How to Build an MVP with Gaurav Dadhich – Sr. Product Manager at Flipkart | Product Management Interview

Welcome to the Pragmatic Leaders series. In this webinar, we will explore the concept of building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) with Gaurav Dadhich, Senior Product Manager at Flipkart. Gaurav will share his insights and experiences on how to effectively develop an MVP and navigate the challenges along the way.

But before we delve into the topic, let’s take a moment to familiarize ourselves with Pragmatic Leaders. Pragmatic Leaders is a global community of professionals dedicated to proactively supporting each other’s careers. They offer a full-stack global career accelerator with three core pillars: educate, engage, and employ. Through their proven courses, industry coaches, online community of product managers, and job platform, Pragmatic Leaders empowers individuals to upskill, connect, and achieve their dream jobs.

Introduction to MVP

Gaurav Dadhich begins the session by providing a brief introduction of himself and his role at Flipkart, India’s leading e-commerce platform. He highlights the importance of building an MVP and shares his experiences from his time at Flipkart, Amazon, and various startups.

He emphasizes that almost 50% of all products and new features fail because companies often focus on building fully-fledged products without validating their assumptions. This leads to weak product launches and a lack of market fit. To mitigate this risk, Gaurav encourages the use of MVPs.

Understanding MVP

An MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, is the bare minimum functional product that can be built with minimal resources. It serves two primary purposes: testing hypotheses and achieving fast time-to-market. Gaurav explains that an MVP should focus on either testing a fresh hypothesis or quickly reaching the market to gain a competitive advantage.

He shares success stories like WhatsApp, Amazon, and Airbnb, which all started with simple and focused products. WhatsApp’s core value was to allow people to communicate freely over the internet for free. They prioritized simplicity, usability, and reliability, which differentiated them from existing chat apps in the market.

Gaurav also introduces the concept of an MLP, or Minimum Lovable Product. While some argue that MLPs are the new trend, Gaurav believes that MVPs were never supposed to be ugly or incomplete. Instead, they should be a polished version of the core product that delivers value to users. He suggests swapping MVP and MLP, considering them as interchangeable terms.

Building an MVP

Gaurav provides a step-by-step guide on how to build an MVP effectively. He advises starting with a clear understanding of the problem, customer, and competitive landscape. It’s essential to know the target audience and identify the core customer problem to validate the market opportunity.

Next, Gaurav emphasizes defining the riskiest hypotheses that, if proven incorrect, could render the entire product irrelevant. He recommends using a combination of tools such as market research, surveys, and one-on-one interactions to validate assumptions.

Once the riskiest hypotheses are identified, it’s time to choose the right tool. Gaurav presents a framework to help determine the optimal tool, ranging from going back to basics for unvalidated problems to building a prototype for validated problems with existing technology. The key is to use the right tool based on the level of knowledge and risk associated with the problem.

The Importance of Prototyping

Gaurav highlights the importance of prototyping in the MVP process. He advises starting with a simple prototype to test the differentiated value and gather customer feedback. Prototyping helps fail fast, save resources, and avoid building unnecessary features.

Moreover, Gaurav suggests focusing on the user journey and offering a seamless customer experience. Whether it’s a basic mock-up or a click-through prototype, the objective is to evaluate whether the customer cares about the proposed solution and can easily engage with it.

Iterative Process

Finally, Gaurav emphasizes that building an MVP is an iterative process. It requires continuous validation, learning, and adjustment. A successful MVP may not guarantee a mature product, as additional iterations may be needed to find product-market fit. Embracing this iterative mindset is crucial for product success.

Conclusion

Building an MVP is an essential step in the product development journey. In this webinar, Gaurav Dadhich shared his insights and experiences on how to effectively build an MVP and navigate the challenges along the way. By starting with a clear problem definition, identifying the riskiest hypotheses, and leveraging the right tools, teams can increase their chances of success.

Remember, an MVP is not an end in itself, but a means to validate assumptions, understand customer needs, and iterate towards a successful product. So, embrace the MVP mindset and embark on your journey of product discovery.

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