Testing assumptions at every step is key to MVP success

To create the best and most relevant product, start-ups need to understand the value of testing all possible assumptions early – even if that results in the product not being what you originally thought it would be.

This testing of assumptions may show you that your solution really does solve a problem out there – or it could show you that your perceived need for a solution is really just a perceived one, and that it’s not worth pursuing. This is a tough lesson, sure, but one worth learning before you’ve invested all your money (and the money of everyone you know and love) in something that’s not going to work.

Putting your product in front of the people who are going to be using it is the best market research you can do – but you can only do it once you’ve got something that works, or you risk failure through simple poor delivery.

In our experience, the ideal level of MVP could not be taken to market because of the complexity of the process that would make the idea work. We saw this as we tested the assumptions in the development process, but still took an MVP to market by ‘manualising’ some of the functions of the service, to test if it would work in principle.

Once we’d gone past that level of MVP, we tested a new range of assumptions, and worked on fine-tuning the solution. The next level of MVP is releasing the product to a limited target audience , in as ready a state as is possible – using this as the test case for expanding the service to the rest of the country.

It’s this constant evolution of an MVP, testing assumptions at every step of the way, that’s going to prevent your start-up folding because you’ve spent all your launch capital on building something that doesn’t work, or that nobody actually wants.

And when it comes to choosing the right team to avoid failure, and to bring your MVP and then eventually your final product to market, it’s worth looking beyond the people that have bought into your dream, that are staying up nights discussing permutations and building scenarios.

The most valuable part of your team is a person or organisation that makes it their business to ask the tricky questions, to test your assumptions, and to use their experience to find solutions to the challenges that arise during development.

In order to be successful in launching an MVP your team must understand the complexity of the market you want to enter, and how to achieve the simplicity that will lead to long-tail adoption of your solution.



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