Lean Startups and Minimum Viable Product
Startups have primarily altered the way the world views businesses. So much so that ‘Silicon Valley’ is known more as an adjective used to describe a certain type of business than it is as a geographical location in the lowlands of California. But even within in the world of fast-paced startups, some businesses are re-engineering their models and missions. The result? A near transcending of the now ‘old’ model of progressive entrepreneurship found in the business models of many sun-soaked startups.
At the forefront of this innovative model is the lean startup. About lean startups, Eric Reiss said:
The Lean Startup isn’t just about how to create a more successful entrepreneurial business… it’s about what we can learn from those businesses to improve virtually everything we do… to government programs, to healthcare, and to solving the world’s great problems. It’s ultimately an answer to the question ‘How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t?
What A Lean Startup Is and Isn’t
Let’s be clear; a lean startup is a business. After all, it’s an entity that requires profit to survive. But those on the forefront of the lean startup industry are adamant that it’s much more about an innovative and refocused way of doing life than it is simply about a way of doing business. Lean startups focus on the consumer, as do all successful businesses, but it’s less about extensive business planning and more about an intensive customer focus.
Lean startups seek immediate customer feedback on product performance and customer satisfaction. The guise of the strict separation between business and customer is often removed, too, as the key to success in highly uncertain markets is often transparency and customer to corporate communication.
Minimum Viable Product is the Real MVP
Minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which user feedback is directly correlated to the finished product. For instance, when Spotify was in its developmental stages, the first stage of the interface was tested by employees and their friends and families. After input was given by the first wave of testers, the developers whittled away until it met the customer’s desires of user experience. This phase was repeated (within reason) until the product met the customer’s desires and was deemed effective for use.
The key here is in customer satisfaction. Every business and product is designed to fulfill a customer’s needs, but the lean startup puts that motto into motion with MVP. The goal is to revamp the business planning process ultimately, and save money and increase the timeliness of customer satisfaction.
The lean startup is promising for the future of business as well as for the innovative future of many industries. The model certainly seems promising and being that it focuses on the wants and needs of people, it’s definitely off to a proper start.