Let’s look at some minimum viable product examples that are cheap and easy to build.  Each of these is built-out just  enough to be called an MVP.  That’s because an MVP is really just an experiment to test your riskiest assumptions for the least waste.   If you’ve got an idea, try to get over the semantics and check them out!

Example 1: Landing Page Smoke Test

Hypothesis:

If we advertise to our target market, we’ll get visitors to engage with us.

Minimum Viable Product Example

Click on this fake page to get the concierge offer.

Minimum Viable Product:

Make a fake product website with a strong value proposition and advertise it.  Put Google Analytics and a free trial of ClickTales on it.  Use Analytics to learn where they’re coming from and whether they are engaged.  Use ClickTales to find out what they’re engaged with.

The page you “build” doesn’t actually have to do anything.  In fact you can  make the entire thing in Photoshop.  Plopping your “web-optimized” (haha) mockup into a real HTML page is far less expensive than building something functional.  If you’ve got marketing and design chops it’ll be just next to free.  If using a giant image as your web page makes you concerned about speed, try the combo of Google PageSpeed and Cloudflare (hint: Dreamhost makes this super easy).

No design or marketing skills?  Try TurnMVP’s minimum viable product landing page template.  It’s fast loading, looks professional, and takes the guesswork out of writing a value proposition.

SnappyNoodle is a good example of an MVP just like this.  Since the service is telephone-based, the modal gives you a number you can call to get the concierge service.

Why it’s Good:

It’s fast to set up, cheap, and you can test your earliest assumptions with it.  By testing your value proposition, you can experiment with a big product vision for next to nothing.  Learn whether anyone cares.  Talk to potential customers.  Use that information to build something great that people want at your price point.

 

Example 2: New Feature Button Test

Hypothesis:

If people care about our idea, they’ll click on our button.

Minimum Viable Product Example 2

The orange tab looks real, but it’s being used to measure interest in “Package Deals”

Minimum Viable Product:

Create a button or a link to your new product feature or service.  If your website gets a lot of visitors you’ll probably want to show the button to a subset of your visitors.  On a website that gets few visitors you can just get it out there for everyone until you’ve collected enough click data to be confident.

You’ll need a way to track clicks for it.  And I recommend measuring customer interest and collecting qualitative feedback if you can.  One way to do this is to have the button open a brief survey.

If you’re like me, you don’t want your survey to be taken on another site, completely out of the context of the conversion funnel.  In fact,  that’s why I built TurnMVP.  It lets you turn buttons into minimum viable product surveys that open in a modal on your web page.

In the example image, a colleague of mine is testing his idea for “Package Deals” by tracking clicks and collecting feedback using TurnMVP.

Why it’s Good:

Not only is it cheap and easy to set up, but it can also save you tens of thousands in development costs.  By running a series of button experiments you can find out which ideas will gain the most traction.

 

Example 3: Email Test

Hypothesis:

If people are interested in our idea they’ll engage with our email.

Minimum Viable Product Example 3

Experiment by promoting your idea in email

Minimum Viable Product:

Mockup some examples of what your product or feature will look like.  Then email them to a segment of your audience.  Measure click through rate.  Ask them about their interest in the idea.  Embed a survey in the email.

You’ll need a good email open rate and ctr baseline so you can compare the response to what you usually get.

This is an email I got from SurveyMonkey.  Maybe SurveyMonkey didn’t call  it a minimum viable product.  But in the process they must have validated their assumptions that customers cared about this problem.

Why it’s Good:

If you’re lean, this experiment can be run in under an hour.  All it has to do is communicate the biggest problems your product vision solves.  It requires zero engineering, and leverages your existing software and services.   Did I mention it was fast?

 

A Word About Hypotheses

Whatever you do, don’t experiment just to see what happens.  If you do, you’ll always succeed at seeing what happens.

That means you’ll need a better hypothesis than I give in my examples above.  Make sure your hypothesis can be disproved.  Make it quantifiable.  Draw some lines in the sand so you can benchmark your results against your goals.

 

What do you think?

Can you think of some other good examples of minimum viable products?

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