Many people have gone through the process of providing a good definition of what an MVP is. The pioneer's most famous MVP campaigner is the author and pioneer of the Lean Startup methodology, Eric Ries. He gives the following definition of an MVP:
A Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
In this article, we will walk you through what an MVP is, why it is integral to a business, and how to build it within a short time frame.
MVP refers to the MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT. The first version of a product is often called the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). In mobile app development, an MVP is a basic version of an application. It’s a process where a new product is developed with core functionalities, to test how the target audience would respond. Then, the actual product, with a full set of features, is developed after feedback is received from the early adopters.
A MVP helps in the testing and designing stage, before delivering the final product. MVP development plays an important role in web development and app development as this process helps business owners understand which features are important to their users.
Several businesses have pitfalls while trying to launch a minimum viable product for a mobile app or a web. That is why it is important to understand the building process of an MVP.
An MVP can take many forms.
It can be some drawings, a slide deck, an interactive prototype, an HTML demo or a fully functional product/application. The simplest example is in the picture below.
The purpose of an MVP is to launch a product quickly, test your concept, and do this within a reduced budget. This approach allows you to collect user’s feedback on the primary use of the product, and then include this feedback in future iterations of the product. With the help of an MVP, one can find the right audience, understand the value of your application based on first-hand user experience, and save time on product changes in the long-term. An MVP has three key characteristics:
- It has enough value that people are willing to use it or buy it initially.
- It demonstrates enough future benefits to retain early adopters.
- It provides a feedback loop to guide future development.
The catch to this development technique is that it assumes that early adopters can see the vision or promise of the final product and that these early adopters provide the valuable feedback needed to guide developers forward. This suggests that technically orientated products used by technical users may be most appropriate for this type of development technique. Entrepreneurs very often make the mistake of starting with a grand solution to the problem. They then deliver an MVP, but the market doesn’t respond because they haven’t taken the required journey to identify a solution that the market wants. The result? An unviable MVP, which often results in a necessary pivot. One key thing to be aware of before testing your MVP is defining your success metrics. If the initial MVP doesn’t succeed, the decision has to be made to iterate and try again or to close it down and move on. Many of the most successful software tech companies started with an MVP. Twitter started as an SMS service with no website or app to speak of. They got feedback and traction, iterated on the idea and developed into one of the most successful communication platforms in the world.
Make sure your planned MVP aligns with your business objectives.
The first step in developing your MVP is to make sure the product will align with your team and your company’s strategic goals. What are those goals? Are you working towards a revenue number in the coming six months? Do you have limited resources? These questions might affect whether now is even the time to start developing a new MVP. Ask what purpose will this minimum viable product will serve. Will it attract new users in a market adjacent to the market which your existing products are in? If launching a product in an adjacent market is one of your current business objectives, then this MVP plan is likely to be strategically viable. But if your company’s current priority is to continue focusing on your core markets, then you might need to shelf this idea and focus instead on an MVP designed to offer new functionality for your existing customers.
Start identifying specific problems you want to solve
Now that you’ve determined your MVP plans align with your business objectives, you can start thinking through the specific solutions that you want your product to offer users. These solutions, which you might write up in the form of user stories, epics, or features, do not represent the product’s overall vision—only subsets of that vision. You will need to be strategic in deciding which limited functionality to include in your MVP. You can base these decisions on a number of factors, including:
- User research
- Competitive analysis
- How quickly you’ll be able to iterate on certain types of functionality when you receive user feedback
- The relative costs to implement the various user stories or epics
Build your MVP
Once you have decided upon the main features, and have learned about the market needs, you can create your MVP. Keep in mind that a prototype is not intended to be of lower quality than a final product, as it still needs to fulfill your customer’s needs. Therefore, it must be easy to use, engaging, and suitable for your users.
An MVP aims to solve a user’s core problems with an application, by identifying the pain points and then focusing on offering viable solutions. All you need is brainstorming, followed by planning, designing and software development. If you add targeted advertising for the MVP, it will result in the optimization of your project’s value and reach to potential customers. Developing a minimum viable product requires experience. If you need any help in building an MVP for your project, or you would like a consultation, reach out to us at nimbleappgenie.com or email@example.com. If you enjoyed this article, please don’t hesitate to like and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Jermaine Trotman is the co-founder of Nimble AppGenie, a company renowned for its bespoke mobile app development and web development in e-wallet app development and fintech development.