You’ve got an idea, but the thought of bringing it to real, actual, tangible life makes your brain spin and sputter. Yes, we all know that launching your startup, getting funding, and attracting those first few customers all begins with a Minimum Viable Product (or, MVP), but how do you even create it? Here’s how!

Creating a Great Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Begins with a Focus on Building Core Features

Your MVP should be a simplified version of your product — one that provides just enough functionality to attract early adopters (aka, eager customers!) and validate your idea.

Step 1: Identify the Problem

Before deep-diving into development, you need to clearly define the problem your product will solve. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a product in the first place? Your product should help your target audience achieve a clear and specific goal by solving a core problem.

What is your customer’s core issue? Knowing this through and through will help guide your decisions and keep you focused on what’s essential — so you can ditch what is not.

Step 2: Define the Solution

Next, your task is to outline the core features of your product that directly address or solve the problem you identified for your customers. These should be the most critical functionalities your customers NEED, not everything on their wishlist or yours. Think of these as the structural building blocks of your MVP — without them, it would all fall apart.

Step 3: Prioritize Features

Now, list all the potential features you picture for your product. At this point, you can make a wishlist of all the nice-to-have’s as well. Then, prioritize them based on their importance AND impact — what is crucial to the product’s success as well as your customer’s? Start with the top three essential features that are non-negotiable for solving your customer’s problem, and begin there.

Step 4: Build the MVP

Now it’s time to get to building! Develop your product with the minimum set of features needed to solve the main problem. Get as scrappy as you need to, and keep it simple and functional.

Remember, your MVP is not about perfection — it’s about getting a working product into the hands of users (and investors!) as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Step 5: Test and Iterate

Once that MVP is primed and ready, launch it to a small group of early adopters. Get their feedback, analyze their results, and get to work on making the necessary improvements. This process of testing, iterating, and refining will help you perfect your product based on REAL user insights!

Homework: List Your Top 3 Core Features

Take a moment to list out the top three core features your MVP must have. Ask yourself, “What are the most critical functionalities my customers need to solve their problem?”

Share your top three features in the comments below! Let’s discuss and refine your ideas together. Remember, the goal is to launch quickly, gather feedback, and iterate based on real user insights.

There is No Such Thing as a Perfect MVP

Your MVP doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to work well enough to attract early users and provide valuable feedback. Embrace the process, and you’ll be on your way to creating a product that truly resonates with your audience.

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