The acronym “MVP” means “minimum viable product”. This concept is a part of Agile methodology. MVP in Agile means a service that has a minimal set of features to attract first users.
Many business owners want to build an MVP to save budget on the collection of the first feedback. Collecting information via MVP is a much cheaper variant than developing a full-fledged product with a large set of features. MVP allows you to reduce costs and risks and, with the right approach, eventually reach a business idea that works.
For example, you want to create an advanced app that will play a role of smart notepad in the users’ phones. The MVP version of this app will look like a simple electronic notepad with a pleasant and simple interface. As it’s accepted by first users as a useful app that is better than many similar apps on the market, you can add the ability to draw, create to-do-lists, use different backgrounds and fonts, etc.
So, if you want to know how to build an MVP, keep on reading the next paragraphs.
The Most Popular MVP Examples
Almost all successful startups started their way from MVP. Let’s take a look at some of them so you could understand which way to go to create a successful MVP for your business:
In the original version, the app only provided the ability to connect customers with drivers and such a simplicity has attracted enough customers to prove its worth. Then, the company started to gradually add various features such as family profile, trip planning, the possibility of fare sharing and others.
If the app provided all these functions from the start, it wouldn’t have much chance of success. The customers just wouldn’t want to figure out how to use these features and why they may need them. So, thanks to MVP, the company’s current worth is $53 billion.
This streaming service originally worked as a platform for broadcasting a Justin TV show. It was limited to one broadcast which was shown in low resolution. This attracted a small segment of the audience which was enough to choose the further direction of development. Now, it’s the most popular interactive streaming service for gaming, entertainment, sports, music, and other types of content.
Its MVP was just a simple page with a list of links to popular websites. This was enough to satisfy first users. When the service gained traffic and popularity, the owners started to quickly develop it by adding new features. Now, it’s the second most successful search engine in the world after Google.
Originally, this popular service didn’t have a prepayment function: it acted as an intermediary between tenants and property owners. The owners received money directly from their guests, since Airbnb didn’t work with bank cards. Currently, it’s one of the best companies that operate an online marketplace for lodging and tourism activities.
How to Build a Minimum Viable Product That Will Ensure Your Success?
1. Make Sure That Your Idea Is Strong
CB Insights made a research that has shown that 35% of startups fail due to the lack of market need. That is why you need to research the market as thoroughly as you can before you begin to plan your project and create an MVP.
You should ensure that you have something better to offer to people who already use similar apps. Google Analytics service can help you analyze the state of your niche in the market.
2. Define the Problem That Your MVP Will Solve
If an MVP doesn’t bring profit, it’s not yet an MVP, it’s just a prototype. For your MVP to bring profit, you need to define a problem and build a product with a minimal set of functions that solve this problem.
According to Statista, 25% of apps are used only one time and then get abandoned by the users. For this not to happen, you need to make sure that your app is really useful and interesting. However, it doesn’t always mean that it has to be a product with innovative features.
Let’s take the very first iPhone version on the market as an example. All phones at that time had a number of features that Apple purposely didn’t include in its device. It didn’t have a copy and paste function, SDK, 3G, the ability to send text messages to several contacts at once, etc. Instead, Steve Jobs just introduced its MVP to the market.
It just had the main features that the vast majority of users want to have and that set it apart from the rest of the market. As history shows, the audience accepted this MVP and the absence of other features wasn’t a problem. Now, Apple’s smartphones have all the missing features and much more.
3. Create an Minimum Valuable Product (MVAP)
Minimum Valuable Product (MVAP) is a concept that appeared with an intention to remind entrepreneurs and developers that the main goal of the MVP is to create a product that will be useful to the users.
According to Rob Sangent, “The ethos of the Minimum Valuable Products is in essence a focus on the minimum work needed to deliver the value that you want.”. This will allow you to recruit an initial audience whose behavior can then be analyzed.
Actually, adding an “A” to “MVP” is just another step to ensure your success. In fact, MVAP means that you are going to make everything possible to ensure that you will deliver the best product you can. For this, you should look at your product more globally.
MVAP prioritizes the users, their needs and expectations, conducts research, analyzes usability, evaluates demographics, creates use cases. All in order to determine the best ways to meet the needs of potential customers.
As usual, there are several ways to reach that goal. For example, create and test the prototypes. You can test several prototypes among the audience that is interested in the success of your startup. However, you should also make sure to check the market’s reaction to your MVP.
4. Collect the Feedback
The main goal of MVP development is the feedback. After your MVP project is launched, you need to collect the data, test performance, add requested features, and gradually move towards a more complex version of the product.
The importance of MVP phase in product development can’t be denied. There are many ways that can ensure success of your whole project on this step. You can either resort to the software product development company, dedicate this task your in-house development team, or find freelancers to reduce the MVP cost, but you should remember to:
- check if your idea is valuable;
- devote as many time and effort to the market research as you can;
- create a user-oriented product;
- use the feedback to turn your MVP into a powerful, full-fledged product.