Think it’s time to finally take your IT startup from idea to execution? The first thing you’ll need is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to ascertain whether or not the product will succeed. Think of it as a way to test the waters before exploring full-fledged release.
So, what really is an MVP? How do you create one? Here’s a detailed guide with all the information you need-
What is an MVP?
An American entrepreneur, author of The Lean Startup and blogger, Eric Ries popularized the MVP development technique through his own experiences.
In simple words, an MVP is the most basic yet launchable version of a software or app. An MVP only supports the must-have features that are used for defining the product’s value proposition.
Startups create MVP with the intention to attract early adopters whose feedback can be used to improve the product further.
Why Do You Need an MVP for Startups?
The startup landscape is challenging and unpredictable. You need a one-of-a-kind idea and be able to convert it into a workable business model that could generate revenue.
Do you believe your idea is one of the handfuls that could succeed? Why not test it with the help of an MVP?
While a Minimum Viable Product is used for various purposes, including faster time to market, when we’re talking about startups, the primary objective of an MVP is to check the product’s viability.
Many of the biggest of global companies, including the likes of Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook, that generate billions in revenue started with an MVP.
Apart from this, there are some valuable benefits of building an MVP, like-
- A low-cost and quick method to validate the idea
- Better understand the target market
- Attract early adopters and collect feedback
- Conduct low-risk experiments
- Attracting investors
Steps to Build an MVP
Okay, so you have a great IT product idea and would like to take it to the next level with an MVP. So, how do you create one? Most tech startups partner with a reputed technology firm to bring their idea to life.
Here are the steps involved in building an MVP-
At times, even ideas that seem ingenious to the founders fail to deliver the expected results. So, before you start working on an idea, it is essential to conduct market research.
Lack of market need is one of the top reasons why startups fail. Thus, it makes a lot of sense first to figure out whether the product you want to build fulfills the need of the target users.
Why should people use your product? Is there a competing product already available in the market? If yes, why should people consider you over others?
Answer to these vital questions will help you stand apart from the crowd and define your product’s value proposition.
An MVP in its basic form should still be able to offer value to the users. So, understanding what people need and building a product on those expectations can boost your success rate.
Map Out User Flow
Once the value proposition is defined, it’s time to build the foundation of your MVP. Mapping out user flow is when you start giving shape to the product.
For this, businesses should put themselves in the shoes of the users to determine the ideal flow, right from opening the product to using it for its intended purpose.
The end goal of the users to use the product is critical for designing the user flow. For instance, if it is a shopping app, its MVP should have basic features to browse and purchase products.
Prioritize Features for MVP
You can now start prioritizing the features you want in your MVP. Focus on the value proposition of the product to finalize the features your MVP should have.
The remaining features can be categorized as per their priority and added to the product backlog for future iterations.
After finalizing the must-have features, it’s time to start building the MVP.
Focus on quality over quantity when building the product. Avoid overloading it with features, but don’t forget to equip it with the ones needed to perform the end goal of the users.
Ensure that the MVP is user-friendly, engaging, secure, and offers a rewarding experience.
Review MVP After Launching
Once the MVP is ready and launched, you should track how the product is being received by the users.
Use the feedback to assess the competitiveness and acceptability of the product. Extensively reviewing the MVP will also pave the path for features and functions the final product should have.
Is MVP the Same as a Prototype?
A prototype is an early-stage, simplified version of a product that is created to test and validate specific aspects of its design, functionality, or user experience. It is typically used to gather feedback, identify potential issues, and make improvements before moving forward with full-scale development. Prototypes can range from low-fidelity (e.g., paper sketches or wireframes) to high-fidelity (e.g., interactive digital mockups).
On the other hand, an MVP is a functional version of a product that is developed with a minimum set of features and functionality required to address a core problem or meet a specific need. The primary goal of an MVP is to validate the product idea, gather user feedback, and learn from real-world usage. It is not just a prototype but a working product that users can interact with and provide feedback on.
MVP Metrics to Measure the Success
Here are some of the metrics that can help you measure the success of your MVP-
- Customer Acquisition Rate (CAC): Average cost to acquire a customer.
- Lifetime Value of Customer (LTVC): Expected profit from a customer over the entire period they use the product.
- Churn Rate: Percentage of customers who’ve stopped using the product within a specific timeframe.
- Retention Rate: Percentage of customers who continue to use the product within a specific timeframe.
- Conversion Rate (CR): Percentage of product users who become paying customers.
- Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR): The revenue a company is expecting to generate in a month.
- Average Revenue Per User (ARPU): Average revenue generated by each customer.
Minimum Viable Product Examples
AAPNA Infotech has been successfully delivering MVP solutions to startups for 14+ years. Recently, the company partnered with a US Digital Insurance Provider to prepare an MVP which played a significant role in helping the startup receive Series-A funding.
AAPNA created a state-of-the-art technical architecture by combining 5+ microservices, AI chatbots, and Google Cloud technologies to deliver the expected results. The tailored approach, use of agile methodologies, and regular client interaction enabled AAPNA to develop the MVP on time and within budget.
You can read more about the MVP here.
How Can AAPNA Help You Build MVP for Your Startups?
AAPNA Infotech, a leading software development company based out of India, excels at offering reliable app development services for startups. With extensive experience in turning startup ideas into business catalysts, the company can build bespoke app solutions for mobile and web.
The CMMI level 3 and Microsoft Gold Partner company closely works with every client to understand their requirements and deliver quality products. From initial discussions to building the MVP and turning it into a successful product, AAPNA Infotech efficiently handles every aspect of the development cycle to build valuable products and ensure complete satisfaction.
Give Wings to Your Startup Idea with an MVP
An MVP is a surefire way for tech startups to ascertain whether their product idea is worth developing a full-fledged product. Now that you know what goes into building an MVP, the process shouldn’t be as intimidating for you as it was before.
As MVP is only the first version of the product, it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect. Just ensure that it has the basic must-have features and is easy to use. The assistance of a reliable development company that specializes in startup services will be critical to your success.
With an experienced team of experts, including proficient developers, UI/UX designers, project managers, and app testers, you can rest assured that your MVP will be built for success.
FAQ for Building an MVP for Startups
- How long should an MVP take to build?
It can take anywhere between 3-4 months to build an MVP. But the timeline can vary as every product is unique.
- What are the 3 key parts of a good MVP?
The success of an MVP relies on components like functionality, reliability, and usability.
- What makes a great MVP?
A great MVP is one that contains the true essence of the original product idea. It should be a low-cost, functional product with plenty of room for iteration.
- Why do MVPs fail?
MVPs can fail for several reasons, including-
- Not clearly understanding user problems
- Solving an imaginary problem
- Not offering something unique
- Not validating MVP idea
- Improper MVP marketing
- Ignoring user feedback
- What are the two characteristics of an MVP?
The two key characteristics of an MVP are one, it offers enough value to make people use or buy it, and second, it has a feedback loop for guiding future development.
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