Why is Feedback Important for your MVP?

Posted February 10, 2017 by Dan Moore in Product Management, Startups

Feedback [feed-bak] noun: A reaction or response to a particular process or activity.

The word "feedback" often causes an automatic kick-back reaction and becomes the root cause of therapy visits. It's like all of our traumatizing memories from grade school papers and assignments covered in red pen hurls itself back up to taunt us and say "not good enough".

Although we're not in grade school anymore, feedback remains a constant in our lives, and has only gotten more complex. Feedback today comes in the form of surveys, user data, conversion funnels, net promoter scores, etc. This feedback is so much more valuable for us now, because instead of grades it's dollar on the lines. If you're an entrepreneur launching a product for the first time, it's time to face the big red pen wielding world.

In our "Top 5 Mistakes Non-Technical Founders Make with their MVP" post, we talked about how testing your hypothesis means receiving feedback. Without this crucial step in MVP development, you won't know what needs to be improved before launching. In other words, you know what you want, but that doesn't always mesh with what your customers want. In the post, we warn you to be careful about allowing this feedback to completely morph your product. You want to take the feedback into consideration and then adapt, not necessarily get rid of elements of your MVP. The hard part is balancing user feedback with value. Does a single loud opinion outweigh actionable user data? What about data-driven feedback instead of surveys?

For more information about launching your MVP check out our ebook!

Nervous about sending your product out for feedback? Just imagine the world is your friend and not out to get you. It's all about perception. Socialize your product by sharing your idea with as many people as possible. Think about it this way, the more people that "touch" your product the more variety of feedback you'll get.

Something important to remember when socializing your product is that while you should take all feedback into account, some feedback holds more value than others. Try to focus on the opinion, perspective, and experience of your paying customers with the product. They represent a portion of your audience you're trying to reach, so they should have a larger seat in the room when you're evaluating your feedback. We cover socialization in out ebook more in-depth,and what to avoid while doing so.

Vaporware founder, Dan Moore, explains how Vaporware uses feedback. "Feedback is the easiest way to measure and show growth. Vaporware uses feedback everyday with monthly peer reviews, weekly work retrospections, and public client reviews, they're incredibly useful and we wouldn't be able to improve without it." We enjoyed this article from Creative Analytics that talks about replacing the word "love" in songs with "feedback". It helps put it into perspective, we promise. And, it's really entertaining.

Have you ever heard the cliche "The customer's always right?". It's normally falsely construed to customer support experiences, but in one sense it's referring to feedback and product impact. In other words, it's important that your customer knows you're listening, and that you care about their experience they have with your software. This will help them not only enjoy your product, but it will also build trust with your audience.

If you need more help developing your MVP - make sure you download our helpful (non-technical) ebook guide! You can also contribute to the conversation of "feedback" in the comment section below!


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