How to build a MVP?

If you want to launch a tech startup, you’re gonna have to work on your MVP or Minimal Viable Product.

There’s a meme I really enjoy that Michael Seibel at YC shared, and that sums up really well what a MVP should be 👇

I see too many people being scared to launch a product that is “not ready” but here’s the truth:

Your product will never be ready.

I remember when I got started, I was so ashamed about our product that I didn’t want to show it to the world.

But eventually, I realized that the faster you launch, the easier it will be for you to build something people want.

You want people to test and give you feedback and, more importantly, understand what they will pay for or not.

And no market research or survey will ever tell you that.

You gotta go out there and test it.

Because you only learn about users when you see how they use your product.

Don’t worry about people not being willing to talk to you ever again.

If people talk to you, it’s because they are early adopters with a real problem, so they're used to testing tools like these.

And, of course, it’s not all sunshine and roses.

Coming back to lemlist, there were times when some people didn’t like the product at all and thought it was shit.

And to be honest, they were right…

But that’s how it got better.

And eventually, these people came back, sometimes years later.

You wouldn’t believe the number of messages I’ve received from people who tried lemlist when we started and came back later finding that the product has dramatically improved.

Now comes the million-dollar question.

How do you build your MVP?

A successful MVP, in my opinion, comes with 3 basic rules:

1- It should appeal to a small set of users.

If you haven’t watched my video on how to find a niche, make sure to do it 👇

2- It should be very fast to build (weeks, not months) - you want people to test it as soon as possible.

3- It should have a unique differentiating feature - you want to validate that you’ve spotted the right problem and that people are willing to pay for it.

I created a Notion document you can steal, the goal is to split your MVP document into 4 parts.

I’ll use lemwarm as an example throughout.

One, you want to remember what problem you’re solving.

Then you need to know who you’re solving this for.

As I mentioned you need to choose your target as precisely as possible so you know your MVP will fit their needs.

Then comes the feature set.

Here you want to estimate how long each feature will take to build.

And finally you want only to select the key features for the MVP.

I would always try to keep a feature set that can be done in less than 2 weeks. If less even better!

Now that you know why you must ship fast and how to find the right feature set, you have several options to get started.

1- You know how to code or have a technical co-founder.

If we take lemwarm, for example, we identified a pain point in the community and 2 weeks later we had the MVP.

Because the need was so intense, it didn’t really matter how evolved the product was.

And that’s exactly why you need to build an MVP quickly.

Because it’s the only way to know if you’re solving a problem that’s important enough for people to pay.

2- You don’t know how to code and want to use no-code tools.

For example, the startup Comet was built using only Airtable, Memberstack and Bubble, two no-code tools. Their startup made $3M in ARR before actually hiring their first developer.

Flexiple also crossed $3M ARR with a no-code combo of Unicorn Platform, Airtable, Bubble, and Webflow.

3- You don’t know how to code and want to use a dev shop or some freelancers?

That’s usually not something people would recommend, as it can go wrong in many ways.

But in my opinion, it can also work if you find the right person and have the right budget.

Spencer is one of our community members.

And he successfully built a business worth $2,000,000 leveraging a dev shop offshore.

Typically I would either find people who’ve worked with dev shops in the past or that can be recommended.

Now that you know how to build your MVP - it’s time to move to the next phase and talk about how to find the right price so you don’t miss out on acquiring more customers 🔥

You will be able to find all the important parts of this article, including unique checklists and resources, in this notion document: How to build an MVP?

Every week I’ll publish new articles on how to build and grow a B2B business that generates millions of dollars.

Without any BS and giving you practical templates that you can steal.

Peace, love, and profit

G. ✌️