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How to Build an Online Business by Bernadette Schwerdt

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Chapter 8Anatomy of a startup

I’ve studied the MVPs of many startups and there are as many different pathways to success as there are entrepreneurs. There is no one-size-fits-all roadmap to success, but it’s reassuring to know that there are signposts you can follow that can guide the way.

What is an MVP?

A Venn diagram shows two circles labelled as ‘Minimum (Pathetic products that no one wants or needs)’ and ‘Viable (Pleasant products made by rich companies)’. It shows the common area labelled as ‘Minimum plus Viable (Potential products for startups to make)’.

Figure 8.1: defining an MVP

People don’t know what they want until you show them.

Based on the MVPs I’ve researched, I’ve created a general MVP blueprint you can use to help you get your MVP up and running. It may not fit your business model exactly, but it will help you get some momentum and overcome ‘paralysis by analysis’.

13 steps to launching your MVP

If you’ve never created an MVP before, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are 13 basic steps many entrepreneurs follow to help them get their MVPs up and running. If you’re not quite sure how to launch your MVP, this blueprint may help.

Step 1: They use the product or service, discover there’s something wrong with it and feel certain it can be improved; or they have a burning desire to make a bucketload of cash and have no attachment to what they sell. Either way, they have a business idea they’d like to bring to life.

Step 2: They see what others are doing in the sector or elsewhere and ask, ‘What’s this like …?’ and ‘Wouldn’t it be great if …?’

Step 3: They tap into a growing niche market that displays the potential ...

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