What Do Your Customers Want? Find Out with an MVP

Over the last few months I’ve been talking with a founder about a problem I’ve personally experienced. He’s mentioned his solution to this problem many times, and it made me curious. I had some time today and decided to dig in. The founder did a really good job of building an MVP. The product works just well enough to solve the problem—it isn’t completely built out. It requires the user to complete way more steps than is ideal. Despite this and other hurdles, the founder is on to something, and his stats prove it.

He’s been using this MVP to get feedback from customers. He then makes changes based on the feedback. He’s trying to solve the problem in a way that customers see value in. In a matter of months, he’s managed to convince a few hundred customers to pay for his MVP. These are early adopters, of course, but they demonstrate that people see value in the solution he’s created. If his product is improved significantly and some marketing muscle is applied, he could build a massive company.

This founder has done a great job of staying focused on solving his customer’s problem—as opposed to perfecting the solution he thinks they want.

Founders should be careful to not put too much time into over-engineering a solution before putting it in the hands of users. The goal is to solve the customer’s problem in the way the customer wants it solved. The only way to truly know if you’re doing that is to let them test your solution. Once your solution resonates with them, you can spend time perfecting it.