Building any software product, be it a web application or a mobile app, is costly. Thus, even if you have an idea that is guaranteed to become a breakthrough, you need to find resources to make it come to life. However, there is no reason to be desperate: MVP can help you start the development with the minimum amount of investments. How can MVP benefit you? Let’s find out.
Minimum Viable Product (also known as MVP) is a version of the product that contains the minimum set of features. These features should be enough to satisfy the initial users and show them what makes the product unique and worth using in the first place. MVP development suggests releasing this version for the following purposes:
to gather feedback from the initial users in order to create the final product the users will like;
to start promoting the brand among the target audience in order to make it more recognizable;
to gain loyal users before releasing the final product.
“Why develop MVP?”, you may think. Bear in mind that such groundbreaking services as Uber, Dropbox, and Instagram started their path to success from the MVP app development. So, let’s take a look at 6 pros that can encourage any startup to build an MVP.
Obviously, the more features you want to include into the product, the more time the developers will need to build the product. Considering that MVP is supposed to have the minimum set of features, it takes just between one and two months to develop an MVP. It allows you to make sure another company or startup will not be able to steal your idea and/or release an app of the same concept earlier than you.
This one is obvious and easy to comprehend. As you don’t try to cram all the features you would like to see in your final product into the MVP, you spend less time developing the MVP and, thus, you spend less on the development.
The lower the risk of the investment not paying off, the more likely investors are to support your idea. MVP is, basically, a prototype of your final product, and you can test its viability among the target audience without any huge investments required. Besides, if the MVP turns out to be quite well-received by the target audience and you decide to build the final product, you can present the potential investors with the MVP proving the viability of your idea.
As we have mentioned above, one of the main purposes of releasing an MVP is to see whether the whole concept is viable and finds its appreciation among users. Besides, if you plan your final product to satisfy your target group needs and requirements, there is no way to know them better than launching an MVP and following the feedback. Moreover, you have an opportunity to adjust the original concept by following why the users love or would love to use your product. This means you will be able to determine what value your product has (or should have) for users. For instance, Instagram did exactly this – the startup was based on a different idea, not on sharing photos.
This point is about making adjustments as well. Sometimes, the original target group you were aiming at doesn’t find your product interesting. So, you can try to promote your MVP among several different target groups to find the one that will appreciate the product.
After the MVP is released, developers can add new features one by one. Besides, the risk of needing to rework some features is not that big in terms of costs. The thing is, the less features you have in your product, the less features you may need to change or get rid of. Moreover, when developers add new functionality to an MVP, there is a lot less risk of bugs appearing.
Now that we are on the same page regarding the benefits of MVP app development, let’s find out how to understand that MVP is your best option.
Keep in mind: building an MVP is not the solution that would perfectly fit any development. There are 5 key questions you should ask yourself to assess your business needs and determine whether an MVP is a good choice.
This is the number one question. If your product is not unique, the MVP will lose to its competitors pretty fast leaving you with nothing. Building an MVP revolves around a groundbreaking idea that you want to demonstrate to your potential users. If there is nothing unique to demonstrate, you should either opt for the full-fledged development or review whether you actually should develop such an app.
Launching an MVP means that you should be prepared to adapt to the results of testing your idea in the real market conditions. So, following the results, you may need to change your target group or even the core features of the MVP to react to the users’ feedback properly. If you are flexible enough to make such changes and to spend some time finding your niche, the MVP development is a choice you will benefit from.
In case you count every penny that goes into the development, building an MVP helps you cut the costs. The fewer features you need to include into the product, the shorter it takes to develop it and the less it will cost you. Besides, having launched an MVP that has a subscription option, you can get your first profit fast and invest it in enhancing the product.
In case your company is a massive one, and it is impossible to distinguish one or two main features, building an MVP is not the best solution. For instance, such projects as automating production on a factory or creating an in-house automation system are quite massive, so an MVP is not an option in such case. So, if you are planning to launch on a big scale from the very beginning, consider full-fledged development.
The MVP development is fast as the project scope is not very big. So, if the timing is crucial for you, building an MVP can help you make sure that your product will not be outdated when it is launched. Some technologies or development trends become “ancient history” quite fast, and if your product is based on one of those, the sooner you launch the product, the better. Besides, time restraints can also be crucial if you are worried that your idea can get stolen, or another company is going to launch the product based on the same concept.
Building an MVP has many advantages: it allows you to save on the costs and the development time, it helps you test your product concept in the real market conditions among the real users, it can ensure your final product will meet your users’ needs. If your project is not a large-scale one and unique, and if you are short on money and time, building an MVP is your best way out. In such case, every party can benefit from the development: the developers, the investors, the company itself, and, of course, the users.
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