Simple but Successful Designs – The Minimal Viable Product
A reoccurring question we receive at Mako is clients who ask about the best way to have their idea designed, especially in terms measuring development, time and cost. Founder of Mako, Kevin Mako, always suggest and recommends to our inventors that the best way to create an efficient product that would be beneficial for the inventor themselves, designers, and manufacturers is to keep it simple and approach their product design through ‘MVP’.
What is MVP?
MVP stands for ‘minimal viable product’. This term stands for approaching a product design through a development technique in which the product is developed with the basic features that it needs to be able to be fully functional. You strategically create your initial product with a simple no-frills design and focus on the viability of the product. Once you have your base product and make some profit from investors who are interested in investing in your product after you’ve proved its need within a market and customer feedback – you can go back to redesign and reincorporate any extra functionalities you’d like, as well as fixing anything received from customer feedback into the second version of your product design.
Here are some products with simple designs, but powerful functions – exemplifying the beauty of approaching your idea as a minimal viable product:
A Weighted Approach to Product Innovation
A lot of the times when people think of product ideas that are supposed to solve problems, people try to think of unconventional situations in which a product can fix under the guise that it will make the product more unique and therefore, more viable to market and sell to customers. However, The Gravity Blanket proves this idea wrong. The gravity blanket is a blanket that looks like any other – but, rather than having a unique design, the selling point of this product is that the blanket it heavily weighted blanket that helps cure sleeping problems, stress and anxiety. The blanket weight can range from 15 to 25 pounds and is modeled over the science that the blanket should weigh around 10% of your body weight in that it uses gravity as health technology backed by science that proves that having “deep touch pressure stimulation” (or the similar feeling of being held or hugged) is proven to increase the hormones such serotonin and melatonin which is responsible for providing relaxation and decreasing stress, giving you a easier and deeper sleep.
A Minimal Viable Product Locater
If you struggle with keeping track of where your friend and family are when going out in group activities – this invention is perfect for you. Sporting a simple design and easy interface, LynQ is a real time location tracking device that runs through with no phones, maps or fees. The design of the product is simple in that it doesn’t rely on internet or Bluetooth to work and is activated by a simple push of a button. The product uses a long-rang and low power radio frequencies and allows for users to set up meet up points and safe zones so that members and the group can find their way back to each other more efficiently. The design is compact, fits in your hand and can latch onto backpacks making it ideal for outdoors activities and easy to carry.
How IoT Integrates into our Household Products
An extremely high-tech invention, The Mirror is a regular mirror when turned off, but turned on is a completely interactive and functional work out machine. The Mirror is set embedded with a camera and speakers so you can see yourself, an instructor, and stats so you can have a full workout right in the comfort of your home. The mirror comes with a variety of workouts from cardio to yoga that stream from a New York City based studio where classes a streamed in love time. The mirror can also track your performance and allow you to workout with your friends who also have the mirror. This product is a great example of a minimal viable product that was redesigned with amazing technological functionalities.
A Minimal Viable Product made for Kids on the Go
The last item is the Boon Glo Night Light. A product designed for children; this product changes the way the traditional night light works. The lamp works in that rather than having a light placed in one area, there are multiple light up balls that can be placed anywhere around the room rather than in one area. Additionally, this product is perfect for children who need to get up at night and walk with a light on them if they need to go to the bathroom – saving the trouble of waking up tired parents. A minimal viable product that takes an existing invention and simply makes it portable so that its functionality works for more situations than the original invention would have.
If you have a great new invention and you’d like to learn more about this process, get in touch with MAKO here and visit our website to find out more. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MAKO and we can set you up on a call with our product analyst!
Article Author: MAKO Design + Invent
MAKO Design + Invent is a full-service consumer product development firm servicing both high-growth corporate manufacturers and invention startups. With a 25-person team across 3 offices (Austin, England, Toronto), MAKO has complete in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering design and prototyping services. To assist our start-up inventor clients, we also have a subsidiary branch called Mako Invent that, in addition to above, helps start-ups with patenting, strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. For our corporate clients, MAKO Design develops world-class consumer electronics designs through our industrial, mechanical, and electrical design teams.
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