What Is An MVP And What You Should Know About Building One
Last Updated on: July 5, 2022
In today’s software development world, the ability to move fast, adapt to situations, and predicting different turns of events gives your business a strategic advantage over your competitors. Anytime you bring a new product to the market, you are taking a risk. The best way to ensure minimum risk and valuable output is via an MVP development.
What is an MVP, Minimum Viable Product?
For our non-tech readers, we will start with the basics and for those of you who already know what an MVP is and the importance it holds, skip directly to the ‘Steps to Build an MVP’ section.
MVP development is a full-scale test of your application at its most basic providing some value proposition in the real market situation. It tests the engagement level of your target audience and measures their interaction with the product, paying attention only to the needs and demands of your target audience.
In a way, to build MVP is the most important stage in the entire development process and will help you understand the direction your application will take in the future.
Businesses build MVPs to find the right balance between what you are offering to users, and what the users actually need. By building MVP, we can test this hypothesis and minimise errors. Through an MVP development, you can collect maximum quality feedback, by targeting specific groups, or types of users in less time and money.
In general terms, the purpose of MVP development is to:
- Validate your app development idea
- Gain feedback on our app idea
- Launch a product in less money & time
- Showcase the potential of your working product for investors
Steps to Build an MVP
Before you set to build MVP, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- What is the target audience of your application?
- Which segment of the target audience are you going to use for testing?
- What is the value proposition of your application?
- How is it different from everything that your competitors are offering?
- What’s your take on the revenue generation part of the application?
- How will you measure the success and failure of your MVP development?
Speaking from our 13+ years of experience in MVP development, It is very important for you to answer these questions and follow the steps laid out for you in this blog below for your MVP development, else you will have an MVP that will fail even if your idea is good.we have found this process to be necessary to produce a successful MVP software development and this should help with your MVP software development without any fails.
Step 1 – What’s the Problem you are Solving and For Whom
We have already put those questions above. Before even starting with an MVP you should answer those questions. Here it’s for a market-fir analysis only.
- Why does anyone need this product?
- How can it help users?
Can not stress on this more, 42% of startups fail because their product has no market need. So, build MVP that meets the market needs.
Step 2 – Analyse your Competitors & Decide Your USP
Once you have an idea that there are gaps or problems that you can solve via an app, and want to build MVP for, get on the net, and find similar mobile app/products available in the market. Always know what your competitors are doing, how they are doing it, and what you can do to stand apart.
There are a number of tools like SimilarWeb, Crayon, SEMrush, etc to help with competitor analysis for websites and digital products in terms of monthly traffic, sources of traffic, website or app rank, the geographical location of users, and other helpful information. Use these to build MVP that’s better.
Step 3 – Define the Design Process and the User Flow
Your app has to be simple, easy, and intuitive. By now, you should already know the primary goal of the application, so make it easy for the user to achieve that.
For example, in the case of an e-commerce platform, buying a product is the primary goal.
Now, defining the user flow will be like: Find an item, buy an item, manage orders, and receive the item. Similarly, define the process stages for your application and then the list of features under each of these stages.
Step 4 – List the Product Features and Prioritise them
An MVP is defined as being minimum but viable at the same time. Generally, in every application, there will be many process stages and each stage will have a number of features. Different features will be defined under one or the other category – core features that make the application valuable, features for engagement or for user convenience, etc.
For MVP development, it is extremely important to breakdown features in terms of prioritisation, At Systango we break them down into 3 categories:
- Must have – core features that define the final product
- Should have – It’s ok if these features are not there, but it would be nice to have them
- Could have – Not at all essential, but why not
So, make sure your MVP software development consists of only the must-have features so that you can focus on what really matters and get quality feedback and insights.
Step 5 – Build, Measure and Learn
MVP is basically a product development approach for early-stage lean startups. You have defined the scope of work, now move into development. After you build MVP, get it tested. First by QA Specialists to ensure performance and quality. Then roll it out for alpha and beta testing.
Alpha testing is ‘friends and family’ testing, get their feedback, if all is going well, go for Beta testing. Release it for the world with real users and assess and evaluate their feedback. Start implementing changes and improving your product. Test, learn, and build again, applications like Uber, Facebook, Amazon resort to this approach. Even today!
If you need an estimate on MVP development costs, here’s a blog detailing cost of a full-fleshed application, we can assist you with finding the cost of an MVP development.
Measure the Performance of Your MVP Development
MVP development is just the beginning. You need to see if your MVP software development was a success or not and what more you need to do to ensure the success of your application. Here are a few metrics that we at Systango find useful to measure the performance of the MVP software development:
How many people have downloaded the MVP and what is their feedback?
We need to understand not only the current value of the application but also its future value. If you build MVP and engage people, you can get good feedback regarding the user experience.
This helps check the user’s interest. Only if users are interested, they will sign up and generate revenue in the future.
- Number of Daily Active Users
You have a good number of downloads and some people have signed-up but how many of them are using your MVP on a daily basis.
- Client Acquisition Cost
It is important to understand how much it costs to acquire each customer.
- Number of Paying Users
Find the Average Revenue Per Customer, which can be calculated as Total Income for the day/Total number of active users.
- Client Lifetime Value
This is basically the total time spent by a user on your application before uninstalling or becoming an inactive user.
CLV = (Profit from a user * duration of app use) – CAC
The number of people who have uninstalled your application.
Churn = No. of churn per week or month/ total number of users at the beginning of the week or month
Applications That Were Once MVP Software Developments
Nick Swinmurn came up with the idea to sell shoes online. He wanted to reach the market fast, so he didn’t spend time on exhausting market research, instead, he built a basic website.
His model was simple, he went to shoe stores, clicked pictures of shoes, and uploaded them on the website. When someone placed an order, he would buy the shoes and ship them. He lost money on every sale, but soon established the viability of his minimum application.
He later went on to sell Zappos to Amazon for USD 1.2 Billion.
He was the first person to use and build MVP, as we know it today!
The social media platform of the day was initially called “twttr”, an SMS platform for internal communication built and used by Odeo. They build an MVP and tested it. Their employees were spending money on sending SMS and posting it on the platform.
Once it was released in 2006, it just took a year for the application to become a huge success.
Systango’s Experience With MVP Development
The entire journey of MVP development is about building a strategy and analysing your product idea. It is about discovering who your target audience is and how to fulfill their needs. It is about building a simple, yet functional product for a lot less money and finessing it based on customer feedback.
According to a survey by CB insights, 42% of companies fail because there was no market need for their product, 29% fail because they run out of cash and another 23% of the companies fail because they don’t have the right team.
At Systango, we have a 100% success rate in delivering successful MVP software developments. Over the years, we have developed the perfect recipe for MVP development, if you want to do it right the first time, choose a team that has done it right at least a hundred times.
So, if you want to convert your idea into an MVP, let’s talk!