10 shades of MVP (or: how to develop a product without developing a product...)

A minimum viable product (MVP) is often perceived as a subset of the real product: a minimized version, lacking some features or missing some UI fine-tunes, but in fact, an MVP is more of a tool to test the core idea of what’s intended to be a product someday.

While the name MVP suggests that it has to be both a product and a viable thing - the software industry has proven it doesn’t have to be the case. 
In fact, an MVP doesn’t have to be a product at all: it can be an email, a Facebook group, a service, or a bunch of processes performed manually.

An MVP is there to help you test your business riskiest assumptions, see if your product can provide enough value to attract customers, and collect some feedback that can guide you through the product development.
And last, people should be willing to pay for it (with real money or some level of commitment) - otherwise, it’s just theoretical exercise that cannot prove that the idea is commercially viable.

An incomplete list of MVP types:  …

11 lessons learned while trying to become a data-driven company

4 years ago we founded Missbeez: a mobile marketplace for lifestyle and beauty services on-demand.  For me, it was a significant change from leading a large B2B product to co-founding a small B2C startup. 
From the very beginning, it was clear that data will play a significant role in our decision-making process. We moved fast, made a lot of experimental changes, and didn't have those large customer representatives to talk to when making our decisions. I had to change my habits and replace humans with numbers

We've embedded Mixpanel, Google Analytics, AppsFlyer, Facebook SDKs, Crashlytics, and a bunch of other tools, we created our own dashboard as well as a unique and addictive mobile dashboard, and deployed a set of real-time logs. It was fun!
Over the first 2 years of our startup, we've learned the hard way that being a data-driven company is harder than it seems.
I would like to share with you some of the lessons learned while working with data. I believe our insigh…

How to maintain your product momentum when you’re out of development budget

Managing a product with no development budget can be a product manager’s worst nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be a death sentence for the product.

If you manage a product in a company with few product lines - it can happen to you as well; new priorities, new initiatives and suddenly all of your development resources are moved elsewhere, leaving you with no development budget at all.

You can sink into self-pity or work with what you’ve got, and what you’ve got is your product, your knowledge, your authority, and most of all: your creativity. 
Use them to deliver more value to your customers, support your marketing and sales teams, get more involved with your partners and more.
There are many things you can do to make the product better and maintain its’ momentum, without involving the development team. Focus on those activities until something changes: a big customer comes in and shuffles the company’s priorities again, a new investment, a significant partnership, etc.Those things …

Is 'the fold' still a thing in today’s scrolling and skimming culture?

We skim through text and scroll naturally through endless content, so does it mean that ‘above the fold’ is finally dead? Or is it still relevant in 2019? As someone who instinctively scrolls, I agree with Josh Porter’s statement that: “Scrolling is a continuation, clicking is a decision.”
If indeed this is the case, then there’s no need to aggressively squeeze in the content above the fold. Designers can triple the whitespaces, use giant images without worrying about pushing some key elements below the fold.  Unless, of course, the fold is still a barrier... I decided it’s time for me to check, and clear this question (for myself mainly), once and for all. 
Here's what I found:

Search results:According to Google (based on the latest study I could find): ads appearing above the fold had a 73% visibility, whereas those below it had just 44%. A dramatic difference.According to Chitika, after analyzing over 22 million impressions, ads placed over the fold showed 44% higher click rat…

84 cognitive biases you should exploit to design better products

This one is probably my longest post in my 15 years of blogging, and the result of occasional writing I've been doing in the past few months.

Cognitive biases are systematic errors in our thinking process that affect our decisions making.

As humans, we don’t always see things as they really are, or remember things as they really were. As a result, we create our own subjective social reality that affects our judgment.

As product people, we should to take advantage of these biases to create better products.
Not in a bad way of course, but in a way that will allow us to get a fair chance to prove that our products are worthy. Products can exploit common cognitive biases to establish trust with the users, improve conversion rates, increase their users’ engagement level, and as a result, improve retention rates.

Because at the end of the day, it’s all in the packaging, and being 100% accurate and concise is simply not enough to persuade the users to give the product a chance or to try …

Lessons learned from our App Store screenshots redesign

Two months ago, while reading Girish Rawat’s great article about How to Design Scannable App Screenshots, it occurred to me that we haven’t refreshed our App Store product page for quite a while. I reviewed our page and decided to make some modifications and spice it up a bit.  I'm happy to share with you the process we went through, the changes we have done, and some preliminary results. 
But first - some data:

Phase 1 - collecting data I went through a few interesting pieces of research done by some app store marketing companies and reviewed some of the most popular apps. Here’s a short summary of what I found:  General InfoVisitors spend an average of 7 seconds on the store listing page (source: AppAgent)60% of visitors don’t scroll beyond the fold of each product page (Source: Storemaven).50% of visitors base their decision on first impression (Source: Storemaven).The product page should explain what the app does in less than 3 seconds (Source: Storemaven).Only 13% of visitor…