What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? Why is it important?
What is an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in application development? Why use an MVP? How is this beneficial to your project development? What common mistakes should you avoid? This is what we will see in this article.
Got a great idea for a mobile app? You’ve probably heard that the best way to start is to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Definition: Minimum Viable Product.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a concept derived from the lean startup methodology introduced by Eric Ries in 2011. In general, the lean startup focuses on the influence of testing and test learning in the development stages.
The Minimum Viable Product is the version of a new product that allows a team to learn as much as possible about customer needs and preferences while using as few technologies/resources as possible.
Put simply, the MVP is a simplified version of a mobile or web application. A well-designed MVP helps to collect and appreciate user interactions with the product. Doing this is much more insightful than simply asking your target audience what they would do if such a product existed. An MVP allows you to validate your product idea without having to invest time and money in building the complete product.
How is the Minimum Viable Product useful in the development of a mobile application?
At this point, you might be wondering why start-ups decide to develop an MVP? In what situations does an MVP bring the most benefits?
Here are three scenarios that demonstrate the value of MVP:
- Quick to market: You want to get the product to market as quickly as possible and gain a competitive advantage over other companies.
- Test an idea: It is a good idea to test a simpler version of an application with real users before committing a large budget required for the development.
- Learn more about customer preferences — an MVP is a useful tool for collecting user feedback to improve the final application.
An MVP helps minimize the time and resources a business might spend to create a product that carries the risk of failure. By getting an MVP to market in a short period of time, companies can reduce implementation costs, test demand for their product, avoid failures or significant capital losses, and optimize the end product.
Balance product viability
Before we explore the benefits of an MVP, let’s stop for a moment and take a closer look at the concept of MVP.
Minimum + Viable = A product that meets the most important needs of users, and nothing more.
Ensuring minimalism and product viability is one of the main characteristics of MVP development. At this point in the development process, it’s best to focus on what a product does rather than how it does it.
Prepare the steps after the MVP
What comes after the Minimum Viable Product? Once you’ve turned your app idea into an MVP, you need to measure customer reaction and collect their feedback. This will allow you to plan and prioritize the most anticipated app features.
Why has the MVP taken such a big place in the business development process?
So why is the Minimum Viable Product important for companies looking to launch software products? Here are several reasons why so many companies today are choosing this model of app development.
✔ Relevant feedback during the development phase
Bringing an MVP to the market allows businesses to gain early data confirming consumer interest in their product. The MVP makes it possible to validate (or not) the final product. The positive results of the MVP phase give the green light to the development of the full version of the product, while minimizing the risk of product failure. In addition, users report unappreciated items and this allows the developer team to act quickly without having developed the majority of the application code.
You can learn a lot about user needs from reviews left on Google Play and Apple App Store or even through a dedicated form like customer satisfaction surveys.
✔Save time and money
MVP development helps companies save resources in the development phase. Investing in a full-fledged product without knowing whether users need it is risky. By creating an MVP first, you can ensure that you are investing in a project that is likely to be successful.
✔Check market trends
By distributing an MVP to a target audience, you can find out what are the market trends offering the best direction to develop the full version of the app.
✔Use Beta-Testers and build a user base
Another advantage of MVP is the possibility of acquiring an initial user base, which can become beta testers. The beta tester will be privileged and will receive a preview of the updates of the application in order to give concrete feedback on the improvement of the new functionalities. He will feel put forward by the company and will tend to share his experience with his community.
The Minimum Viable Product is also the best way to obtain financing. Investors (public or private) always ask for at least a functional MVP. If you can prove that your MVP generated X interactions and X interests, then you have won! This is how you convince potential investors that your business model is valid and that your product provides tangible value to users.
✔Generate income sooner
Sometimes creating the MVP allows you to sell your service/product earlier and therefore start generating income quickly with your mobile app .
How to organize the development of an MVP?
The development of an MVP consists of detecting and removing the secondary functionalities of the project. Although it may seem simple, creating an MVP is a relatively technical process and requires a large organization. Here are some essential steps to define an MVP:
- Identify the problem you want to solve for your target audience: An application must provide value, and therefore respond to a problem. A market study is therefore strongly recommended
- Analyze existing competitors: Still in the market study, the competitive study is essential, it allows to identify the opportunities and the possible threats.
- Make a list of MVP features: Once done, collapse this list! Start by defining the steps that a user will take when using your product and list all the features required for each step. Then, it’s time to prioritize these features in order of importance to the problem you want to solve. We recommend applying an “importance/competence” index: a score from 0 to 10 on the complexity of development and the importance of a feature.
- Development: Once you have defined the scope of the work, you can move on to MVP development.
- Beta tester: — the best MVPs are those which are tested by real users. Test the app then deploy on the stores.
Common mistakes to avoid when developing an MVP
Here are the most common pitfalls and mistakes businesses make in MVP development.
Hold back the desire to create a complete product
It is always difficult and constraining to dissect your project to retain only the necessary functionalities. . But it’s something you need to do to create a relevant MVP.
Remember this: the MVP is not the end product.
However, many companies fail to stick to the minimum number of features and come up with so-called MVPs after 6 months of development. It’s risk-taking, they often invest in the design of applications, leaving little or no room for further improvements. Making a good impression with your audience is important, but investing a lot of time and money in the user experience without knowing whether the product solves a real problem is risky.
Don’t take market research seriously
You have to know the needs, of your customers, but also to check if your idea is really innovative or similar to already existing products. Some companies only conduct market research to completely ignore its results when formulating the MVP. They are right to believe their idea, but ignoring market research is a big mistake that could cost money.
Skip the prototype phase
Prototyping is an essential step in the development of an MVP. A prototype is the first step in bringing your idea to life and has a huge impact on the entire app development process. The mock-up allows you to structure the base of your product, its future architecture.
The foundation of MVP is to take advantage of feedback from its users: Improve negative feedback and perfect positive feedback. Not taking this feedback into account would be a real shame and make the MVP useless. You need user feedback to make your product successful. It allows the product to be adjusted to better meet the customer’s needs.
Are MVPs only for startups?
MVPs are often the basis of a start-up’s product, but this does not mean that they are only reserved for this type of company.
The benefits of MVP development apply to any type of project (not a business), regardless of the size, team, or seniority of the business.
Examples of Minimum viable products
The co-founders of the peer-to-peer rental accommodation platform, Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, lived in a large loft in San Francisco and struggled to pay their rent. It was then that they had the idea to rent their accommodation. They launched a simple website, posted a few photos, and hosted three guests. This MVP now has $ 2.6 billion in annual sales.
When the company’s co-founder, Drew Houston, came up with the idea for his product, he didn’t release any initial versions of the software. Instead, he posted a video explaining what his product would do. This video alone prompted the enrollment of 75,000 beta testers.
In short, creating an MVP is the best way to develop your mobile application project by attracting a user base.