What are the Types of Minimum Viable Products?

When building your Software Development plan, we cover how a Minimum Viable Product is the 3rd step in your strategy to build a remarkable product and a remarkable business.

The types of MVP are commonly classified into two main groups, each of them meant for a particular goal:

  • Low-fidelity: The goal is to know your future customer. It answers the question:
    • Is there a problem to solve?
  • High-fidelity: The main goal is to Get early adopters to test your pricing and marketing strategy. It answers the questions:
    • How much money is my customers willing to pay?
    • How many are out there interested in my product?

So, your need must be aligned with the MVP type you pick.

Low-fidelity MVP

A low-fidelity MVP is about checking the availability of customers at a large scale that is willing to purchase the service or product that you are going to offer.

Or eventually check the potential users or companies that are willing to solve their problem by buying your product. Sometimes, even an introductory video or a survey is enough to understand your future customer or to drive them to you. The very famous example of Dropbox demonstrated just this approach.

Some techniques you wouldn’t recognize as MVPs, but they can be, in fact, a significant form of feedback gathering.

Here’s a list of common Low-fidelity MVPs types:

Blogs

Blogging is a vital source for getting information about the product at the pre-launch stage. In blogs, you can expose the product in detail. Based on the gathered feedback, you can make precise corrections or changes in the product before launching or in its interactions.

Forums/communities

These are among the most viable platforms to discuss with the public and get information about the product. People talk freely and share their experiences and feedback openly. The forums provide information about existing problems and their solutions.

Surveys/questionnaires

Public surveys and specific questionnaires are the sources of information you can collect about your product or service.

Explainer videos

Videos present and involve the public more actively. You can use informative videos and get effective reviews from prospective customers that will help you decide on further features for your product. Remember the dropbox example?

Mockups/slides

These structural models are helpful for study purposes and testing but also to gather feedback. Think about your prototype. Isn’t it a low-fidelity MVP?

Decks/presentations

Presentations used to gather feedback about your product.

High-fidelity MVP

If you’re aiming for a High-fidelity MVP, you have pretty much concluded that there is a need for your product and that customers are willing to pay for it.

You might even have a pre-order book and at least a couple of customers lining up with the intent to purchase.

You know this from the evidence of building prototypes and low-fidelity, low-cost MVPs and from the feedback you gathered before.

If you haven’t done it, the chances you’ll get burned are high.  Please go and read our article on why most companies (and consequently products) fail.

If you did your homework, then High-fidelity MVPs are for you.

The primary purpose of the high-fidelity MVP is to check whether the product can solve the problems that your customers face.

The high-fidelity MVPs require more analysis and effort; however, they provide you with way more practical data to help you move forward with product development.

They’re primarily divided into four sub-types:

Wizard of Oz, also called “Concierge”

This type of product uses a human to mimic the basics of the product. By doing so,

you only built the User Interface and have the backend handled manually (or not

handled at all). Why do it like this ? for cost-efficiency reasons.

Audience Builder

You can create an ecosystem of content around your product to build your user base or audience and see if you get traction. If you do, you can then use several low-fidelity types of MVP to test your products on that customer base with your product or idea.

Pre-Order

This is about building a pre-order book, without having any product to show. Crowdfunding campaigns based on a pre-booking of orders of any product, service, or idea can be used to test the market. If you get into a campaign that doesn’t get traction, shouldn’t it make you think about pivoting your idea? Or at least analyze why it didn’t go as far as you’d expect it?

If, on the other hand, you have a Pre-Order list, you’re all set to build the actual product.

This product is very focused on the main functionalities that will be used. It must be done right. So it can scale. This means that you build the core functionalities and nothing more, but you pick a partner to do it in the best way possible because this is the seed of your project, and you need a good quality seed for your product to grow strong.

Conclusion

It would be best if you considered applying different types of MVP for different areas of your development plan.

By doing so, you can create different types of MVP to fine-tune your strategy and pivot if needed. When you feel confident that you have a home run, you go for the Featured MVP to start building your product.