Check out a free preview of the full Guide for Launching Your Next Big Idea course

The "The Purpose of an MVP" Lesson is part of the full, Guide for Launching Your Next Big Idea course featured in this preview video. Here's what you'd learn in this lesson:

Paul explains the importance of producing a minimum viable product (MVP) because it defines the initial scope, reduces costs, and aids in marketing to your target audience. After brainstorming the possible tasks of an MVP, top task analysis can help identify the most crucial tasks users aim to achieve and streamline the design and development of the MVP.


Transcript from the "The Purpose of an MVP" Lesson

>> So why is it really important that you think in terms of a minimal viable product rather than, let's build everything, let's get really excited and go off in all directions, well, doing a minimal viable product will help define your scope. It prevents you from the build dragging on forever and you never actually finishing it.

Side projects are the worst for this, right? Because there's no, especially if you are used to working in a company with a boss or if you're used to working with clients, the minute you sit down to work on your own thing, right? Where there's no boss telling you what to do, and there's no client with a deadline, you tend to fiddle, right?

And you fiddle with it for ages and you keep adding things to it and it loses any kind of scope and it drags on and you never finish it, right? So it's the worst thing that can happen, so by sitting down and going right what's my MVP gonna be?

Let's define it up front before I start doing anything and then that is what I'm gonna build and I'm not gonna get distracted from that. Things will progress a lot faster as a result. So it defines your scope. It also reduces your costs. And your costs might be just your time, but let's not build a load of stuff that we don't need to, initially.

Let's just keep it nice and focused. And also having an MVP, and knowing what your MVP is, will allow you to launch faster and with a better defined target audience. And even the act of defining your MVP, is gonna allow us to run a test marketing campaign before you build anything.

So it might be, that if it'll prove whether your marketing is working or not. And it will potentially save you a lot of time and a lot hassle, if it turns out it's not working, and you haven't built [LAUGH] the whole thing only to discover it's not working, right?

So, steps in defining an MVP, or at least the steps I use in defining an MVP. First of all, I brainstorm as many possible tasks and features and things that my audience might want. I then identify which of those things most matters to the audience with top task analysis, and if you've watched my other courses, you're sick of me talking about top task analysis at this stage.

And then, we're also gonna plan our launch features. So, what is out of all of those things we could do, we're actually gonna launch with Mark.
>> Yeah, I just wanted to say, a lot of times developers, myself included, thought okay. Building the product is actually the thing, but no, building the product is the starting line.

>> Yeah.
>> And my shaping it around the customer's actual needs is the actual,
>> Yeah.
>> Journey.
>> Yeah, and what I'm trying to do here is kind of maybe condense that a little bit and go instead of going through the pain of building the product and then shaping it to the needs.

If we've taken the time to understand the needs a little bit more earlier, then it can be more shaped earlier on and save yourself a little bit of hassle. It's always gonna need to be shaped post launch, there's nothing you can do about that. But the closer you can get it out of the gate, the more time you ultimately save, but you're entirely right.

It's very easy to get seduced into this attitude of all I need to do is build it, right? And that is such a tiny part of having a successful startup or business.
>> And the other thing is, if you give a thousand people the exact same MVP, they'll probably come up with a thousand different products at the end of the day.

>> Yes.
>> So, making it real as possible.
>> Yeah.
>> Like as soon as possible.
>> Yeah
>> Becomes incredibly important.
>> And a lot of that is around being extremely focused about who you're aiming at, and the shape of that thing you're creating. And so one of the things I'm gonna talk about is, everything in you will cry, let's start coding something, you're better off doing a little bit prototyping first, because that helps give the shape to it that you need.

So, I start with brainstorming possible tasks and I just go for it, everything that I could possibly think. Only for the initial target audience, I don't go off and start thinking what other audiences would like. But in that existing target audience that we're aiming for, just as many things as I can think of.

And I look at the competition, what's there, what tasks the competitors support, all those get listed out. What they've got coming up soon that I think is relevant to my audience, that all goes on the list as well. What they've missed that I think my audience really wants, that goes on the list as well.

Also lemme refer back to that user research that I've created, what have users requested that they want? What pain, what tasks could address a pain point that the user want? What tasks could help a user complete the goals that they want? And just keep putting them many out, get them out of your head as many as you can.

And then, don't stop there. And then move across into AI, the large language model. And write something like, I'm trying to build a SAS app for that enables them to goal. So far I've identified the following tasks users will need to complete and I copy and paste my list in there.

And then I say, what other tasks should I be adding to this application to help people, right? And then it all suggests a load more and some of them you'll go, no, that's rubbish, that's silly. But there'll be some nuggets in there as well. So you add those in there, right?

Get as many in there as you can. The truth is that about 20% of any features that you create in your app, will be the 20% that something like 80% of your users are actually primarily interested in. In other words, you'll have a lot of secondary tasks that people can do that aren't the main tasks, right?

So, if we take our task list app that I keep mentioning, the primary thing you wanna do is add tasks, be able to review your tasks, and maybe organize those tasks into projects, right? But then there's secondary things like reoccurring tasks, or projects within projects, or having due dates and start dates on tasks and reoccurring tasks.

There's all kinds of secondary stuff, so you wanna know what the core ones are first. And I'm not saying the secondary ones aren't important, but you need to know what those top tasks are first. And there is a methodology for doing this, that I am beginning to come across on front end masters, like the ultimate fanboy for, and it just happens that, it's been relevant a lot recently.

Learn Straight from the Experts Who Shape the Modern Web

  • In-depth Courses
  • Industry Leading Experts
  • Learning Paths
  • Live Interactive Workshops
Get Unlimited Access Now