Build your First MVP Canvas
I think there is something deeply appealing about modern-day rags-to-riches stories.The truth is not every sophomore, who builds awebsite single-handedly in his dorm-room,becomes a billionaire. There are countless cases of entrepreneurs failingmiserably after investing a considerable part of their life and losing a fortune. The failures happen more often than triumphs.
The problem with those stories if I rephrase a para from ERIC RIES’s iconic book, THE LEAN STARTUP.
They make success seem inevitable if you have the right team, and to build up that point, they often ignore the mundane details, the boring stuffs, and the small individual choices as if they don’t matter when in fact, they matter the most.
Concisely, entrepreneurship is cool, innovative and exciting while management is dull, boring, and bland.
Any random dude out of high school can come up with a revolutionary start-up idea but how many high schoolers did you see running a successful business?
Starting a successful business takes a lot. You got to write the vision, define a target market, develop processes, approach suppliers, organize the company financially and pass many other costly and time-consuming steps. Not many entrepreneurs, with brilliant ideas, are up for this level of complication. They often get lost in the time consuming process, and eventually quit. This is where the MVP Canvas comes to action — lean start-up methodology that simplifiesthe whole process of creating a new business by using three key: agile, cost-effective and practical principles so that things flow better in the case of failure.
To teach you how to build an MVP Canvas, I created my own startup idea and decided to learn about its practicality and business value using MVP Methodology.
If you guys remember the long monologue by Shaun Parker at the restaurant in The Social Network, I have rephrase it a bit in the context to my startup idea.
Private behaviour is a relic of a time gone by,unless somehow, someway, you’ve managed to live your life like the Dalai Lama.
With private life at an all-time low and we being under public scanner all the time, security is need of the hour.
So I have this great startup idea to offer security as a service to individuals and corporates on demand. That is whenever an individual senses a threat, whether on road, surfing the web, travelling, on a foreign land, at someone’s place, he can seek our service. Let’s call my start-up “Saving Forrester”.
And I am gonna solve this problem with lean startup methodology, coming up with a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) Canvas in the end minimum viable product´s vision, business hypothesis, metrics, features, personas, journeys, and finances. It assists entrepreneurs in aligning their ideas with the underlying (minimum & viable) work to create and validate it.
I have demonstrated the whole canvas in the form of tables to make my point in minimum time. You shouldn’t. Ask your team(s) to do the whole exercise on a canvas board with Post-Its so that the whole team(s) can participate and you come up with the most feasible product than I have.
1. MVP Vision
• For [final client], Individuals and corporate who are in high risk jobs • whose [problem that needs to be solved], Security, irrespective of place, time and medium • the [name of the product] Saving Forrester • is a [product category] Security Solutions, technology and personnel • that [key-benefits, reason to buy it]. We never say no, we don’t look at the clock or the place when you’re under threat • Different from [competition alternative], Internet security suites and security companies • our product [key-difference]. Software security + human security + … depending upon the circumstances
You should place Post-It with the questions on the left of a canvas board and ask your team members to answer.
2. MVP Personas
A persona is an example of a specific user written into a document whom those making choices about the software can use to evaluate decisions about software features. It’s not based on one user, but a synthesis of information about many users. So, even though a persona may look like it’s describing a real person, that person is fictitious.
Persona 1 Nickname
Honest holler Profile
Mid aged professional, new to the internet world, receives threat calls, whistle blower, high profile clientele, rich Behavior Coward Paranoid about privacy Hates internet but has to use it Never ignores his intuition Creates False Alarm
Needs On demand security regardless of day, time and location and medium Speed of services Cyber Security
Persona 2 Nickname
— — Profile
— — Behavior
— — Needs
— — -
3. MVP Features We are now few steps from creating the First MVP Canvas.
To suggest features, we need to map personas with product goals. We have the personas; we have the goals. Let’s mingle them and see how closer they are to features we are gonna pitch.If we identify goals and features that don’t correspond the needs of any persona, they should be discarded or re-thought, because their value is notmapped to a user.
Persona 1 Cyber Security Security Personnel Speed of services On Location Remote Security Security Parameter 1 hour guarantee While abroad Transaction Security Bodyguards Long Term services Travelling Encrypted communication Potential Threat Neutralizer Hostile place or house, building property Social Media Threat Prevention Invisible threat protection Mobile device encryption
The persona doesn’t seems like a person who make online transaction. He is damn paranoid about his security. He is not a politician or someone who may attract assassination. All he may need is a few bodyguards every then and now. He don’t travel abroad.
Persona 1 Cyber Security Security Personnel Speed of services On Location Remote Security Security Parameter 1 hour guarantee
High | Hard While abroad Transaction Security Bodyguards Long Term services
High | Easy Travelling
High | Hard
High | Hard Potential Threat Neutralizer Hostile place or house, building property
Low | Hard Social Media Threat Prevention
High | Easy Invisible threat protection Mobile device encryption
Low | Easy
4. Technical and Business Review
For effort and business value, we annotate the features using marks on a scale of High or Low in case of business value and Easy or Hard in technical review.
Implementing end-to-end encryption is Hard to achieve technically but for a paranoid client like ours it is of High business value. So the feature make it to the final list. Providing someone stuck at a hostile place, house, building or property is Hard to implement practically. The persona we created is less likely to get stuck at such places. So the business value is low. So this feature doesn’t make sense
5. Show the User Journeys
We have everything a product needs: goals, end users’ persona and features. Now we must track the typical journey of a persona how he sets on to interact with the features made according to business goals.
Joe wakes up 8 in the morning. He packs his stuffs heads towards his office and arrives at 9am His secretory hands over him the lineup of clients meetings on that day He meets hisclients at his office, online, at a client’s location or at a neutral venue like a café.
If the client lives in a hostile neighborhood he opens “Saving Forrester” on his mobile ask them for bodyguards.
If he thinks government or an intruder might be over-listening to his conversation with a client, he makes the call using the apps secure line that offers 256 AES end-to-end encryption at a nominal rate.
If he receives a threat online or offline, he talks to a supervisor at Saving Forrester, who will take every measure to keep him safe and neutralize the threat.
He returns home safely.
6. Features in Journey
A relevant product feature should complement every part of the journey. Let’s try to map every part of the journey to feature cards in the case of Saving Forrester
Journey Feature He packs his stuffs heads towards his office and arrives at 9am Note: We need to add a feature card
How about a bulletproof car?
His secretory hands over him the lineup
of clients meetings on that day NA
no security risk involved If the client lives in a hostile neighborhood
he opens “Saving Forrester” on his mobile ask them for bodyguards Bodyguards If the client lives in a hostile neighborhood
he opens “Saving Forrester” on his mobile ask them for bodyguards Bodyguards If he thinks government or an intruder might be over-listening to his conversation with a client,
he makes the call using the apps secure line that offers 256 AES end-to-end encryption at a nominal rate.
Mobile Device Encryption If he receives a threat online, he talks to a supervisor at Saving Forrester, who will take every
measure to keep him safe and neutralize the threat.
Social Media Threat Prevention
“He packs his stuffs heads towards his office and arrives at 9am” part of the journey lacks a feature so we might have to create a feature card for that.
Remote Security, 1-hour guarantee, Long Term service doesn’t have an associated part in the user journey. So those feature can be debated upon to by the team for inclusion or exclusion.
7. Sequence the Features
The motive of a Minimum Viable Product canvas is to develop products we can consider to authenticate a small set of expectations and it’s part in a business. Now that we have a map of features joined with user journeys, we can create the first MVP and its subsequent iterations. We do this by describing a Features Sequencer.
Create the Features Sequencer template (typically a flipchart with numbered lines; the line height should fit one feature card, the line width should fit two feature cards).
The rule here is no two Hard feature cards should be in the same row. You can create your own depending upon the problem.
High | Easy Mobile device encryption
Low | Hard 1 hour guarantee
High | Hard Long Term services
High | Easy Encrypted communication
High | Hard Social Media Threat Prevention
High | Easy Bodyguards
High | Easy Bullet Proof Car
High | Hard
8. Creating the MVP Canvas
Now we’ve gone over all the previous actions, we have all the knowledge we need to construct the final artifact — the MVP canvases.
This is how MVP canvas looks like. And we have to create one for each iteration as described in step 7–Sequence the Features. Honest Holler will have one; Political Vibes will have another. Until we come across a content model by improving on the previous models
References: The Lean Startup by ERIC RIES: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses
LEAN INCEPTION PROJECT by martinfowler.com
Originally published at www.bacancytechnology.com.