How to create an minimum viable product with very little money

Hello there, Mike Grabham here and welcome to my basement. Which is a wine cellar as well. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a big fan of wine. I’m creating a video series and a consultancy service around creating products. Marketing products and building new products. I’ve been doing this for 20 years. Made some good products, made some bad products. But over the last say, four, five, six years, I’ve spent a lot of time with entrepreneurs talking about their products, you know, the good and the bad about them, giving them feedback, etc. So yeah, I’ve learned a lot.

So you know, I’m creating this series about what is an MVP and do I have to play a sport to get one? Here we go. There’s really a goal of what you want to do as quickly and as cheaply as possible. And that is see if customers are willing to pay for your product and is there enough customers willing to pay for the product to make it a real business. That’s really the ultimate goal. You need to figure those two things out as quickly as possible. Fail fast or move forward fast.

So what we’re doing here is create MVP which is the Minimal Viable Product for the customer. Let’s create that with the least amount of money in the least amount of time as possible. Here’s how we do that. There’s basically three types of products. There’s a software services based product, like, web-based product. There’s an app-based product, and there’s basically a hardware product. Most things fit in those three buckets.

So let’s start with the software product. How do we test that, how do we get customer feedback as quickly as possible? Well, all you need to do is go to Keynote, go to PowerPoint, any number of programs, and just create a customer flow of how you solve the problem. So you can walk up to a stranger, not your friends or relatives, walk up to a stranger, and say, here’s the problem I’m solving, and this is how I’m solving it. And it’s a flow. It’s a customer flow that you can show and people understand how you’re solving it. And you can ask questions. Is it a problem you have? Is it a problem your friends have? Will you be willing to pay money for this problem? right? But you need to do that as quickly as possible. So that’s how you do it. Just go create it, you don’t have to have a designer do that, you can do it on your own. Put some color to it and get it done, you know, in again, a Minimal Viable Product.

Next is let’s say it’s an app-based product. Create some wire frames. Same concept, wire frames are just screen shots basically of the app, right? Of the app, your smartphone. So do the same thing. Create the flow, show customers, exact same thing. If you wanna go to the next level, you can use a service called Invision app, which is invisionapp.com. Great service, you can build the app so it kind of works on your phone, you could show people on your phone. It doesn’t really have a backend, it’s just screen shots, but it’s great, really simple to learn, inexpensive, I highly recommend that.

Okay let’s say your product is a hardware product. Well I got a, you know, oh my, I have to create a prototype. Well, sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. Let’s say that you know, it’s a hard product, so you touch and feel it, create it out of cardboard, Out of styrofoam, out of whatever, some material. You don’t have to have a working product. But it really helps to have something that you can see and touch. So customers can see the size of it and scope of it and just how it looks. So first things first though. Get some drawings done. Some renderings, some good drawings done of the product. And if you wanna spend a little money, you can do what you need to get some 3D renderings done, which are really helpful when you’re showing and talking to customers. But it’s dramatically cheaper than creating a prototype as you would guess. Get good drawings done, then you could walk up to customers, potential customers and say, here’s my problem, here’s how I’m solving it. Give me some feedback. So that’s how you do it.

Here’s another hack that I’ve used and many of my friends have used, and that is, if you have good drawings of the hard product, put an ad on Facebook and test it. Doesn’t have to be a viable product in your hands right now. Put it on Facebook, test to see if it sells, put the feature sets down, start testing it. Get some feedback from, will people click on the ad? Will a lot of people click on the ad? Send them to a one page website. Collect their email address. So that’s a great way to do it and test a lot of things.

The reason I’m doing this, is because I want to help people. I want to save them time, I want to save them money, I want to reduce the aggravation of creating new products, and you know what? I’ll probably save a few marriages along the way. So please share this on all your social media channels. Facebook, on LinkedIn, on YouTube, on Instagram, wherever it may be. Go ahead and share it with all your friends. So we can save some people some time and some money and a few marriages. Thanks a lot and have an amazing day.

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