What are the Next Steps After Creating an MVP
A question you might be wondering is what is the next step after MVP? You’ve figured out what an MVP is and you’ve planned your MVP. You’ve built your MVP and you have measured and analyzed it. But what now? Here we will consider how to move on from an MVP. We will look at making your product marketable and what to consider in the next stage after MVP. We will also look at the next steps beyond that as well.
What Comes After MVP?
In some cases, the MVP proves to not be viable. This happens if the product does not solve customers’ needs or pique their interest. If you cannot monetize your product because customers won’t pay for what you are offering, the idea won’t work. Your MVP has done its job. In this scenario, you can go back to the drawing board with the information you learned from customers during the MVP process. Hopefully, your MVP proved attractive to customers. If you’ve gathered feedback that shows customers are interested and that they will pay, it is time to move forward to the next step after MVP. This is usually the MMP.
Moving on to Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)
The next stage after MVP is MMP (minimum marketable product). MMP is sometimes called MMR (minimum marketable release) but the terms are fairly similar really. While an MVP helps you better grasp customer needs, the MMP helps you figure out if the idea is worth progressing further. From developing and testing your MVP you should have a better idea of what needs improving before launching to a wider market. However, those that downloaded or used your MVP are called “early adopters”. These people find new products exciting and intriguing. They are a core group, but they are not your wider customer base. You need to now make sure that your product is suitable for release to a wider market. The broader customer base will have higher expectations. You must make sure your product is ready for them. If you are wondering why you would bother with an MMP you might consider the fact that Dropbox went to one million users in less than a year with its MMP. Many other big names did the same: Uber, Airbnb, Groupon, to name just a few.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Moving Beyond MVP
There are a number of questions you might consider before moving to the next stage after MVP. Some of these questions are as follows:
1. Have I gathered customer feedback?
Some organizations develop an MVP, get figures on downloads (among others), and decide that they are happy with how it works. Fatally, they do not actually gather customer feedback. Getting customer feedback is integral to understanding if your MVP has a future or not. Do not miss this key step out.
2. Do I know who my customer is?
If the answer to this question for you is “everybody” you are probably going wrong. Most products have a target market of people that are much more likely to use them. You need to know who these people are. It is very hard to do marketing to target everybody. Try and refine your target market.
3. Do I know what I need to improve?
The whole point of building an MVP is to work out whether customers feel a need for your product and to see what to improve. It is very unlikely that your product will be 100% perfect the first time. From measuring and analyzing your MVP you should know what you need to improve. If you do not know you should find out before moving forward.
4. Can I monetize this product? (Is it worth it?)
The whole point of the MVP stage is to understand if it is worth it to develop the product further. When answering this question, think about the costs and the benefits. If it will cost more to develop the product to a point that it is usable than the money you could ever make from it, it almost certainly isn’t worth it.
What are the requirements of the MMP?
If you’ve answered the questions above and are ready to move beyond MVP, it is time to consider the requirements of the MMP. As we have seen, those that use MVPs like new products just because they are new. The wider range of customers you will be targeting next is not the same. They will want a bit more. But don’t forget, the MMP isn’t your “final” product. It is still minimal. In an MMP, customers want features that appeal to them and that add value. Your product should solve a problem that they have. Your MMP should be usable. It should also be monetizable. If you have investors, they will want to see something in your MMP that will lead to a competitive advantage. This helps them to know that their investment is low risk. Make sure you include some features that set your product apart from the competition. Don’t forget, your product must solve customer needs. It doesn’t matter if it is different from the competition if the customers don’t want it!
Prioritize Development Work
If you have done a good job of measuring and analyzing your MVP you should have a lot of input to consider in getting your product ready for market. It can be tempting at this point to start working on all of this to make your product perfect before launch. A better approach is to prioritize the work that needs to be done. Think about what the customer has said they want and what could be delivered in a reasonable time frame. Customers may have given you some very good ideas, but some of these might take years to develop. Look at what will add value that can be delivered quickly. Customers will have identified specific problems with your MVP. If the MVP is too painful to use in the way that it is, customers may move on. Find ways to solve the problems that are the biggest pain and prioritize these areas.
What are MMP customers looking for?
The optimal MMP will be one that solves the problem that a customer is willing to pay to have solved.
Prioritize how you can do this through the least work, while still providing a usable product.
When working on your MMP there are some important factors to consider:
|Factor||What to look for|
|Performance||Customers are impatient people. If your product is slow or unwieldy, customers will go elsewhere. This is a simple fact. Make sure you test performance considering the likely scalability, and make sure the product responds rapidly.|
|Scalability||Your MVP might have been suitable for a small number of users but an MMP will have more users (hopefully). Make sure your MMP can scale up effectively for the number of customers you anticipate you will have. If the product is not reliable and does not perform when you scale up to an increased number of users, customers may well walk away.|
|Reliability||Your product must be reliable. If your product does not solve the customer problem every time or if it is buggy and difficult to use, customers will go elsewhere. Make sure you focus on developing the product such that it is reliable and does what it claims to.|
Thorough testing can help address all of these issues and make sure your MMP is ready to launch.
Moving beyond MMP, you’ll want to embrace continuous improvement. Take an agile mindset to the ongoing development work. Make iterative changes to your MMP that continually make it better from the perspective of your customers. You might be thinking that there will be a point when you can stop improving your product. This is unlikely. Even the top products in any market are continually improved. Think about the way that Facebook and Uber have evolved over time.These companies did not leave their product static. They are always changing them and making them better. The reality is that customer needs change over time. You need to have your finger on the pulse of customer wants and needs and adapt your product accordingly. If you decide you are done developing or adapting it is unlikely your business will survive, MVP or not.
Building an MVP is not the end of the product development journey. It is just the beginning. The next step beyond MVP is using the information gathered from the measuring and analyzing stage to refine the product and launch your MMP. It is very important to prioritize features that add value and solve customer problems. Being different is not enough on its own. Your product must be monetizable. You must also continue to develop as the market evolves.