One thing consistently successful innovation programs do, is test their concept during the development process. Whether physical or intangible, it’s rare that a final product is precisely what you initially envisioned. During the development process, your product is likely to evolve. While the end objectives remain the same, they may be expanded or revised.
To ensure your innovations progress in the right direction, a minimum viable product is typically designed. The more features and functions a product have, the more important it is to beta test, then release an MVP. However, there are several misconceptions about the MVP process.
Misconception #1—It’s a Subpar Product
While it won’t possess all the bells and whistles, as their name suggests—MVPs are viable products. They provide you with the opportunity to identify glitches or areas of opportunity early on in the development process. That isn’t to say that prototyping isn’t part of the process.
For example, if you are designing an ergonomic laptop mouse you might 3D print a few different models before manufacturing the MVP. This discovery phase empowers you to test, review, and improve the final product.
Misconception #2—It’s Just a Prototype
As mentioned above, you may 3D print or manufacture prototypes for internal testing and external beta testing. However, your user MVP is a functioning product designed for external purchase.
That being said, you may manufacture your MVPs with a budget-friendly material that isn’t designed for longevity. Or designed for longevity, but not as sleek, modern, or stylized. Just make sure that the material selected is durable enough for quality feedback. Also, that the next generation adds enough new value that consumers will want to upgrade.
Misconception #3—It Must Be Perfect
Viable, yes. Perfect, no. Most MVPs are products or services that users will test for a lower price point than the final product. If your MVP is software that you want to test with existing subscribers, you can provide a significant discount for participating in the test. Whatever the product may be, inform users of what the product is capable of. If relevant, also inform them of the features that are on the way in the next phase or final product.