They want to please their audience with cool ideas. But hosting presentations or announcing new features “on emotions” is a marketing strategy that leads to frustrated user and lack of trust.
Make decisions with a “cool head”, think about everything. Only promise what you can actually deliver.
Large investments are no guarantee of success
Let’s say your idea has potential. The future product will benefit and delight the target audience. Your friends are investors and they have promised you a large sum. Okay. Very well. But there is a caveat: despite such contributions, often the success of a startup or a minimum viable product depends on the team.
The team is the driving force behind the creation of an MVP. If your colleagues have a common mission and goals, your idea is already better than many. When selecting a team, pay attention to such important qualities as general and technical skills. Determine the personality type and appropriate behavioral factors of the partners you are comfortable working with.
To sum up
If you have read this far, you have certainly succeeded in learning the definition of MVP, knowing the advantages of this approach and determining further actions for the development of your future product.
Once again, I would like to lay down the most important rules and facts to prevent your startup or MVP from entering the infamous dead product lists:
- use MVP, PoC or CustDev if you want to test the viability of the idea;
- MVP approaches are needed to get fast feedback without wasting a lot of resources;
- create a valuable product, and only then – a simple product;
- constantly responding to external impulses: feedback from the target audience, changes and behaviors of competing companies;
- the key to the success of an MVP and a startup is not in the cold blood of the idea, but in a well-coordinated team;
- don’t make “empty” promises and learn to control the inner perfectionist;
- determine the appropriate management mode and critical functions of the MVP;
- Carefully read the guide to creating a minimum viable product.
While preparing the article, our team tried to acquaint you in as much detail as possible with all the nuances that can be encountered along the product journey – from developing an idea to developing MVP SaaS and training a team to launch a product on the market. .