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How to develop an MVP for Startups

The Ultimate Guide for Startups: How to develop an MVP

March 25, 2024
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10 min read

Сompanies are eager to launch their product idea to the market possible. They are convinced they have something special for users who are ready to pay for it. But the thing is <medium>customers are inundated with products<medium> today. Recent history is littered with tales of good app concepts buried under the depth of the online stores.

<medium>From the business perspective, firstly you have to find specific consumer needs<medium> and only then develop a product to match it in a cost-effective way. Here's why MVPs are essential for a successful product launch. It helps quickly validate an idea and minimize resources, instead of spending too much on an ill-conceived project.

Considering the relevance of these issues, we've developed this MVP development guide for non-technical founders and everyone interested in creating a new software product.

What is an MVP (minimum viable product)?

MVP is described by the term's inventor Eric Ries as the "version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort".

In other words, minimum viable product (MVP) is the version of the product with a limited number of features that can be <medium>implemented and launched with minimal app development cost and within the tightest timeframe<medium>. If you are wondering how to create a startup, MVP implementation should be on your agenda.

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minimum viable product examples
minimum viable product example

Whichever definition you prefer (except NBA's "Most Valuable Player"), <medium>every MVP must possess<medium>:

  1. Enough customer value to attract clients willing to use the product and pay for it
  2. A clear vision that will make first adopters stick around
  3. The comprehensive feedback loop to direct future development

Let's say you decided to create an online tool that would help art studios and painters promote their works and tutorials. <medium>Before plunging headfirst into work, ask yourself if artists really need such a platform. What if they are content with social media?<medium> You can test your first assumption by contacting local studios and talking to artists online to gauge their interest.

If you've found several interested people, ask them how much they are willing to pay. If the sum is enough for you, create a beta version for a focus group. The first round of testing will determine if your audience is tech-savvy enough to use the service you want to provide. The next steps we will highlight further.

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What are the main benefits of starting your project with MVP?

Over time the term has gotten new interpretations and is now used throughout various business concepts and methods, <medium>including CustDev, Agile Development, or Lean Startup.<medium>

So, what is the secret to MVP approach success, and why it's widely adopted?

mvp benefits

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How to build a minimum viable product? MVP development checklist

MVP prevents your initial product from getting cluttered with useless features.The details of MVP software development might differ from project to project, depending on requirements, time constraints, budget, etc. However, the main stages are the same:

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The MVP development cycle is kind of the wheel of Samsara iterations. You should repeat the MVP process from developing the idea till the launch of the finished product: get an idea-test-build-analyze-accept/cancel/improve.

mvp development

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How to measure MVP success?

The vital opportunity granted by the minimum viable product is the possibility to gather <medium>actionable data that help validate the project's relevance and demand<medium>.

Early adopters help identify <medium>critical shortcomings and features in need of upgrading or replacement<medium>. This data is even much more valuable than the best assumptions of BAs and industry experts.

Here are key indicators you need to pay attention to after your MVP is launched.

mvp software development

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When is reasonable to skip the MVP stage?

You've already created dozens of successful products, and you know exactly what the customers need. In this case, it's not necessary to build an MVP. Or maybe you have access to unlimited resources, and you are not pressed for time. If that is the case, skip the MVP and go straight to the top.

<medium>There are several clear signs warning you when should you skip developing an MVP<medium>, including:

  1. You've already had a solid customer base
  2. ... and you know customer expectations perfectly,
  3. ... as well as a proved demand for the existing feature set

<medium>Otherwise, the MVP might be just what you need to actually get in touch with your customers and receive first payments.<medium>

Mind you, even such giants as Uber, Airbnb, and other companies whose names you can see on the pic below, used MVP and only then became startup unicorns.

mvp development cases

For example, <medium>Uber's MVP (UberCab) launched in 2009, was available only in San Francisco and working only on iPhones or via SMS<medium>. MVP helped founders to test the risk (without wasting time and money) and make sure that the ride-sharing idea had a market.

The MVP should not be your ultimate goal. It's only the first of many steps that will lead your business to success. <medium>Think about any of the modern IT giants: every one of them started small and constantly evolved the product, taking into account customer feedback and making adjustments<medium>. That is why decades later their products are still desirable. Others, who refused to adjust and stopped at the MVP stage, are long forgotten. Or does anyone still use MySpace?

<medium>The most important lesson creating the MVP will teach you is how to balance your priorities<medium>. Minimum viable product may not be the best, most advanced version, but it provides your customers with value and keeps them coming back for more as long as you heed their feedback.

Final thoughts

Your MVP is the beginning of a stronger product.

It may not be the exact product you end up with, but it gets you on the right track.

Our task is to help <medium>clients find this track for success and hit the ground running with their products<medium>. If you have an idea and want to see it implemented, contact us to develop a viable MVP.

Also, if you're still assessing your options, check out our recent blog articles to get the fresh batch of IT insights.

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