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MVP – MUCH VANITY PROCLAIMED – Yes, I’m being a little cynical, it many ways it’s true, the birthing of your first tech child, a moment you declare to the world that this time you’ve got a solid idea, it’s going to mean something but no ones going to believe you, not until you’ve pitched, pushed, shouted and screamed about what ever it is your idea does… but be afraid, it’s not the finished product it’s an MVP!
An ‘MVP’ Minimum Viable Product, the most ridiculous collection of words every to land on your plate, the irony as you realise to achieve an MVP is going to take you 3 to 6 months of working in the dark attempting to deliver light, the solution, the holy grail of technology products that people want and in their hundreds of thousands…
For the strong minded, good reading – How I built an app with 500,000 users in 5 days on a $100 server
Minimal in todays tech environment is big, Viable is challenging as peoples expectations are high and it validating as a Product at the very least a process you thats repeatable at scale, however you spin it, its a fine line between visible and invisible – I mean I’ve been given products to review and I have no idea what it was I was looking at, how it’s meant to work and on one occasion it was an array of images connected via in-vision – you’re still at the ideas stage buddy…
Here is my translation fo an MVP – Minimum Viable Product
- Minimal – something so simple it captures the essence of your idea
- Viable – a customer is willing to spend time and / or money to experience / use it
- Product – it validates as something tangible you can hope one day to sell,
KEY LEARNING – MVP’s EAT MONEY, IF YOU DON’T HAVE INVESTMENT OR INCOME, YOU ARE GOING TO RUN OUT OF CASH FAST
evvnt’s MVP (I actually feel a little sick just thinking about it) was so minimal I was embarrassed to call it ‘technology’ for the first year,
THE SET UP – Ideal for figuring out the wire frames and process.
- Single Submission Event Marketing – Add event form : We created a form using google forms to simple capture the events information, it was nasty, but people wanted the service so they filled out the form.
- Distributed to Event Listing Sites – Database of listing sites, we created a list of listing sites in excel and started documenting information about the sites and specifically a list of login / passwords to enable us to submit an event.
- Reporting – Google Docs which we can share and include live links, we simply added all the sites we could get a clients event to, manually submitted to that site and then added the live link url to the page on to the google doc – shared it and job done. In many ways we operated like a full service agency and over the first 2 months out reporting template, account contact, clients services and general service was very good.
- Payment – Crunch invoice sending system – we’d adopted a legacy system from when I was a consultant and I started using Crunch – Manual invoice sending tool like Quick Books and used PayPal.
So just incase you missed it, our MVP was an excel sheet!!!!
I was however thinking of bigger things and people around me were starting to dream my dream… the wireframes of the first event report were starting to surface from the within the team.
Some Good Reading on the Topic
- The Ultimate Guide to Minimum Viable Products
- A Minimum Viable Product Is Not a Product, It’s a Process
- What is a minimum viable product?