MVP is a development method used to create a basic version of a product. It is popularized by Eric Ries, a famous American entrepreneur, and Lean Startup pioneer. Its key task is to get the feedback from the first customers who tested the product and based on it, hint further improvements. Launching an MVP is a crucial stage in the product lifecycle. Experts believe that this demo version is the best way to introduce a startup to the market. Today, there’s a number of companies that specialize in developing MVPs for various niches. All you need to do is access their website and leave a request.
Why Does a Startup Need MVP?
As brilliant as it is, an idea is not the end result. A study by CB Insights has found that 42% of startup failures are the result of the lack of market demand. MVP helps understand product prospects. Moreover, it solves several other important tasks.
The main goal of MVP is to test the application at a minimum cost. Even if your idea turns out to be lousy, you will lose a minimal budget. MVP allows you to get true customer evaluation of the product with only one or two key features. You don’t want to spend a fortune on a vague perspective.
Feedback will clearly demonstrate how customers perceive your product. There are two ways to get it: either from a group of pre-selected people (this option is called alpha testing) or from an undefined group of people through social media channels. In the process, you will evaluate the interaction of users with the product, presenting progressive MVP versions.
Fast Idea Realization
MVP significantly reduces the number of hours spent on development as it allows you to focus on only several features to run. This approach minimizes the time-to-market period at least twice.
4 Ideas for MVP Creation
MVP must deliver the very essence of the product in its most basic form. The task of the team is not only to understand what users need but also to implement it within the shortest possible time at the lowest cost. It can be realized in a few ways.
1. Single-feature MVP
It is often a winning decision to focus on a single feature of your MVP. This way you save development time and do not distract users from the main purpose of the product. Single-feature MVP is fast to build and easy to explain to the audience. The release of a product with one function allows you to narrow the target audience, get feedback and analyze it, and then start testing. It is also important to highlight other basic functions, which you plan to add after a successful MVP presentation.
2. Software prototype as MVP
With the help of mockups and prototypes, you can showcase product performance in real-life. These types of digital prototypes can be both low-level (sketches and screenshots) and detailed (application dummies that simulate real user experience). A classic prototype is meant only for internal use by the development team. When a prototype is used as MVP, it is designed for a much wider audience.
MVP can be created in the form of a landing page. You need to make minimal investments in its promotion and optimize for search results. It will allow you to immediately track the traffic via metrics. On this page, you can display promotional materials about the product and its features, trying to intrigue potential customers. It is an ideal way to collect a base of early users, which can then be used for surveys or A / B testing.
4. UX-based MVP
The most progressive development companies consider the UX part to be the priority element. Good examples of this approach are cases from Purrweb — food delivery application Talentum and Fitforce.com, a mobile application for fitness trainers. These products were designed with a user being a key figure of the entire development. Every detail is created to turn a user into a customer: easy navigation, intuitive interface. It is important to define a clear portrait of the product’s user to discover which UX elements will have the best feedback. This way you will be able to create an MVP with the most winning features.
A Few Tips for Successful MVP
You should not be misled by the thought that MVP is easy to create. Often, the emphasis is on minimalism in order to save resources. As a result, consumers criticize the poor-quality test version. MVP should be a fully functional product. So, make sure to take the following into account:
- Market analysis. Even if you have come up with a truly new product, the market may already offer similar solutions. Study the market for competitors. Find out exactly what competitors are selling, what market share they occupy, and how they attract customers. Third-party experience can be very helpful;
- Careful planning. Usually, the MVP creation process is much shorter than the development of a full-fledged product, but it also has its own nuances. Thoughtful planning and realistic modeling should include the following stages: interface architecture, rough prototype, accurate prototype;
- Flexible development solutions. Most teams agree on the fact that agile development methods are more appropriate for MVP creation than waterfall methods. This approach gives you three trumps: transparency, flexibility, and speed. You will be able to monitor the process at all stages and make necessary amendments if required.
An MVP differs from an early release of an open-source project. The release takes into account the needs and preferences of users, but it is not supposed to determine the direction of product development. In the case of a finished product, a vision often already exists and will be maintained throughout the life cycle despite the actual feedback. MVP is aimed at checking the market demand before investing a lot of money and time. It provides a chance for a better and more thoughtful organization of the IT project development when there is no guarantee of a quick return on the financial investment made.