“Mom! I want those blue belt running shoes, but they're not available anywhere."
It was 1999, and a young man longed for a certain pair of shoes. He headed to the local mall, but he couldn't find the pair.
Disappointed, he came up with the concept of selling shoes online, and that's how it all began.
Instead of performing significant market research, he built a website. Then he visited a shoe store, took pictures of the shoes, and uploaded them to his website. When he received the order, he went to the store and purchased the shoes, then shipped them off.
And, when he saw that clients were eager to buy shoes online, he began to develop his concept into a fully functional business.
Yes, this is how Nick Swinmurn developed Zappos, an online shoe and clothing store based on MVP development strategy, which was ultimately purchased by Amazon.
The technique that Nick followed is what, referred to as MVP development, in today’s age.
So, to know more about MVP development, here’s a comprehensive guide for you!
Basically an MVP (minimum viable product) is a test version of your product that includes all of the necessary functionality to attract early adopters. Whatever features and functionalities you intend to put in your MVP, it should always reflect the vision and promise of your business concept completely.
When it comes to successful MVP development, make sure your MVP has a clear answer to :
Your product must have enough proven value in order for buyers to be willing to utilize or purchase it i.e. a logical answer to why the target users should use your MVP in the first place.
It should be versatile and easy to change in response to user feedback as being a test product with bare minimum features, there may be a possibility where the product might undergo several rounds of modifications.
Your product should also have enough long-term endurance to retain early adopters i.e. a solid reason why it’ll be just as important in the coming days.
It should have a feedback loop that will help guide future development.
It should also be inexpensive to develop with reasonably less amount of effort, allowing for a quick launch.
So, now let’s move on to the next chapter of MVP development strategy and see what’s the purpose behind such strategy.
You know the reasons to build a mobile app..but what about those to build an MVP? Here goes..
The basic purposes of MVP development are :
[i] To attract early adopters who will try out new products before the majority of customers, providing valuable insights and assisting you in refining the product.
[ii] To test an idea with real users before committing a large budget to the product’s full development.
[iii]To get useful user input in order to tailor the developed app to the needs of the users.
[iv] To analyze how well the product will fit into the market.
[v] To effectively manage the project funds.
[vi] To utilize an MVP as a useful model for demonstrating a product's commercial potential and attracting more investors to a project in order to obtain funding for future growth.
MVP being the center of contemporary buzz isn’t the only reason why you should go for it. The first step towards working on your MVP should be analyzing benefits of MVP development against your core business goals.
So, to make the process easy for you, we've compiled a list of some of the advantages of MVP software development :
MVP development is agile, which means it can be developed quickly and simply, and with only a few features incorporated in it, an MVP can be released to the market rapidly.
When an MVP is launched to the market, you will receive genuine customer feedback via comments made on the Google Play or Apple App Store. In this manner, you can both validate the customer's interest in your products and limit the danger of product failure.
MVP development allows you to save costs throughout the product development phase while avoiding the dangers of investing in a feature-rich product that users do not need. Thus, in this way you’ll require less time and spend less money building the product.
As MVPs are rapidly pushed into the market to get user feedback, the products become considerably more flexible and adaptable to the demands of the users.
And, since MVPs are built in iterations, you can quickly prioritize the features and functions you wish to include in the next release depending on user input. This way, the product will answer the majority of the user's difficulties over time and will become more popular and commonly chosen among apps with similar characteristics.
You'll need to guarantee that your products earn a high ROI in order to acquire funding from your investors. So, to begin with, you'll need to pitch your business concept and show investors a functional MVP. This way, you will convince potential investors that your business idea is genuine and your product will provide concrete value to users. Thus, having an MVP with market traction and a user base improves your prospects of acquiring money.
The benefits illustrate how good the idea of creating an MVP is, but with so many different types of MVPs in the market, which type can do the best justice to your goal?
To have a concrete answer to that question, let's take a look at the various types of MVP and then match them up to your goal!
With low fidelity MVPs, there is no need to build MVPs. Amazing, right? So, here are some of the MVP types for that.
A way to test a hypothesis with a marketing campaign. For example, by creating a landing page and running an Adwords campaign - where through some visuals & descriptive elements you share the concept of your product or service.
Selling your product or service first and then building it with the revenue generated from the first step - that’s the idea here. Launching a crowdfunding campaign on platforms such as Kickstarter is a common way to raise funds via this method.
These require far less time and effort than jumping straight into design and development. They're usually sketches of a user interface and allow users to try out your product even before it is released which makes testing easier as the product can be quickly modified.
High-fidelity MVPs allow you to quickly determine how many customers are willing to pay for your product, as well as define and optimize your marketing strategy and identify the best potential growth plans.
So let’s have a look at the high-fidelity MVPs :
The offbeat name goes very well with this MVP type. Remember the Wizard, often known as OZ, from the film "Wizard of Oz"? The person who claims to be the wizard but is actually an old man - a human. The Wizard of Oz MVP premise is exactly the same.
This sort of MVP gives the impression of a finished product. From the exterior, everything appears to be fully functional and automated, although things are actually operated manually by humans. The goal here is to add value to your business idea and test a hypothesis with little or no technological assistance. Furthermore, it also assists you in determining the demand for your solution before investing thousands of dollars to construct a fully functional product.
Concierge MVP is comparable to the wizards of OZ MVP. The idea here is the same - replace technology with humans and validate your hypothesis with little or no engineering. Forget about the automated features you envisioned for your product, and instead rely on humans to do the task. That's what concierge MVP stands for. This saves you a lot of time and money spent on product development while also connecting you with early adopters—your first clients. Furthermore, you will have a deeper understanding of your clients and their demands, as well as answers to your inquiries about whether people actually need your product.
Piecemeal MVP takes existing tools and services and integrates them to support the product's essential features and functions. Thus, you can test your product in the market to gather feedback and confirm your idea for free or at a low cost.
Single feature MVP is when you develop your actual product and sell it to your target audience. Though the term implies developing "one single" feature for the MVP, this isn’t always true. Single feature MVPs are those that concentrate on solving a single core problem for the user. And you may need more than one feature in your MVP to accomplish this. To put it simply, keep the "must haves" and eliminate the "nice-to-have" features.
It goes without saying that developing an MVP is a smart move if you want to validate your business idea and secure a product that is market fit. But what if your MVP fails? Can an MVP ever fail? Unfortunately, it does more than you expect. Many things can go wrong during the MVP development process, resulting in time and money wasted.
So, how can you avoid the pitfalls of the MVP development process?
Here are some of the obstacles of MVP development and ways to overcome them :
If you want your target audience to use your app or visit your website, you should first ensure that your product has the necessary features that your audience wants and not what they are not interested in, which will result you in obtaining unfavorable feedback and an increase in the amount of losses.
To successfully identify what your target audience wants from your software, you’ll first need to conduct research and have a brief idea about your customer needs and to explain this in a simpler way we have an example for you - imagine you developed an app that allows users to schedule car washes. Consequently, your target users will be car owners who want to wash their vehicles.
The next step is to learn more about those car owners, such as how frequently they use car wash services and how much time they devote to it. Is gender a factor in how frequently people wash their cars? What about location or profession? Finding out as much as you can about your potential users will help you better understand them and solve their problems.
To find out such information, you can start by looking at potential competitors and their users. Additionally, you can also take help of tools like Google trends that will help you gather data on potential markets and trend opportunities.
It's difficult to identify a development team that can comprehend your business plan and build a solution that will unquestionably meet your needs. And, in the worst-case scenario, what happens is that they end up wasting your time and money, leaving you in the same position as before. So, when it comes to hiring a development team for MVP software development, that will fit your business objectives and develop a product that will reflect the same, becomes really challenging.
To choose the right development team, try looking through their portfolios, read reviews from current and prior clients, and try downloading and clicking through the applications that they've built. You can also seek suggestions from your friends for a good software development firm that they have worked with before.
Before developing an MVP, it’s highly crucial to choose the right set of technologies for MVP software development.
Think of technologies as the foundation of a building : if the foundation is strong, it will withstand any calamity and make the rest of the floors easier and less expensive to build, but if it is not, it will result in the entire structure being torn down, wasting time and money.
Similarly, when it comes to MVP development, choosing the correct tech stack simplifies the entire product development process, as well as making the product scalable and easy to manage.
But, knowing which technology to choose for your MVP development is the real challenge!
Each of the technologies making rounds in the market has its own pros and cons. The try is to make a list of your needs and see which technology meets them the best or..
Every business aims for scalability. However, this does not imply aiming to achieve perfection in functionalities that give optimal performance from the outset at the price of practicality and usability.
It is not only extravagant, but also wasteful, to try to design every feature from scratch without using existing solutions when your product is in the MVP stage, as this will not only result in you spending too much time and money but also achieving too little.
To overcome this obstacle, consider focusing on the core functionality and sticking to the activities that will bring the greatest value in the future. Also, make sure that everyone in your development team understands the business context of the product being developed, why you're developing an MVP, and what assumptions you want to test.
MVP development requires both the efforts of the development team and the clients. So, it is essential that you are aware of the various stages of the development process and have a basic understanding of how the development process works before communicating with the development team.
So, here’s a quick overview of the development process :
At the very beginning, you will have to evaluate your business idea to see if it is truly innovative or if it is parallel to already existing products. You can start by asking yourself some basic questions, such as :
Answering these questions will help you understand how well your product will perform once it is released to the market and what areas need to be improved to make the product better.
Aside from that, you will also need to take a sneak peek at your competitors and see how they are positioning their products in the market. This will not only assist you in identifying the company's vision, but it will also assist you in understanding the uniqueness of your product and how to make it visible in the market.
To ensure a positive user experience, the software development team should consider developing an user journey map that portrays the user's activity step by step.
For example, if you're developing an ecommerce app, you'll need to map out each and every step that the user is going to take, from browsing goods to purchasing them which means that you need to consider your product from the user's point of view and go through the purchasing process sequentially.
At this point, you need to decide which features you think should be included in your MVP. The features you intend to choose to include in your MVP should have a high priority and directly influence the basic product functionality.
You can choose the appropriate features by doing the following :
If defining the main features for an MVP product becomes difficult, you can use an MVP prioritization matrix, which divides all MVP features into four groups :
The must-have group should always include all of the necessary functionalities, and the rest will be arranged accordingly.
Once the features have been finalized, the next step in the MVP development process is to build an MVP. During this phase, the software development team will thoroughly analyze the features and implement them into the product, priority wise, sending you reports with time estimates of how long it will take to develop the entire MVP.
With timely reports, you'll be also able to see how well your development team understands your business goals and ideas. If in case the developers misunderstood your business plans, don't hesitate to clarify what features they are missing and describe the exact scenario as it will only make the whole MVP development process run more smoothly.
You can easily release the product to the market after going through all of the above steps on MVP analysis and development. The product's quality should not be compromised in comparison to a planned full-scale product, and it should also attract users and meet their initial needs, which means the product should be easy to use, engaging and suitable for users.
The final stage of the MVP development process is receiving and analyzing user feedback to understand what users want and how to improve the final product. You can assess user feedback by carefully listening to their queries and making a list of them. Although it becomes extremely difficult to please every customer on the market, user input can provide you with a clear concept of how to improve product functionality.
You can conduct tests with adjustments multiple times before you're ready to produce the final product, keeping user feedback in mind. Adjusting and optimizing the MVP for tests may appear to be an unnecessary step, but it helps you to exactly tailor the product to client needs, which can lead to increased engagement and financial gains once the full product is out in the market.
There are several approaches to predicting a product's future success. Here are some of the most common, effective, and time-tested methods for determining an MVP's success:
Traffic is a useful metric for predicting success; if you see a lot of people using your product, it is likely that your product has met their needs and has the potential to grow into a full-fledged product.
The number of downloads and launch rate indicate user interest in the app, and when the app is lighter, you'll see an increase in the number of downloads, and with an increase in the number of downloads, you know your product is receiving a lot of attention.
The number of downloads and launches aren't the sole measures of an MVP's success. It is also essential to study user behavior and to check the ratings of active users on a regular basis. You can use Google Search Console and Luckyorange to easily study user behavior and identify which areas of your product are receiving the most attention.
It is highly important to comprehend how much it costs to acquire a paying customer.
This is because client acquisition costs keep you informed on whether your marketing efforts are efficient or need to be tweaked. This way, you get a better picture of how you can improve your marketing strategies and implement them while releasing your product.
Client lifetime value indicates how long an user spends on an app before uninstalling or discontinuing the use of the app. So, if a customer uses your product for an extended period of time, it means your product has the potential to retain customers for a longer period of time by addressing their needs, and if they uninstall the product within weeks or even days, you need to think of some alternative ways to improve the product.
When it comes to MVP software development, there are a number of factors that influence the cost of building an MVP.
Many of us presume that the cost of app development is solely determined by the type of technology used, but this isn’t true.
Your product development costs are only one side of the equation. It is also vital that the project is completed on time and that the concept behind the project is strong.
However, if you want your product to completely replicate your business idea while also successfully meeting all of your customers' needs, you should carefully select your developers and focus on both the functionality and the overall appearance of your product.
So, without further ado, let’s have a closer look at the important aspects that determine the cost of MVP software development :
The cost of developing your MVP will differ depending on the type of MVP you choose to build. High-fidelity MVPs that allow for realistic user interactions can be more expensive to create. The size and complexity of your features will also have an impact on the costs.
The technology stack you choose for your MVP development has a significant impact on the overall cost. So, before you choose the technologies for your MVP, it's vital to consult with your development team, as selecting the wrong tech stack will hinder the entire development process while also raising the cost.
Time is not an independent factor, but rather a result of the product's complexity and the technology stack chosen. The time it takes to deploy the MVP will also be determined by your clarity and availability. All of these factors will increase the time required for the MVP, and an increase in time results in an increase in budget.
There are many ways to put together a team of developers to launch your MVP, from freelancing to outsourcing. Each model has it’s pros and cons and each of them will cost you differently.
Here goes a quick guide on how to find developers so you carefully bypass the pitfalls on the way!
The look and feel of an MVP are two important factors in determining the product's price. Having said that, starting from a simple design to an extravagant one, the cost will also increase accordingly.
Interactive media elements will engage your customers while they use your product. This is a fantastic method to improve the user experience, but it comes at a price. The more of these features you desire in your product, the more you'll have to spend.
Third-party integrations will allow you to quickly add features and tools to your product, reducing the amount of time it takes to develop the product. However, keep your budget in mind, as the more integrations you add, higher will be the cost.
Apart from these factors, there are a variety of additional aspects that influence the cost of developing an MVP. But, if you really want to bind it in a range, in most cases the cost of developing an MVP falls within the range of $30K - $50K and even beyond if you want a more complex and feature-rich product.
Here are a few notable companies that successfully launched MVPs. These examples demonstrate what startups and businesses prioritize when developing an essential MVP set of features :
When Facebook was first launched, an MVP was created solely to connect students from various schools and colleges via messaging. The plan was simply to connect friends via social media and help organize gatherings. Facebook, in its early years, was built on the basic version of an MVP, which contained only the necessary functionalities required to achieve its goal.
The application was initially launched for user testing and received a lot of feedback causing it to become extremely popular on the internet, making it one of the largest social media platform with over 1.3 billion active users.
With no capital to invest in a business, Airbnb's founders tested their concept of creating an online market for short-term, peer-to-peer rental housing in their own apartment. They created a very simple website, posted photos and other information about their property, and almost immediately found several paying guests.
Uber's beta version was a simplified user interface app used by the founders and their friends. They continued by focusing on San Francisco-based users and leveraging all of that feedback to iteratively refine the product. The acquired knowledge made it clearer what steps to take in order to develop a marketable taxi app. Uber is now available in over 60 countries and earns billions of dollars each year.
When you release an MVP to the market, the product goes through four important stages, i.e it’s a hit or a flop, or customers slowly accepted / rejected it. If your product is an instant hit in the market, you are the lucky one and if not, it’s a big business blunder and you need to rework the whole process again with several tweaking.
So, how can you save yourself from such business blunders?
Here are some pointers to help you transform your MVP to a full-fledged product and avoid such business blunders :
In the startup world, there appears to be a widespread misconception that developing an MVP entails avoiding an important aspect of technical scalability. Every startup is concerned with validating their assumptions in the market and gaining significant traction, but the concerns with scalability arise at the later stage once the MVP is out in the market.
Unfortunately, this irrational belief has resulted in some heinous startup failures. 'TaskBob,' a home-service startup that had raised approximately $5.7 million in funding in 2014, had to close down in 2017 due to inability to scale up and generate profit.
Startups frequently choose to postpone the pricing component during MVP development or even after the launch of an MVP because they believe the product is not yet ready.
Even if the product is still in the MVP stage, if the top customer pain points have been addressed and the startup follows a customer development process, they are well on their way to success.
For example, Buffer identified the winning strategy. They began by analyzing the demand for their product among potential customers using a basic MVP.
When their service page began to receive traffic, they immediately added another page to their registration process that contained the pricing plans. As a result, they examined the product's demand and devised an optimal monetization strategy.
As said before, an MVP is not a finished product, but rather a package in the early stages of development. However, when the MVP is released to the market, the startup should be prepared with a marketing strategy to inform the world that their product is now available.
It is preferable to begin product promotion as soon as the MVP is released.
Mint, a personal finance app, is an excellent example of how to use a perfect marketing medium from the MVP launch stage to see the light of success in the future.
Mint began with a personal finance blog in order to grow its audience. In not less than two years since its release, the app has amassed one million users.
By simply including an email subscription form at the end of each article, the startup was able to collect 20,000 - 30,000 emails from potential customers in less than 9 months, while their app was still in development.
Looking for an experienced MVP software development team to help you speed up your business operations?
BinaryFolks can undoubtedly assist you with this. Our skilled and specialized software developers have firsthand knowledge of delivering a wide range of projects for clients from various industries. With BinaryFolks, you can easily tap into the full potential of your MVP software and accelerate your company's growth graph.
So, here’s what to expect if developing your MVP software with BinaryFolks :
Driven by ex-engineers from Google, Amazon & Salesforce
101% Value For Money (+1 for Our Complimentary Consultation before You Spend Your 1st Dollar!)
Reviews That You Can Verify!
Safeguarded Business With An NDA
Eye For Details
Questions Galore (Until Your Requirement & Our Understanding are mirror copies!)
Insight-Rich Scope Enhancement
Intense Domain Expertise
Close-knit feedback loop
Now that you've gathered most of the necessary ingredients for a successful MVP, embarking on your first MVP development strategy should not be intimidating anymore. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect! All you have to do is plan a business hypothesis, identify the main features, know your target audience, partner with the right development team, and you're already halfway through the process.
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