MVP development for startups allows early-stage businesses to explore their target audience and market demand without exhausting the time and financial resources typically allotted for software development. MVP development is a popular approach that many startups take because it minimizes risk and can help the company gain valuable traction in the eyes of investors.
This post will explain what an MVP is, the benefits of MVP development, and how you can build a successful MVP. MVP development can set your company up for success and give you early insight into the product-market fit of your software.
What Is an MVP?
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. A Minimum Viable Product is an early version of a product that focuses on key features and functionality. A Minimum Viable Product won’t have all of the features or designs of the final product. Instead, an MVP includes only the core features of the product to see how useful and popular they are with users.
MVP development is a popular project management decision. The goal is to test product assumptions and collect the maximum amount of validated user information with the least amount of effort. A Minimum Viable Product allows your startup to bring the core ideas of its mobile app or website to its target audience and gather valuable user feedback.
With user feedback, your startup can iterate and optimize its product to improve product-market fit and meet market demand.
The Benefits of MVP Development
The benefits of MVP development have helped propel successful companies like Airbnb, Spotify, and Amazon from startups to tech giants. There are several reasons why you should consider MVP development, but the top benefits associated with Minimum Viable Products are:
- Save money and time
- Gather valuable feedback
- Attract investors
- Low risk
Save Money and Time
Money and time are two resources that startups can always use more of. MVP development can help your startup save considerable time and financial resources. When you build a Minimum Viable Product at the beginning of the development life cycle, your startup is able to validate the main idea driving its product.
Without the validation that comes from MVP development, you could spend a lot of time and money building a product that users don’t actually want or need. If users don’t like your Minimum Viable Product, you can quickly adjust, optimize, and iterate until your product meets current market demand.
It is much harder and costlier to make the same optimizations and adjustments once you have developed a final product. Save your startup time and money by testing the demand for your app idea with a Minimum Viable Product.
Gather Valuable Feedback
Beyond saving time and money, user feedback is the most valuable thing your startup can gain from its Minimum Viable Product. At this point in the development of your startup and product, feedback from your target audience is vital. This feedback can help your business pinpoint the aspects of the Minimum Viable Product that are most important and appealing to users.
In addition, you will also be able to highlight the parts of your product that are least appealing to users and remove them, optimize them, or avoid investing more time and money developing features and functionality that users don’t care for.
Focusing on the aspects of your MVP that users like and improving the aspects that users don’t like will help make your final product competitive. The feedback you generate with your Minimum Viable Product could help your team develop new innovative features and functions.
Venture capitalists and angel investors have different sets of expectations, but all investors want to see an idea with traction. Investors are far more likely to get involved with a startup that has a tangible, touchable idea or product instead of just a concept. A Minimum Viable Product can help your startup attract investors by demonstrating real-world demand and consumer interest.
Beyond demonstrating the value of your idea, a Minimum Viable Product also demonstrates to investors that you are a savvy entrepreneur that utilizes financial resources responsibly to make your business competitive. Minimum Viable Products won’t guarantee investment, but they will improve your startup’s odds of attracting investors.
MVP development is a low-risk/high-reward approach that allows your startup to test concepts from product ideation without investing large amounts of time or money. Many of the most successful tech companies today started with an MVP and improved the product as they received user feedback.
Most startups will inevitably fail. Taking a low-risk approach makes the most sense when achieving long-term success is not the norm for startup businesses.
How to Build a Successful MVP
The MVP development process is much like the product development process. However, the goals of an MVP are not the same as a final product. As a result, your focus will be more on defining core features than designing a finalized software product. If you want to build a successful MVP, you need to consider the following:
- Identify your problem
- Develop your unique selling point
- Define core features
Identify Your Problem
Before you can begin developing a Minimum Viable Product, you must identify the problem you are trying to solve. Likely you already have a good idea of the problem you are trying to solve, which is why you created a startup business in the first place. However, if you don’t, do market research, review your competitors, and brainstorm ways to improve existing products.
Develop Your Unique Selling Point
Finding a problem to solve shouldn’t be difficult. Developing a unique selling point defines why consumers should choose your app or product. For example, think about the music streaming giant Spotify. The problem they addressed was how to provide greater access to music. Their unique selling point to consumers was access to all the music in the world (for the most part) for a monthly or yearly subscription fee.
You don’t have to create a new service to offer consumers a unique selling point. For example, after Spotify was a major success, several other streaming services offered alternatives to the Spotify platform by offering exclusive artist recordings, better sound quality, etc. What makes your service or product unique? Why should consumers choose your startup? If you can’t answer these questions, consumers won’t be able to either.
Define Core Features
To develop a successful MVP, you need to define your core features. Your core features are the ones that are absolutely necessary to the functionality of your product. The core features you define will be packaged and released to consumers. It will be tempting to add extraneous features and designs that really make an application pop, but try not to get distracted by these things. Ultimately, they do not matter, and they will only distract your startup from honing its key service and functionality.
Developing an MVP is the best option for startups. If you’re not sure if you need an MVP, reach out to an app development partner to learn more about the upside of this approach. MVP development gives your startup a product it can build on without having to break the bank to test features on its target consumers. MVP development for startups is a necessary first step on the path to long-term success.