NoCode is a natural choice as a technology platform for a pilot product. However, regardless of the chosen stack, after the launch of the MVP, drastically different scenarios are possible:
- The MVP does not validate the original business hypothesis. The project doesn't meet the needs of clients, not give feedback and the number of clients doesn’t grow or even falls.
- MVP is rapidly evolving. The number of clients is constantly increasing, users are discussing the project and waiting for new features to be added.
In the first, worst case, you need to fix the results and understand how to optimize the product or make a global change by exploring a new hypothesis with improved data. In the second case, you need to work out the scaling scenario. Not all NoCode services are designed for large flows of visitors, so at some point the project will need programmers. In this article, we will look at what to do in each case.
The article is the third part of a series of publications:
We tried to make sure that the materials could be read independently of each other. But if you have any questions about the concept of MVP and the tools used, please refer to the two previous articles.
What to look for at early MVP iterations
MVP is subject to the cycle "product modification – feedback – data analysis". At the end of each iteration, during the data analysis phase, we check the response of the audience. Based on this information, we modify the product or come to the conclusion that larger changes are needed, up to a correction of the product strategy.
Connect metrics and analytics to know which users use your product and how, where they come from. At the next stages, this will help to better segment the audience and conduct advertising campaigns more effectively. As a result, analytics will save time and money.
Get feedback as early as possible. So by the time the product enters the wide market, it will already be known to someone, someone will use it, there will already be user reviews. At the initial stages, customers come who are interested in novelty. The next customers will be more important stability and reliability.
Rely on numbers and customer reviews. Avoid situations in which you are completely guided by your own faith, ideas and experience. Any situation of choice lends itself to analysis. Find the optimal combination of product options using split tests. So instead of the abstract confidence of one person, you will rely on specific numerical data received from an interested audience.
Focus on customer satisfaction, not product perfection. If you're creating an unnecessary product, fine detail optimization won't help. In addition, enthusiastic early adopters of a product can use their imagination to make up for what is missing.
The Lean Startup
Read negative reviews as carefully as possible. Encourage users to leave product reviews. Especially appreciate negative reviews – this is an important feedback that saves money on testing. Any reviewer already has an idea about the product and, if you correct the situation, it is likely that he will become a faithful follower of the project, because the idea of MVP is interesting to him.
If the MVP audience grows too slowly
Check how the product funnel works. Estimate how many users you attracted from among those who were shown ads. Try other distribution strategies for the product - perhaps the product has a narrower target audience, and you have set the reach too wide, or you are promoting the MVP to an audience that is not interested in the product. For a better search for the target audience, instead of one large advertising campaign, distribute funds among several small ones.
Take a look at your competitors. Research how your competitors are using social media, marketing, advertising. This will give you a lot of additional information to analyze the target audience. The information itself should be used as important data, but not as a key to action. If someone does everything that rivals do, he will never get ahead of them.
The MVP success criterion should be a numeric metric that matches the product's objective. For example, the share of active users or consumer loyalty index, or customer lifetime value.
Leverage community support. Check out the reddit thread r/startups for a great community for researching startup business ideas. Many MVPs can be found on the ProductHunt website. Users of the site vote for projects by rating and thereby forming a product rating. Here you can also publish your MVP if it is already ready for testing.
Don't be afraid to change the strategy. 9 out of 10 startups fail. The main reason according to Fortune: “They make products no one wants.” MVP is just one of the steps on the path of knowledge accumulation. Do not succumb to difficulties. Each next MVP is created faster than the previous one. If new experiments don't bring change, it's time to pivot.
MVP scaling strategies
In the case of successful MVP development, the main thing to focus on is not adding new features, but scaling the objective function of the MVP. In this matter, as well as in the development of an MVP, strategy and planning are required, including financial.
There are several options for long-term product development, taking into account the accumulated decisions and MVP data:
- Further use of the NoCode platform.
- NoCode block customization.
- Using NoCode tools API.
- Transition to your own software solution.
A lot of NoCode services have special support programs for large customers. Usually, the more automation iterations are accounted by one service, the cheaper a separate launch costs for the company. However, everything has a limit. So, in the post "How to choose the NoCode workflow platform", we showed that, the best NoCode plans is limited to several million launches per month.
Using NoCode tools API. The difficulties of scaling NoCode services are due to the universality of their blocks. To support all the necessary, but not always used functions, additional capacities are required.
At the same time, NoCode services communicate with each other using special programming interfaces (API) and often provide access to such interfaces. Due to API, it is possible to replace NoCode nodes, the most critical in terms of load, with narrow specialized solutions, written with the support of programmers.
Transition to your own software solution. If the metrics show that the MVP on NoCode has confirmed the business hypothesis, we can create our own custom solution in advance with the support of the developers. In this case, MVP performs two functions at the same time:
- Continues to attract an audience, collect data and accept payments.
- Serves as a prototype for creating your own product.
As a result of moving the project to your own technology stack, you will also get rid of other difficulties that we described earlier: problems with outsourcing, templated tools, and dependence on NoCode platforms. However, along with them, the benefits are lost, but they will no longer be so critical if you assemble a strong development team for the project.
MVP is just the beginning of the journey. As a result of scaling, MVP evolves into what is called MMP (Minimum Marketable Product).
MVP users are a group of early adopters. When the project enters a wide market, the product should be of interest to a wider audience - users for whom novelty is not even a fan, but rather a small obstacle. Such users are more demanding, they need to be convinced that the product deserves attention.
However, the consistent approach and prioritization that underlies the MVP will allow you to continue the development of the project and at its further scaling.
Resources for further study
- Eric Ries. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
- Forbes: 90% Of Startups Fail: Here's What You Need To Know About The 10%