Can your MVP really be as simple as a landing page? It’s easy to overthink this in the early stages of product development. I’ve done it too.
MVP detractors often talk about building the “Minimum Viable Experience” or the “Maximum Viable Product.” Their focus is often on how to delight customers and what features to include. And that’s really important — if you’ve got a product people actually want.
Here’s where they go wrong: They fail to get validated learning about high risk assumptions they’ve made. (Sadly, many of the prospective customers they talk to only want to be nice, and lie through their teeth about paying for it.)
As a result, those doomed products take months or years to fail spectacularly. That “Most Ridiculous Mistake” could have been a “Minimum Viable Product” that failed fast.
Yet failure is not the goal. It’s just that most products do fail. So you should find out if that’s true for your product for the least cost.
Here’s when an MVP landing page can help you do that:
- Very early, when your product is just an idea
- When you have several product ideas, but aren’t sure which one to focus on
- When people are likely to engage with your product online
MVP Landing Pages for Early Product Ideas
You start making assumptions about your product idea from the moment you think of it. So before you spend time or money on that idea you need to test your riskiest assumption in the least risky way.
Your first MVP doesn’t have to be a real product. I think a lot of people get stuck on the idea that a minimum viable product is an actual real-world product. But really, it should be a model of your product designed to test a very specific hypothesis in a controlled environment — a product science experiment!
And MVP landing pages make a great lab.
In this “lab” your MVP can’t harm your reputation or give your customers the wrong features. What actually happens is that by the time you’re ready to build your marketable product, you’ll have so much scientifically validated confidence, that you’ll be able to justify building a wonderful product for your first release.
MVP landing pages let you build an experimental product model quickly that can elicit real world customer behavior. With minimal investment of time and money you can burn through several iterations of your product idea as you learn what works and what doesn’t. Rapid testing with landing pages can provide the data you need to iterate towards a really valuable business proposition.When Your MVP Should Be a Landing Page by Brian Lehmer