In this startup review, we are going to do something a little different. Instead of talking about a whole company, we are just going to focus on how one company has harnessed the power of MVP, an important element of the Lean methodology, to create solutions. Specifically, we are going to look at how Paystack, a known fintech startup from Nigeria, used Lean to launch Payment Pages, a feature of its payment solution.
I came across a blog post from Abdurahman Jogbojogbo, Product Marketer at Paystack that discusses how their product team went about launching the Payment Pages feature. Payment Pages “allow customers to create a simple payment form to collect either one-time or recurring payments. The page can be accessed by a link which can be shared with customers via email, WhatsApp, Twitter or any medium of choice”.
What is an MVP?
The Minimum Viable Product is a version of a product that has enough capability and features to attract early adopter customers. It is used to validate and improve a product idea early and fast using data from customer feedback. The MVP helps you figure out early on if you are on the right path in satisfying a customer need before investing valuable time and money developing a product with all the features YOU ASSUME customers want. Once you come up with an MVP, you put it into your customers hands and measure their reaction and gather feedback from them. It is best to measure using both quantitative and qualitative methods such as tracking downloads alongside customer interviews.
Paystack Payment Pages – an MVP Example
Let’s go back to the blog post aforementioned. The idea of Payment Pages was born out of a customer interaction in which a customer was dissatisfied with the difficulty to implement Paystack for her business without relying on a developer. The product team spent some time brainstorming and in two weeks created an MVP, piloted it with some customers, and wrote a blog post to promote it. Then they measured the results from customers’ interaction with the MVP and gathered valuable data used to improve the solution. That feature has grown to account for 5% of Paystack’s transaction volume with over 260 businesses having used it.
- You don’t have to build a perfect product before you launch – Ask yourself this question: what is the simplest version of this product or solution that will solve 1 to 3 of my customer’s main problems.
- Have a goal in mind – In this example, the goal is clear – to build a solution that will allow a business owner without any tech skills to implement a way to collect payments without the need of a developer.
- Build, Measure, Learn, Grow – the team built an MVP, measured customer’s feedback, and behaviors, learned from this information, updated the MVP into a more robust solution capable of accommodating growth in the number of users.
LeanStart Africa – Why LeanStart
Our approach to training entrepreneurs in Africa is inspired by the challenges that African entrepreneurs face such as lack of money, time, and tech skills. We focus on learning the customers’ problems and how to quickly and iteratively build a solution that will solve those most important customer problems. We train entrepreneurs how to do this using the most inexpensive resources and provide them real practice in executing this part of the entrepreneurial journey. Furthermore, we focus on challenging assumptions using experiments that will lead to real feedback.