February 23, 2016, posted by #TeamLisnr

5 Handy Tools For Minimum Viable Product Development

Zappos.com produces in excess of $2 billion in revenues annually (and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon). It’s well known for its diverse shoes and clothing collection and customer-first culture, but many people don’t realize that in the very early days, employees bought shoes at local stores to fulfill customers’ orders.

And I bet you’re wondering: What does this story have to do with LISNR?

Everything, in fact.

Like Zappos, LISNR uses the concept of a minimum viable product to continually create products and solutions that customers adore. LISNR technology is also designed to be as straightforward and flexible as possible, enabling others to use LISNR for MVP development of their own.

Popularized by Eric Ries, MVP is based on the concept of developing the most basic version of a product and getting it into a small group of users’ hands fast. Then, companies use customer feedback to build products based on how they’re actually using the product instead of making assumptions.

At LISNR, this way of thinking is a way of life. We’re constantly improving on our work and collaborating with our clients to come up with and implement fresh ways to apply our technology.

Looking to step up your own collaboration game? Here are my five favorite tools for gathering customer insight in MVP development.

Customer Interviews

Customer interviews can be a goldmine of information. LISNR frequently uses unscripted interviews to gather information from users about how they’re using our technology or what other features they need. Sometimes we’ll create a list of potential features and ask customers what they think about them. Or, we ask how they would rank different feature sets.

As we listen to multiple customers, certain trends rise to the top. We then use that information to guide future builds. This means that LISNR is always in touch with market trends, and can anticipate client needs that they might not even be aware of themselves.

A/B Testing

A/B testing (also called split testing) is when a portion of customers see product version A, while the rest see product version B. The goal is to compare responses and get feedback about which idea customers preferred.

A/B testing is especially helpful to gauge users’ reactions to design changes. This kind of testing eliminates any guesswork when it comes to product improvements. LISNR’s portal makes it easy to generate different Smart Tones that trigger different device reactions. Spacing those different reactions across a crowd or event gives LISNR’s customers the ability to track user engagement for each approach.

Demo Video

As Dropbox was initially launching, they believed most people didn’t know they had a problem synchronizing files. But they realized that once someone experienced their solution, they’d never be able to imagine how they lived without it.

But getting files to seamlessly sync across a variety of platforms comes with deep technical integration that would be hard to prototype. Rather than going through a long, drawn-out development process, the CEO created a humorous and informative demo video to seed the idea.

The video became Dropbox’s MVP. Overnight, Dropbox’s waiting list went from 5,000 to 75,000 people!

Landing Pages

Landing pages are a great opportunity to explain your product’s features and have visitors sign up for a trial or more information. But they’re also a great MVP tool to gauge interest in features.

For example, we’ve used several landing pages for our different use cases. We review each page’s analytics to determine exactly what visitors clicked on, or where they spent the most time.  That information is then used to prioritize future improvements and plan development cycles.

Crowdfunding

Popularized by sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, crowdfunding is the newest platform for running MVP tests. Companies release an initial version on a crowdfunding site. Early investors or adopters provide feedback, which is incorporated into the next phase of product development. Although LISNR has never directly leveraged crowdfunding, we recognize its power for straight-to-consumer products.

Besides providing valuable potential feedback, this strategy also provides fundraising opportunities. Pebble is one of the most well-known (and record-breaking) MVP crowdfunding examples.

Stay in touch with the LISNR team by following us @LISNR.

LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information.  LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device.  We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.

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