How do you compete with only an MVP?

But when you’re just starting out with an MVP, your platform will obviously have less features than one that’s been around for a decade. So how do you compete when you have a limited feature set? Focus entirely on that major improvement? Target a smaller segment?

I’m working on the MVP for a SaaS platform. There are quite a few larger businesses who already occupy the space. My platform adds a major improvement to the core of the industry platforms (AI at the backbone), and my vision for it builds upon this improvement.

But when you’re just starting out with an MVP, your platform will obviously have less features than one that’s been around for a decade. So how do you compete when you have a limited feature set? Focus entirely on that major improvement? Target a smaller segment?

Quote Mark

Best Answer

In business, you are either the first or the strongest. If you enter a space first, there is no competition and no customer. If you enter your market together with competition, then you have to compete immediately. Get VC funding. You need bullets.

Other points

It’s not meant to compete. It’s a minimal viable productive meant to test your idea, validate and potentially get user traction. You don’t want to invest heavily on a full blown product without prior market validation.
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MVP is minimum viable product. Stress on "minimum". It means that there is a possibility of some madman willing to use it.

MVP doesn't mean you can sell it and rake in the cash. It's a very long way until you're at that point.
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I'd stress "viable" as well as "minimum". If the product is missing so many features that nobody wants to use it, then it's not yet viable.
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I call it a prototype until it's saleable

Tbh that never made sense to me, especially not in a well established market. I work in the edutech space. If Duolingo offered custom flashcards (see tiny cards), they'd beat Quizlet. If Quizlet offered the ability for communal tip sharing, they'd beat memrise. If memrise added more professional courses, they'd beat Duolingo. Heck, Facebook had fewer features than MySpace.

Really, the only think keeping these separate is brand and momentum.
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If there are already major players in the market, then it doesn’t make sense to create an MVP that competes directly with those companies, since the point of an MVP is to test/validate the market and that has already been done.

What you need to focus on is the “ai backbone” stuff, which you can market to the existing companies who already provide the other stuff.

How you do it is very important though. Make sure that at no point do you handover any code or share any back end details, unless a company purchases your whole idea in exchange of a decent chunk of money and/or equity in their business.

Maybe package it as a SaaS that can be integrated into their existing platforms for example. (Obviously this may not be feasible exactly like that, but you get the point).
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If you can't compete, its not viable.

Question asked by

u/musicman0326

Date

May 20, 2020, 8:39:00 PM

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