Today’s question comes from Jim and deals with launching an MVP in a crowded market. Specifically, if you MVP is something that already exists, wouldn’t it better to launch with more features that might set you apart?
This is probably one of the biggest reason a founder may be tempted to build beyond their MVP. When you see a lot of competition out there, who may be doing similar things, it feels like the only way to differentiate your startup is to build something that offers more than your competitors.
To answer the question simply, yes, should still just build your MVP. But you do have to find a way to differentiate yourself.
We had the some issue with Launchpeer when we first launched. I thought we would just be a design and development company for startups. But just saying we focused on startups and actually building systems, processes and products specifically for startups what a totally different thing.
It took a long time of getting customer feedback to figure out what they really wanted, but once we did, we from a handful of employees to around 20-25 employees in a matter of months.
You need to find out what makes you unique and focus on that. Highlight it on your website and in every part of your marketing.
And MVP doesn’t just have to be your product. Your not just building an MVP on the product side, but also on the marketing side as well.
Basecamp doesn’t have as many features or integrations, etc., as their competitors. They started with a really simple MVP. But what made it different that it was way simpler. They focused on simplicity as their core feature, and they still do.
ConvertKit is an email marketing tool, which is a really saturated space. But what they did was use their marketing as their MVP. They decided to go after one specific target market that they felt was underserved and that was bloggers and consultants. They focused solely on that group and used marketing tactics that would reach them.
It may be that one or both of these tactics will work for you, but they are definitely worth trying.
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