If you’re planning to build a Web or mobile app, I’m going to show you how to do it much faster and much more effectively by using the MVP approach.
If you are not in a mood for reading, you can also watch my video on “How to Build the MVP?”:
What is MVP?
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, and it’s a great way to build not only web and mobile apps but also digital business around them.
Building an MVP is also close to the iteration cycle, which means that you take the core functionality of your app (the essential one), and arrive at the market without any additional functionalities to get as much feedback from users as possible and adapt to it.
This way, you don’t have to spend too much investment on things that nobody is going to use at all.
One of the main benefits of using the MVP approach is that you can immediately get wonderful feedback straight from the users about your app.
Another great benefit of using the MVP approach is the one related to investment, as you don’t have to invest in all the functionalities at the beginning.
You might already know that one of the reasons why startups fail is the product-market fit.
This is why your main goal is to build a really rough version of your app to arrive on the market as fast as possible and check how many users you can attract.
If you find enough users to make it a sustainable business, that means your idea is worth implementing.
Benefits of building an MVP
So let’s have a look on all the benefits of building the MVP.
- Idea check – that we already mentioned.
- Quality check – of course, you’re going to test your app a lot, but probably users will be the ones that will break it down, and we really recommend you doing that in the early stages.
- Valuable insight – your friends and family will tell you that everything is fine and your app is great, but are they ready to pay for it? Basically your goal here is to get a lot of useful feedback from people that actually don’t really care about your app. You can check how they’re going to use it, how they’re going to behave, how they’re going to interact with it, what kind of comments they have.
- Investment possibilities – by Having the MVP you can immediately show investors how serious you treat your idea. You can also show them that you know what you do, and you know how to build, test, and try ideas.
- Maintenance – In other words, if you’re going to build a huge app with a lot of functionalities, and you’re going to arrive at the market, but people won’t like that much, you will have a lot of struggles to adapt to their needs. This is why it is a much better idea to first check if they will use at least the core functionality at all.
Should I build an MVP or Prototype?
You might also think that the MVP is nothing else than the prototype, but there is still a small difference between them.
First of all, the MVP is not focused on the design at all, but more on the functionalities.
The second one, if you build an MVP it should be already able to make you money. It’s a bit like the MVP already solves some problems, but the prototype only shows how it’s going to solve problems.
However, if you want to get investors on board, it’s good to have both the MVP and the prototype.
How to build an MVP step by step
Now you probably want to know how to actually build the MVP. So let’s go over this process step by step.
1. The idea and market research.
When you start a business it is really helpful to actually ask yourself what kind of problem are you going to solve?
However, there is a big possibility that someone already had the same idea as yours. In other words, a competition. In this case, it’s really helpful to do good research. Have a look at how they approach the market, what kind of features they use, how they communicate their app. In other words, you’re trying to find some space for yourself in the market in between the competitors.
Remember, that the idea could be the same, but the way you approach the idea could make a lot of difference.
2. Choosing functionalities
Now when you know what kind of problem you’re going to solve, you’re ready to go further and choose the functionalities to build your MVP.
As I already mentioned, to start with the MVP, you have to choose the crucial functionality, which is not that easy.
But here’s what we recommend you to do.
Take a piece of paper and list all the functionalities that you’re planning to have in your app. Then you can give them points from, for example, one to five on how important they are. After that, leave only the ones with the highest value.
If you already choose the crucial functionality and maybe a few functionalities around, it’s time to make an estimation.
It doesn’t matter if you go for the agency or freelancer, you have to have a high-level time and budget estimation.
The outcome should be all the MVP functionalities together with the product roadmap. After building the roadmap and having all the functionalities of the MVP, your vendor should be able to give you specific technical recommendations.
Sometimes it’s a big plus if you can already get some sketches of the most important screens.
Now it’s about time for development and there are three famous ways to approach it.
First, you can find a CTO. This one we recommend the most. You can also find a freelancer that will help you to develop the product. And as the last one, you can go to the software development agency or dedicated MVP agency. For this, we’re going to make another video, and we’re not going to go too much into details.
Now, it’s about time to launch the MVP and as we said before, MVP is an iteration process.
So be ready to get a lot of feedback from the market, adapt to it, go again, get more feedback, adapt more, and go again.
Research vs real life
As a last word, I would like to tell you that doing the market research before you go to the market is a good idea, but it doesn’t guarantee success. So I really recommend you to pay more attention to what users are actually doing with your app instead of just trust data from research.
Be ready to change direction
I also recommend you to stay open-minded and be ready to change your direction. There are tons of successful apps in the market that were supposed to be something else at the beginning. And that’s exactly what can happen to you. After all, your app might be a good idea for something slightly different than you were thinking at the beginning.
So this is it for today. I hope you got some useful information.
If not, let me know in the comment section!