Most People Fail
People miss the point of the “minimum viable product” for startups.
It does not mean, “release the first version with less features and then add more features later.”
No, we want a minimum viable product. The absolutely smallest set of features needed in order to get useful market information. How many features is that? Usually… zero.
An MVP can be just a slide presentation, a sales pitch, a web site, a Google ad, or a customer conversation. The best MVPs let you objectively measure customer response fast and then tweak.
One quick way to start is to make a web site that claims to offer the product you’d eventually want to build, and then gives a signup form, and then (oops!) crashes when people try to buy it (or sign up). Then make some web ads to send people there based on certain keywords.
No, not a page that says “Coming Soon!” and asks for an email address. You want a real, live, signup page for what looks like a real, live product. You can add the “it works” feature later. In the meantime, since your MVP is so cheap and fast to build, you can try lots of different ones, add and remove advertised features, and see how that changes user responses.
Once you have some input like that, you can make something slightly less minimal. Doing an MVP this way requires incredible self-control. Most people fail.