A Framework For Finding The Right Customers For Your MVP

Minimum viable product, how to get it and what's the right process to achieve it, let's know in this post.

Ashish Kumar

7/7/20242 min read

When you're building a Minimal Viable Product (MVP), it's easy to get caught up in the "minimal" aspect, thinking it's all about delivering the bare minimum. Or even worse, believing that every potential customer should be excited about your MVP. In reality, not every customer will be thrilled about your minimum feature set.

So, what is the true purpose of an MVP?

The Reality of an MVP

The MVP is designed to:

1. Reduce Wasted Engineering Hours: By focusing on the minimum features, you avoid creating unnecessary code that may never be used.

2. Get Early Feedback: You want to get your product into the hands of early visionary customers as soon as possible.

3. Sell the Vision: You're selling the overall vision of your product while delivering the minimum features to early adopters, not to everyone.

Why Opt for a Minimal Feature Set?

The concept of an MVP contrasts sharply with what most sales and marketing teams typically demand from development teams. Usually, there's a push for more features, often based on feedback like, "Here's what the last customer said they wanted."

However, the goal is to focus on a very small group of visionary customers who can guide your features until you find a profitable business model. Instead of explicitly asking customers about specific features, consider asking, “What is the smallest or least complicated problem that the customer will pay us to solve?”

This disciplined approach—avoiding new features until you've thoroughly explored a business model—helps counter the natural tendency to build a massive feature list to satisfy a handful of customers. Remember, most customers will not be interested in a product with minimal features. In fact, the majority will likely dislike it. So why take this approach?

Targeting Earlyvangelists

The reason is simple: you're targeting Earlyvangelists. These are your early adopters who are also internal evangelists for your product.

Who are Earlyvangelists?

Earlyvangelists are risk-taking customers who:

- Envision your startup's potential to solve a critical problem for them.

- Have the budget to buy in early.

Identifying Earlyvangelists

Here’s how you can identify Earlyvangelists:

1. They Have a Problem: They experience a problem that your product can solve.

2. Awareness: They are aware that they have this problem.

3. Active Search: They are actively searching for a solution and have a timeline for finding it.

4. Interim Solutions: The problem is painful enough that they’ve created an interim solution.

5. Budget: They have, or can quickly acquire, the budget to purchase your product.

Why Earlyvangelists Matter

Earlyvangelists buy into the vision before the product itself. They need to fall in love with the idea of your product. This vision will keep them committed through the inevitable mistakes and challenges your startup will face. Their commitment is driven by the shared vision, not just the current features of the product.

The Path to Success

By focusing on these early adopters, you can iterate quickly based on their feedback and avoid the pitfall of trying to please everyone. Remember, the goal of the MVP is not to satisfy every potential customer but to find those visionary customers who see the potential in your product and are willing to support its development from the ground up.

Building an MVP is about more than just creating a product with minimal features. It's about strategically targeting the right customers—those who believe in your vision and are willing to invest in it early. By doing so, you set the stage for your startup’s success, driven by a core group of dedicated earlyvangelists.