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3 Awesome Minimum Viable Products (MVPs)

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What are the best MPVs of all time? I've absolutely no idea... but Buffer, Dropbox and Zappos are three of my favourites. Grab your FREE Lean Startup Cheat Sheet: http://www.developmentthatpays.com/cheatsheets/the-lean-startup 0:15 - Ground rules for a perfect MVP 1:00 - Buffer's MVP 1:58 - Dropbox's MVP 3:23 - Zappos' MVP LINKS - Steven Cohn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/death-minimum-viable-product-steven-cohn - Buffer: https://blog.bufferapp.com/idea-to-paying-customers-in-7-weeks-how-we-did-it - Dropbox: http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/19/dropbox-minimal-viable-product/ - Zappos: http://www.bullethq.com/blog/lean-startup-zappos-how-zappos-validated-their-business-model-with-lean/ → SUBSCRIBE for a NEW EPISODE every WEDNESDAY: http://www.DevelopmentThatPays.com/-/subscribe Music: 260809 Funky Nurykabe: ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/29186 ------------------- 35. 3 Awesome Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) Today, we're going to take a look at three of my favourite examples of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs). Before diving in. let's establish some ground rules for a "proper" MVP It's got to be Minimal It's got to be Viable And it's got to be a Prod... Actually No, it does not need to be a Product. (I'll be showing you a great example of a "non-product" in a minute or two.) Some have argued that the word "Product" in MVP is unhelpful. Steven Cohn has made a strong case for the word "Experiment". I agree. But for now let's stick with the "P" and temporarily re-define it to.... Pre-meditated. Meaning that the MVP must be a deliberate attempt to learn about the market. This rules out cases that look like MVPs in retrospect, but were really full products that - to everyone's surprise - developed into something big. Let's get going. No. 3 - Buffer ------ Buffer is a application that makes it easy to share content on social media. Here's what they put on the their site. A test, certainly. But it falls short of an MVP in my opinion. Their next test was better. They slotted this page in-between the other two pages. Now visitors to the website are not just saying "This is interesting" They're saying "I want to BUY this". Okay, there's nowhere to input your credit card details. But anyone who got this far was at least prepared to think about parting with their money. As co-founder Joel Gascoigne said: "After this result, I didn’t hesitate to start building the first minimal version of the real, functioning product." Minimal - certainly Viable - yes Pre-mediated - check Buffer's current valuation is something close to $400 million No. 2 - Dropbox ---- Dropbox, as I'm sure you know, is a file synchronisation service. Edit a file on your desktop... ... and seconds later its updated on all of your other devices. Rewind to the early days. The team - entirely composed of techies - had the basic synchronisation working. That was the easy bit. The hard bit was going to be to achieve the same trick on pretty well every platform: Mac, Windows, iPhone, etc. Given that the team was all techies, you'd have put money on them diving straight in. But CEO Drew Houston did something surprising. He made a video. The video - just three minutes long - demonstrated the synch process end to end. But it was more than just a demo: it was full of techie in-jokes... designed to appeal to early adopters. It worked like a charm In Drew's words: “It drove hundreds of thousands of people to the website. Our beta waiting list went from 5,000 people to 75,000 people literally overnight. It totally blew us away.” Minimal - Yes Viable - Not a product that could be used, but a product that could be demonstrated. Pre-Meditated - Yes Dropbox went on to do quite well. It's current value stands between $5 and $10 BILLION. No. 1 - Zappos ---- It's 1999. Co-founder Nick Swinmurn wanted to build an online store for shoes. But would people use it Here's how he went about finding out. He popped down to lis local shoe shops he went into the shops and... ... I sh!t you not... he PHOTOGRAPHED PAIRS OF SHOES! The photos were uploaded to a super-simple website. If someone clicked on the button to buy a pair Nick would pop down to the store and... BUY THE SHOES! Zero infrastructure. Zero inventory. Minimal - definitely Viable - This time it's not even up for discussion. Most definitely: real customers; real money changing hands; real shoes! Pre-meditated Check. Zappos went on to do quite well: it was acquired by Amazon in 2009 for a cool $1.2 billion. Your thoughts, please! ---- Buffer, Dropbox and Zappos. Three of my favourite MVPs. What do you think of my choices Any you disagree with Let me know in the comments. And I'd also like to he https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPJoq_QVsY4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjCCS3DxZRo
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Text Comments (78)
Gels_YT (23 days ago)
great video thank you soo much I learned a lot and I could use this for my documentation in school. Am I allowed? I hope so thanks :)
Development That Pays (14 days ago)
Gels_YT (22 days ago)
oh my god hahaha thanks for replying ASAP :D and thanks for letting me. Love your voice btw :D keep it up :)
Development That Pays (22 days ago)
Sure - go ahead! Hope it's a great success. 👍
David Mitchell (1 month ago)
I'd recommend you to review another topics -https://axisbits.com/blog/Post-Launch-MVP-Activities-What-You-Must-do-Within-Next-12-Weeks -https://medium.com/@michakrzton/10-quick-tips-for-creating-successful-mvp-minimum-viable-product-14b23b715016 -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZYcnTrMoBQ"
Development That Pays (1 month ago)
Great links - thank you for sharing. Particularly liked the "10 quick tips" article.
Kevin Ngaleu (5 months ago)
Fake it until you make it! great content! just discover
Development That Pays (4 months ago)
Glad you liked it!
Kevin Ngaleu (5 months ago)
Fake it until you make it! great content! just discover
Development That Pays (5 months ago)
Jemina Koistinen (6 months ago)
If the project is not completed and useless to the client, no one will be interested in a complex architecture, excellent productivity, or extensive functions. You need to implement the most useful features inexpensively and quickly. Check this company out, they can help you in your MVP startup development: https://axisbits.com/mvp-startup-development
Anwar Jumabhoy (9 months ago)
Great job at explaining MVP.
Development That Pays (9 months ago)
Anwar Jumabhoy - Thank you - glad you liked it!
Juwon Jay Adeyemi (10 months ago)
Very informative video, thank you very much for sharing. Question: Would you consider a prototype (for an app) that enables user-testing to gather feedback to be a MVP? I am currently developing one, not just to bring my idea to life, but to provide the target audience with the most important features/functions, and get their feedback to guide future development Thank you
Development That Pays (10 months ago)
You are most welcome. Would love to hear how your MVP works out. Good luck!
Juwon Jay Adeyemi (10 months ago)
Yes yes yes! I understand what you're saying. Thank you very much for your input
Development That Pays (10 months ago)
Great, great question: think I need to plan a video on this very subject! For me, the key difference between a prototype and an MVP... is whether or not the customer thinks/knows it's a prototype. If you have to do any explaining ("this might not work properly" or "be careful not to click this button") then you're in prototype territory. What you describe - "provide the target audience with the most important features/function" - sounds to me like an MVP. It's okay to be minimal... but it's important to be "complete". Does that make sense?
Tarık Çayır (11 months ago)
Awesome examples!
Development That Pays (11 months ago)
Thank you!
David Citron (1 year ago)
love this video, thank you - one small error is the buffer valuation but I can see where you made the mix up ... this popped us a different Buffer (Michael Buffer ring announcer) on a google search"Consequently, Buffer has earned in excess of $400 million with the license for his trademark. By the late 1980s, Buffer was the exclusive ring announcer for all bouts in Donald Trump-owned casinos"..... still all your points hold strong - buffer seem to be valued around the 60m mark in 2016 but i can't verify that...all side points...love your examples especially Zappos and the Buffer click through
Rene Bastijans (1 year ago)
A little late to the game but... how about doing a Kickstarter campaign as your MVP? Technically, you don't have to build anything, perhaps a short video of some ppt slides will do, and any backers have to put in real money to back your project. Looks pretty minimal (ppt animation video), viable (pay money to back the project) and pre-meditated (learn about if people are willing to spend money on your idea) to me. Thoughts?
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
You're right! That's the PERFECT way to prove a concept. I'll need to give that some serious thought!
B Sharma (1 year ago)
Remove those distracting sounds...
B Sharma (1 year ago)
BTW Great content! Look forward to hearing more from you...
B Sharma (1 year ago)
No the background sounds when you say something.... But looks like you removed them. They were very distracting while listening. thanks.
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
+BIJAYA HUMAGAIN - you mean my voice? :)
Patrick Enewally (1 year ago)
Drew Houstons video was NOT necessarily an MVP. It was a pre laucnh seller demo video. Get the facts right. A minimal viable product is retarded. Just make what you're set out to make and see if there is commercial intent/demand for it by using a beta test. THAT IS AN MVP. Then pre launch it after. Don't let these little acronyms confuse you guys. It's not that complicated
sawyeand000 (1 year ago)
but if you test it first, you know for a fact that customers will buy it, not just "pretty sure"
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
The key words here are "just" and "product". It can be very expensive to "just make" a product. Which begs the question: can you have an MVP that isn't a product? - "No", if the "P" of the abbreviation - it's not an acronym :) - it taken literally to mean "Product". - "Possibly", if you (re)define MVP as something that provides "Validated Learning". The Dropbox MVP wasn't a product. but I'd argue that it did provide validated learning. One final point: I'm yet to be convinced that Buffer's MVP really was an MVP.
Jon Searle (1 year ago)
Minimal Viable "Proof?"
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
I like it! Wonder if that could be trade-marked...
Thelma Scarborough (1 year ago)
I have a lot of file, I have a friend that works with these file too. could we both works on these file together? Would she be able to see my correction also?
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
You mean in Dropbox? I don't think too people can work on the same file at the same time. This might be useful for you: https://www.dropbox.com/help/syncing-uploads/conflicted-copy
Yeezer Mac (1 year ago)
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
+Yeezer Mac - I knoow. Embarrassassing.
Richard Randolph (1 year ago)
I'm not sure I'm right but it seems to me that the original iPad 1 was actually an MVP for introducing a brand new product category. When you compare its very sparse feature set with the iPad 2, it seems like the 1 was introduced just to gauge market reception.
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
Ah interesting. I'm not familiar with the story of the first iPad. I know there were plenty of prototypes... but I wonder if Apple did anything between "prototypes" and "iPad Launch" that could be considered an MVP.
Drew (1 year ago)
Great video!
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
xwempin - Thank you!
Amine Gourram (1 year ago)
Great video! I have a question that makes me confused: Should I start with a survey and ask people if they like it, or start directly with something like the Dropbox video?
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
It's a great question. Personally, I would start with a survey. But I'd be careful about interpreting the result: what people SAY and what people DO can be very different things. That's a key strength on an MVP: it gets to actual behaviour. Does that make sense?
KM S (1 year ago)
Great vdo really help me understand more about MVP. Thank you so much!
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
Glad you liked it. Do you have a favourite MVP!
Albee Trig (1 year ago)
Good video mate! Why don't you think surveys and such don't fall into MVPs? Im guessing because the customer doesn't have to commit money therefore its not a realistic experiment. What do you think?
sawyeand000 (1 year ago)
that's called a customer segment, bud
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
Awesome question. The short answer is to do with the difference between what people SAY, and what people DO. The long answer... may require another video! Stay tuned!
Dunrie Greiling (1 year ago)
Great video and great sound quality, too. Sorry to point out there's a typo at 0:28 - "minimimal" should be "minimal".
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
Thanks for noticing the sound quality (the sound editing takes an age!) And thanks for pointing out the typo: seems I ADDED letters to a word that's supposed to be MINIMAL :)
Kambiz Doonboli (1 year ago)
Nice video. This is now featured on PencilTree
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
+Kambiz - Thank than you. And thanks for sharing!
vasto lordo (1 year ago)
nice video. I was wondering the whole day if the mvp had to be an actual product and you gave the answer in the first 50 seconds. Thank you very much!
vasto lordo (1 year ago)
My favourite one gotta be the dropbox one it was so simple and genuine. :) thanks for commenting back
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
+vasto lordo - glad you liked it! Do you have a favourite MVP?
Ahmad channel (1 year ago)
fantastic video
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
Thank you! Do you have a favourite Minimum Viable Product?
Aleš Mráz (1 year ago)
May I ask what program (edit) is it? Thank :)
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
I record sound in Audacity, the "visuals" in Keynote - lots of Magic Move! - and it's edited together in Final Cut Pro.
Aleš Mráz (1 year ago)
Development That Pays yes!
Development That Pays (1 year ago)
Do you mean the program(s) to create end the video?
Sebastian Maciejak (2 years ago)
I was shocked when I saw such a low number of follwers - it means surly you'll get them very soon. The quality of the video and substantive content. Great job!
TheBritishAreComing (1 month ago)
This is a MVP
Ramzani Abd Raub (9 months ago)
I believe he speak a bit too fast...
Development That Pays (2 years ago)
That's very kind of you to say so. Many thanks!
Doug McDavid (2 years ago)
Awesome - A Minimal Video Presentation! Very timely for an international group of mates at work at the moment.
Development That Pays (2 years ago)
"Minimum Video Presentation" Like it! :) Many thanks for your comment - much appreciated!
Gasser Hassan (2 years ago)
Great video thank you, but I didn't get the drop box part can you explain it what did drew do ?
Nicoleise (7 months ago)
It's sometimes easier to understand the concept, if you explain what they did not do. As in; what was the point. :) In some examples, it's obvious in both ways, but in the more trickier ones like DropBox, looking at what they didn't do (at the time) is maybe simpler. BUFFER - Didn't build a product, but rather gave people a buy button to their "idea" and monitored if enough people wanted to buy. When they had seen the interest they'd like, they started building the product, since they now knew it was in demand. ZAPPOS - Didn't build a webshop framework, didn't have to look at warehousing, supplier contracts, negotiations, insurance, credit, etc. Instead, he piggybacked existing stores, verfied demand and then started setting up. As a bonus, he would be able to negotiate much better with suppliers since he had proven sales numbers. This could reduce his costs in storage, insurance and shipping, and even product purchase price and thus considerably increase his margins. DROPBOX - Didn't build a website, product information, marketing, but rather just showed what they had in a simple and effective way. Once their simple (cheap) demo showed proof of interest, the expense in website, marketing, etc. was much more justified, and like with ZAPPOS they could even use it to move quicker from early adopters to actual users; actual users are more likely to get onboard with established products that other people use. So the simple sentence "75,000 happy users so far" could have accellerated their growth in the mainstream market considerably, vs. "Hey, we're new but we think you'll like this". They would also have gained insights and data into which aspects of their service appealed the most, so that they could market these selling points specifically right from the get go, rather than risk a normal marketing campaign "missing the bullseye" as is so often the case when something is a whole new category of product, and noone really understands wherein the value lies yet.
Gasser Hassan (2 years ago)
+Development That Pays yeah thanks a lot
Development That Pays (2 years ago)
All three MVPs here are different in the approach taken: BUFFER - They didn't build anything. All they did was see if people would like the idea enough to click on a "Buy" button. The MVP might be described as a FEATURE FAKE. ZAPPOS - A fully working - albeit non-automated - system. This type of MVP is often called a WIZARD OF OZ MVP DROPBOX - They had a working prototype (the team could share and synchronise the files between their own computers). So the MVP in this case was the DEMONSTRATION of the working prototype. Although people couldn't USE IT, the video demonstration was good enough for people to understand the VALUE of being able to synchronise files. Does that clarify it for you?
Tubitus (2 years ago)
Thanks you very much
Development That Pays (2 years ago)
+Tubitus you're welcome!
Quintin Tufoua (2 years ago)
simple and easy to understand video of how MVP works. Great job!!
Development That Pays (2 years ago)
Glad you liked it! Of the MVPs featured in the video, do you have a favourite?
Warrantti (2 years ago)
great video
Development That Pays (2 years ago)
Thank you!
Michael Miller (2 years ago)
great video!
Michael Miller (2 years ago)
+Development That Pays no problem! keep it up and im sure youll gather a great following
Development That Pays (2 years ago)
Thank you!

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