Decoding Product Building: How to build a minimum viable product?

Product Building allows companies to dive deeper into the world of innovation through a market-validated MVP - In this blog, we list the top three catalysts for defining a successful minimum valuable product.

As new technologies are emerging, the scope of innovation is rising, along with customers’ expectations. Amidst the changing ecosystem, stakeholders are recognizing the need for effective digital product-building to bridge the gap between ideas and real-world impact. 

In this article, we will dive deeper into what makes a product successful and answer the following questions: 

  • When is the right time to validate? 
  • What is an ideal team structure when building? 
  • How can you maximize success? 

Why do we build products?  

“We at Jobrad believe you either get disrupted or you disrupt - that has been our driving motivation for all our innovation efforts.” - Uwe Habicher, Managing Director, Venture Studio of Jobrad GmbH

As the economic world takes leaps, with financial downturns becoming more apparent, the role of innovation intensifies. 

On the one hand, companies need to reduce their investments, especially in innovative topics where it’s unclear when and which return might be achieved. On the other hand, they need to become more creative and innovative to deal with increasing competition and ever-growing client expectations. 

Here comes - Digital Product Building. 

The process of Product Building not only directs the innovation efforts toward the right direction of market relevance but also helps develop products that can provide a significant competitive advantage in the market with a user-centric and iterative approach. 

However, having a product-building strategy in place is not enough - one defining characteristic of a successful product is how well it communicates the business goals of the company. 

We at MVP Factory have combined a set of integral factors that can make the difference between success and failure and in this blog post, we delve deep into the first three (if you’re interested in learning about all five factors - check out our Whitepaper on Product Building).

Validate before building 

Building an idea solely on intuition or presumption can be risky. More often than not, it leads to resource drainage, failed projects, and disillusioned teams. According to CB Insight, the absence of an actual market need makes 35% of startups fail. 

This means that your belief in the idea needs to be backed by existing market demand - to mitigate these risks, it's vital to validate ideas before diving headfirst into development. 

In our past projects, many clients approached us, expressing frustration with the failure of their internally built MVPs and lamenting the budgets and resources spent. Upon reviewing these projects, a consistent theme emerged - these ideas had not undergone proper validation. 

Daniel Westerlund, Strategic Designer at MVPF, defines MVPF’s driving principle as “Validate as you go and then keep validating.” 

It is essential to dive into the following areas before building: 

  • Data Collection - Accumulate and interpret essential data from a multitude of sources, laying the foundation for evidence-based decision-making.
  • Market Research - Grasp the prevailing market trends, evaluate the competition, and discern where your opportunity or idea fits within this landscape.
  • User Understanding - Gain a thorough understanding of your target audience, exploring their habits, preferences, and challenges to optimize the opportunity.
  • Clear MVP Goals - Clearly outline what you’re trying to achieve, along with what success and failure would look like. 

Cross-functional collaboration

“We onboarded everyone from a venture architect to a sales guy to the product and tech team to avoid building something that is not feasible.” - Sathya La Bolle, Tech Lead at Venture Lab, Niterra Group. 

In the fast-paced world of digital innovation, finding the right team for Minimum Viable Product (MVP) development is the key to success - while individual skills and expertise are vital, the synergy of a team can efficiently navigate the complexities of product development.

The best approach for MVP development that we recommend is a cross-functional team capable of contributing additional skill sets - this blend offers a fast, versatile, and cost-effective way to create digital products.

Additionally, while every project and organization is different, one key learning we’ve gained from our experience is working in a lean team with senior experts accelerates efficiency. 

In our projects, we follow the trio method - the team setup we work in combines a Strategic Designer, who focuses on the desirability, a Product Manager who focuses on Feasibility & a Venture Architect or Business Owner who focuses on Viability of the MVP. 

The communication sync between the various members of the team is daily, either synchronous or asynchronous. 

Start with an IT Greenfield

Navigating the challenges of product development, and finding the 'Product-Market Fit' often leads the team to uncharted territory. This point marks the intersection where a product meets robust market demands and is primed for growth. 

Our recommendation to unlocking this convergence? The Greenfield IT methodology. 

The term 'Greenfield' originates from the construction industry, indicating a piece of unused land where there's no need to consider existing structures or frameworks. Similarly, in the IT realm, a Greenfield project is free from constraints imposed by prior work.

So, how is it relevant for product building? 

The Greenfield IT approach allows teams to start from scratch, without legacy systems holding them back. For product managers, this means a fresh canvas, uninhibited by past decisions or technologies. Some of the advantages of adopting this framework are: 

  • Rapid Prototyping: The absence of legacy systems allows for faster iterations - product managers can quickly test various versions of a product to see what resonates best with users.
  • Direct Feedback Loops: In a Greenfield setting, products can be built in close collaboration with potential users, ensuring immediate feedback and course corrections. 
  • Focus on Core Features: Zero in on what truly matters for your users. Without legacy distractions, you can concentrate on building and refining the core value proposition. 

By embracing this approach, product managers have a blueprint for unearthing 'Product-Market Fit.' 

However, it's essential to tread with agility, sidestepping the pitfalls of overly complex architectures and infrastructures during MVP creation - it’s important to remember that the primary mission of product building is delivering real value.

How do you build a product that sells? 

While the above-listed success factors provide product managers with a comprehensive list of to-dos, the whole picture remains uncovered. 

Upon the successful validation of an MVP, organizations face the crucial decision of transitioning to full-scale production and achieving the business goals. 

To venture deeper into the realm of digital innovation and product building, check out our extensive whitepaper where we talk about: 

  • How to successfully deliver value from product building? 
  • What are some of the most successful cases of MVP building? 
  • Why are corporates interested in innovation, and how do they define their goals? And much more. 

Download "Translating product goals into business goals"

This was just a preview, you can unlock the whole content here. Enjoy!

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