Organizations that take the MVP route are able to launch their product with a handful of important features – quickly and cost-effectively. However, many get stuck not knowing what to do after MVP. As they try to incorporate all the learning post MVP, they scale their business without realizing that the risks outweigh the benefits. They don’t realize that while a Minimum Marketable Product is good to learn about customer preferences, it is also important to drive efforts towards building a Minimum Loveable Product or MLP that a handful of customers love. After all, as Sam Altman puts it, “It’s better to build something that a small number of users love, than a large number of users like.”
Although launching an MVP can help you in evaluating the need for your product in the market, how do you go about developing version 2.0 of your product? How do you ensure your product sells in the real world? How do you ensure your audience loves your product? How do you really “define” the version 2.0?
Read on to find out!
Defining version 2.0
Once you are sure your product is viable, it’s time to make it marketable. However, if you try to grow too fast, without gathering feedback from your customers, or without driving efforts towards improving performance and ensuring scalability, there is a high likelihood that your product will fail in the real world.
Since there is a lot going on beyond the functional & technical aspects of the product at this stage, you need to transition from a project-based approach to a more product-based approach. Not only do you have to operationalize your business, you also have to invest in a core team who will take care of the functional areas of your product so your business can thrive and grow. You also have to demonstrate to prospective investors, the value your product will bring to your customers
For success, here’s what you need to do to define version 2.0 of your product:
Gather feedback and data
The first step after your MVP is released to the market is to start gathering feedback and data. The experience your customers have with your MVP will lay the foundation of what features you need to build on as the next step. Your customers will be your biggest critics, and their decisions will influence your development decisions the most. When customers use your MVP, there will be some features that instantly strike a chord, but also some which do not drive value. It is through their feedback that you can get the real picture of that has worked with your customers, and what hasn’t.
Gather customer feedback based on their experience with the product. Document all of their suggestions in one place, including interview excerpts, feature requests, and problems (or opportunities), so teams have a ready reference to the feedback as and when they need it. Use modern tracking applications to prioritize feedback and deliver the experience customers want. Don’t limit customer feedback to just the interface design; use it for more valuable aspects like product feature ideation and refinement.
Ensure continuous estimation
When you set out to receive feedback from your customers, you will most likely end up with a huge backlog of suggestions and ideas. Accommodating major changes can be quite challenging, especially from the technical perspective. Therefore, it is important to prioritize suggestions, and estimate the effort (and cost) that will be required to incorporate each of the ideas. Make sure to identify top features, and pair them with buying personas. Always make it a point to drive collective collaboration and build your product in an incremental manner. Keep refining initial pricing levels to optimize conversions and ROI.
Incorporate the (desired and required) features into the product
Any MVP is built based on your understanding of the needs of your customer. However, to build version 2.0, you need to take customers’ feedback and inputs into account and build your product such that it functions as they would like it to function. Taking customer inputs and feedback seriously is the only way you can ensure your product doesn’t veer along unexpected paths. Enlist all the features or improvements that have been suggested; break them down into sprints or user stories, and develop the most important features in every sprint.
Work on improving performance
It doesn’t take a lot of time for your customers to shift from your product to your competitor’s. Performance should always be your priority; but many startups get overwhelmed with a sudden surge in customers. If you do not have a plan in place to cater to an increasing pool of users, you will end up losing the ones you have. Therefore, scalability is something you need to be very serious about while defining version 2.0 of your product.
Make improving performance the main goal at every stage; constantly incorporate customer feedback into the product in the form of features and address the needs of your existing customers. Make sure you are ready to handle full-fledged traffic after the release of the product in the real world. This will not only help you to improve the experience your customers have with the version 2.0 of your product, it will also help in providing the most value.
Make the product bug-free
In a world where thousands of products get launched every day, providing a high-quality, bug-free product is a requisite for business success. Any issue with your product, and you can lose your customers – with the blink of an eye. While defining version 2.0 of your product, it is important you incorporate appropriate testing procedures and quality standards to make your product bug-free. Make use of continuous testing, and test automation suites to make sure your product meets the needs of your larger audience. Ensure your product meets the specified quality requirements across different scenarios, loads, and users.
Put the right foot forward
You can begin your 2.0 journey by strategizing a roadmap for launching your product into the real world. Understand why you are developing the product, for which users, in which market, and with which features. Correspondingly prioritize your feature set and your pricing model you think will resonate with your target audience. Don’t be rigid about clinging to your understanding of customer needs; be open to what your customers say and incorporate their feedback into the product for better success. Bon voyage!
Prashant loves technology. While this passion helped him top his Masters class at IIT, he wanted to ensure his contribution remains “applied” rather than “theoretical”. So after working on a few patented technologies, he got an MBA and took up a Practice Head role. This allowed him to leverage technology and expertise, to craft and deliver award-winning software products and solutions. His key areas of interest are analytics and software engineering. He is very excited by the convergence of technologies such as social, mobile, and IoT, and how they are allowing us to redefine the way business is done.