Iowa City-based business consultant Jeff Nock reveals the steps required to get a minimum viable product built in the technology sector
Designed to ascertain early demand for a product or service, a minimum viable product also allows for valuable feedback ahead of further and more costly development. Focused on the technology solutions and services field, Jeff Nock, a leading business consultant from Iowa City, Iowa, explains the process behind getting a minimum viable product built.
Typically, a minimum viable product will have just enough features to suit early users who can then be prompted for feedback on developing subsequent versions, according to Nock. “This method of developing a product,” he explains, “is often significantly less costly than developing and releasing the finished article in the first instance.”
This, Jeff Nock says, is because, by its very nature, a minimum viable product alleviates the risk of a product failing because of incorrect assumptions during its development. “Building a minimum viable product also reduces wasted engineering hours and gets it to early customers as quickly as possible,” adds the expert.
The process of getting a minimum viable product built involves four main steps, according to Jeff Nock. “First among these is to pick a persona,” he explains. This persona, he says, represents who the minimum viable product is being built for. “Next,” Nock goes on, “define precisely what features the minimum viable product will include and do not deviate from this list.”
Jeff Nock says it’s about needs versus wants. “At this stage, needs should be the focus,” adds the business consultant, “and wants can be added later once the minimum viable product has proven itself.”
Step three, according to the expert, involves initial marketing efforts and putting the wheels of development in motion. “With a persona defined and a list of must-have features locked down, it’s important to spread the word about a minimum viable product to its core target audience as development takes place and ahead of launch,” he explains. “Finally,” Jeff Nock continues, “release and repeatedly iterate.”
Now’s the time, says the expert, to fully ascertain demand and to gather valuable feedback. Additional personas can be introduced at this stage, too, he says, to help broaden the appeal of a minimum viable product.
“Once the minimum viable product has proven itself,” adds Nock, wrapping up, “you can commence the process of creating and launching a minimum marketable product as you finally share your product or service with a much wider audience.”