When you’re scrolling through your favorite mobile apps on your phone or browsing through your favorite website, it’s easy to forget that many of them started the same way… with a simple idea that evolved over time.
Nowadays, the market is flooded with startups that are disrupting every industry with new product ideas. Without a doubt, every entrepreneur strives to minimize risks and increase the likelihood of launching a successful product. According to a CB Insights study, approximately 90% of startups fail within the first year, with a lack of market demand accounting for 42% of startup failures. Almost half of the time, entrepreneurs put in months or even years of effort only to discover that their hypothesis was incorrect and that no one is interested in their product.
As a result, before expanding the business, it is critical to understand the needs of the customers and assess the best ways to reach them. If startups miss this critical stage in the product development process, their idea is more likely to fail.
What is MVP in Software Development?
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a method for developing a new product with the bare minimum of functionality required to meet the needs of the target audience. It is used to gather user feedback and assess market demand for a business idea.
Assume you have a brilliant new product idea. The best thing to do would be to test it on the market and gather customer feedback. However, developing a software product from the ground up is a time-consuming and expensive process that few people can or want to afford. Not to mention the need to acquire all of the necessary technical skills. This is where MVP development comes in handy. It is the best way to extract the most value from the market with the least amount of effort, allowing you to make the best decisions about the future of your product.
In this light, MVP stands for:
Minimum: a fundamental set of features and capabilities which…
Viable: provides value to customers, causing them to be willing to pay money and…
Product: ready for use right now.
In terms of web apps, SaaS, blockchain and eCommerce startups, there are many different types of MVPs to choose from that represent the vision and promise of your business idea. This could be done by making wireframes or mockups, simple web apps, or even a software prototype. All of them show the most basic purpose, concept, and features of your business idea.
Why you should start with an MVP
1. Clear focus
You can easily define your value proposition using the MVP approach. To specify the most important features for your MVP, you must first understand the project’s overall goal. You will be able to provide the most value to users if you know what pain points it can solve. This strategy will also allow you to remove features that aren’t absolutely necessary.
Instagram is an excellent example. It is now widely recognized as a popular photo and video-sharing social network. It was, however, initially developed as a GPS-based application.
Instagram’s founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger were working on a project that included many features such as checking into places, making plans, publishing images, and so on. However, they quickly realized that the majority of the existing functionality made their application too difficult for users. As a result, they shifted their focus to a single function — photo sharing.
2. Cost efficiency
Because a minimum viable product requires only the most basic functionality, developers will need less time to complete it when compared to building a fully-fledged product. As a result, the cost of a ready solution will be lower.
Early adopters provide immediate feedback on your product, allowing you to incrementally add new features. When compared to developing a full-featured application, this method reduces development costs.
You can keep costs down at every stage of your MVP development by using the agile project management methodology during software development.
3. Attracting investors
Investors must understand where their money will be invested. This is not surprising, given that the startup failure rate in 2019 was around 90%.
As a result, some investors predict that initial user interest will be high. The fact is that startups that encourage early customer involvement have a better chance of attracting investors and receiving funding.
In this regard, you must demonstrate the viability of your business idea in order to obtain funding. The MVP approach entails quickly launching a product and waiting for customer feedback. If it is positive, you will be confident in the relevance of your offering and will be able to present your MVP to investors with ease.
4. Quick launch
As previously stated, creating an MVP will not take long. Define and release the primary features required to solve a specific problem. A quick launch will allow you to not only properly scale your business but also test your marketing strategy and sales channels.
The truth is that the sooner you launch an MVP, the sooner you will gain valuable experience.
Furthermore, the quick launch allows you to validate your promotion strategy and sales channels earlier. Marketing’s significance should not be underestimated. Remember that even the most brilliant product will fail if it is not promoted effectively.
5. Feedback from early adopters
Finally, we made it to the main goal of MVP development, which is to get feedback from the first people who use the app or software. Early adopters will assist you in improving your product by expressing their preferences for desired changes, new functions, or updates. Furthermore, if users enjoy your product, they may form a community around it.
It is possible that the initial target group you are focusing on will not find your product valuable. Don’t be alarmed. Try to distribute your MVP to a variety of target groups in order to find customers who will undoubtedly enjoy your product.
Another advantage of MVP app design is its adaptability. Simple solutions are always easier to change. As a result, changing MVPs isn’t difficult. You can quickly iterate features based on user feedback.
If you need to change something, you won’t have to risk undermining your app’s architecture and logic and rebuilding it from the ground up.
How to make the MVP concept work for you
Every company wants to ensure that they create a product that people want and are willing to pay for. As a result, the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) is an important step for any business to test whether it is heading in the right direction and for enterprises to avoid excessive project complexity.
A true MVP is one that prioritizes customers, solves a specific problem, is simple to launch on short notice, and has an easy-to-navigate user experience.
It takes a significant amount of time and effort to create functional MVP software. To achieve project goals, you’ll need a diverse team of developers, and they’ll need to work together. Complexity will lead to chaos if effective management and methodologies are not used, resulting in software that does not function properly. In any MVP software development project, a good methodology ensures a well-structured approach.
At Mintbit, we take our clients’ projects through the entire custom software development life cycle, from business idea validation to MVP implementation and scaling. We have assisted numerous companies in Knoxville and throughout Tennessee in developing their MVP and would be delighted to discuss what we can do for you! To learn how to get started with a minimum viable product for your custom software, schedule an online virtual consultation with us today or visit our Knoxville offices if you’re in the neighborhood.