For a business to succeed in an environment where 90% of startups fail, the entrepreneur needs to know in advance whether the product will benefit the target users and whether it will have its uniqueness in the market. Since the development of full-fledged software from the beginning is a considerable risk for the customer’s resources, IT companies offer an option that will be less expensive and more effective for the client at the launch stage.
Developing a minimum viable product clarifies whether your business idea is suitable for the modern consumer and whether it will be profitable. Such software will also be helpful for entrepreneurs who rely on third-party funding. To understand whether your business needs such a digital solution, you need to know why developers create MVP.
What Is an MVP
MVP (minimum viable product) is software with the most important set of functions, already ready to solve the user’s problem. It is often developed to test the main features and see how a potential client will interact with the platform. The ability to test the application increases its chances of success, giving the customer new ideas for a full-fledged project.
MVP allows you to predict the product’s capabilities in technical and commercial terms. In this case, the customer makes a decision based on specific numbers and user feedback, not assumptions. An MVP’s key idea is to create a real product you can offer customers. This software tests working hypotheses and determines the level of market demand for a particular idea.
Types of MVP
Among all the MVP options, developers identify three main ones that bring the most significant profit to the startup owner.
Product with a Single Parameter
The most common version of the MVP is software that performs one or two main functions fundamental to the product. It is necessary to check the viability of the idea and the correct operation of the technical side. Such testing requires a small budget and takes a minimum of development time. If even the most basic functions of the application did not bring any benefit to customers and they did not begin to use them, it makes no sense to create a full-fledged platform. The MVP performed its function, and the customer did not waste the budget in vain.
The Flintstone MVP is a fictional product that doesn’t exist yet. In this case, the consumer sees full-fledged software with automated processes, but it is just an image. Such an application is fully maintained manually, and the developers start working on the real app if the testing shows promising results. It saves the customer’s budget and makes it possible to change the business idea at any time.
MVP on Pre-Order
This method is suitable for those business owners whose startup requires significant investments, but at the initial stage, there is no formed budget. In this case, you need to create a campaign on a crowdfunding platform and analyze people’s interest in the project. If the idea seems interesting to users and they are ready to give money for it, you can start creating a product.
Benefits of MVP for Startup
The most famous software you use did not enter the market as we see it now. For example, Facebook, Instagram, and Dropbox started their ascent to the TOP with MVP. Through a product with core features, they recognized their potential audience and looked for their uniqueness to compete with competitors.
According to CB Insights, 42% of startups fail because they don’t know what the market demands. MVP reduces the likelihood of financial loss and increases the chances of success among similar applications that decide to release a finished product without interacting with the audience.
Developers create an MVP to test all the points that will influence the successful launch of a full-fledged version of the product. One of the main points of testing is market demand.
The business owner always thinks that their idea will solve the problems of customers and will be helpful to them, but often the application turns out to be useless and soon fails. To avoid such a scenario, you need to contact the developers who will create an MVP with the main features and let users test the functionality by leaving feedback on the product. Based on the test results, you can start developing full-fledged software, add new features at customers’ request, or even suspend the project if the reviews are negative.
MVP is one of the effective ways to get funding for the development of full-fledged software. Investors are interested to see the product in action and seeing if it can bring the profit they are counting on. The startup owner will apply to fund sources already with an economic justification and feedback from real users. MVP shows the product’s dignity and allows investors to test each feature, ensuring future software success.
Customer Needs Understanding
Customers are the people for whom any project is done, so their opinion and needs always come first in the product development process. The feedback and wishes of users at the initial stage are more important than business analysts’ advice. To launch a successful project, you need to let the audience test the product and tell them which features will be useful for them and which ones the software does not need. Already at the MVP stage, you will know your next steps in improving the application and how the final product will look.
Creating an MVP speed up the release of full-fledged software. After releasing the minimum viable product, you will receive user data, test hypotheses, and check usability. Collecting the necessary information will reduce development time by removing useless features and fixing bugs. Users will be able to get a quality app faster, and you will minimize development budgets.
Steps to Create an MVP
A successful project is the result of planning, testing, and editing. Before creating an MVP, you already need to understand the market, know the portrait of potential customers and have an idea of how your product will be helpful for them. If a business owner doesn’t know where to start preparing development, there are three main steps to successful software:
- Project evaluation criteria. Before you begin creating an MVP, you need to make a list of criteria by which you will evaluate it before release. It may include user experience, functionality, design, and more.
- Customer needs. Think of a list of users’ needs that your product can take care of. Don’t try to add all the features that you think are interesting to your app – they may be useless for your audience and resource-intensive.
- Constant research. The research phase does not end with the start of MVP development. The market is constantly changing, and the business owner needs to keep track of how trends and user preferences change. It will help make the product even more attractive to the customer.
Why Your Startup Needs an MVP
A good business idea does not guarantee a successful entry into the market. To be confident in your project, you need to test before the release constantly. MVP is ideal for those who want to check if their vision matches the audience’s actual needs. This product will help you save your budget and not spend it on developing unnecessary features. Clients will be delighted if they manage to test the software and give their recommendations for improvement, and potential investors will see if your concept deserves their attention.
The key to launching a successful MVP is thinking through every detail of development and the development team, which will bring it to life. Do not be afraid to trust professionals and get your product to the market as soon as possible!