What are Early Adopters and How Can They Help Your Startup’s MVP?

December 28, 2020

Early adopters using a Minimum Viable Product app.

If you’re a startup developing an MVP or Minimum Viable Product, finding the right early adopters is a vital key in collecting relevant, real-market user-feedback. Early adopters allow your startup to validate your product and business model. In most cases, a successful MVP is enough for investors to feel secure.

Early Adopters: Who and what they are?

Early adopters are individuals, groups, and /or businesses that are early users of a product, service, or technology. They use the product ahead of others and are often considered as trendsetters. Their primary goal is to test and offer feedback to developers. Early adopters focus on a product’s functionality and the level of satisfaction it gives. Any information that helps businesses identify marketability and revenue potential is valuable.

For some, early adopters are more than just customers who like to be the first to try new technologies or gadgets. Businesses that value early adopters believe that products and technologies are easier to market and sell if the customers need them.

How Can Early Adopters Help Your Startup’s Minimum Viable Product?

As a startup, your minimum viable product is crucial because it can make or break your company’s future. This is why you need to invest in early adopters. In some ways, early adopters are your MVP’s cheerleaders. As first users of your product or technology, they provide you with the best feedback and information about your first venture.

Does it address their problems? Does it give them a satisfying user experience? Is the product engaging enough to make other individuals and businesses buy it? These are just some of the questions that early adopters can provide answers for you. In other words, they tell you whether or not your MVP is commercially feasible.

Moreover, early adopters will also help you determine which features and functions work best, which ones need improvements, and which ones have to go.

How valuable are early adopters to your MVP? They are priceless. In fact, some startups build the initial phase of the MVP around their targeted early adopters. Once their product gets validation and traction from the first users, they can then start improving and scaling up to cater to a wider market reach. It’s practical because it saves money and time.

How to Find the Right Early Adopters

There is no single, clear-cut way of identifying the right early adopters for your MVP. There are several factors to consider, foremost among these are:

  • recognizing the problems you want to solve and
  • determining who are most affected by such problems.

You will also have to find a way to attract and engage early adopters. How will you convince them to use a new, untested product or technology? How can you spark an interest in them? The best solution to this is to make them see and feel your aspiration in helping address their problems. Empathize with them.

Lastly, consider these other aspects when looking for the right early adopters:

  • awareness of the problem/s,
  • have tried several solutions but failed, and
  • have enough budget or willing to spend to solve the problem/s.

Using early adopters will help your MVP into the market limelight. Furthermore, you are guaranteed you’ll bring the right product to the right customers at the right time.

About the author: Damien Bonnefoux - COO

Entrepreneur by heart, I'm passionate in helping companies to grow to a next level from aligning their business model, processes, tools and team. I also help startups, entrepreneurs in their digital transformation designing the best customer experience by getting in a deep dive on the most accurate value proposition and find the best balance between tech features and budget control. The goal is a quick go-to-market to achieve rapid revenue growth with their digital product. Pragmatic, agile and a go to action man, I stick on the "keep it simple" philosophy. View on Linkedin