What is the Minimum Viable Product? How to Plan, Build, and Improve MVP for Your Business?
July 1, 2020

What is the Minimum Viable Product? How to Plan, Build, and Improve MVP for Your Business?

minimum viable product-MVP

When Frank Robinson in 2001 had coined the minimum viable product term, who had thought it would become the ‘must-see’ concept for the mobile application development company, for the startups and even for the organizations?

It is for the real now.  Because, in the world of mobile applications, understanding what customers need from your product is highly important to survive in the market.  And, this is exactly what MVP does to your business.  MVP affirms your simple version of a new idea regarding feature creations of the mobile product as well as increases the overall success of your business.  It also aims to address a key issue and succeed in the visionaries market with a selection of customers.

This article basically serves an understanding of the minimum viable product and how to build and improve MVP for your business.

Introduction

Creating the product, investing a lot of money, time, efforts, and blood only to get the failure at the end is not a dream of anyone, basically.  In this age of startups and organizations, survivorship is the most challenging part as they are expanding in the loom.  Competition is markedly increasing.  But is it the only reason?

No.  

Most of the products don’t get the attention and vanish from the market quickly because most of you are providing what customers don’t need.  That’s where comes the concept of a minimum viable product.  

What is Minimum Viable Product?

The minimum viable product (MVP) means, as popularized by Eric Ries – the most simple product edition that the business intends to bring into the market, only to know the reactions and feedback of customers.  This, basically, helps the company to bring the final product in the market. 

See, the minimum viable product implies the term minimum, though it’s all about maximum – maximum value generation.  It doesn’t mean you need to provide maximum features to your customers to provide effective service.  

The minimum viable product = Only essential features with maximum value + maximum amount of validated learning with least efforts 

MVP meaning (or definition) in other terms, “It is the marketing strategy in which a new product with minimal functionality is launched to the market, yet adequate to draw the interest of buyers.” 

This strategy enables your team to evaluate product observations and learn customer feedback from the core functionality of your product.  That helps to focus on continual product iteration.  Once Steve Blank typically referred to the minimum viable product as a minimum feature set.  This doesn’t mean MVP should be minimal.  The key to MVP is to know what your potential customer needs.  To find out more about why it is required, see the reasons below.

Purposes of MVP

purpose of minimum viable product-mvp

Organizations and mobile app development companies create a minimum viable product for the following purposes; 

  • To Enter the Market with a Small Budget

MVP is most popular among new entries into the market and it is common to launch a new product with a minimal budget.  So even though there’s a failure, they can tackle the different situations by rectifying the errors afterward without having a loss.  Most companies launch an MVP only to verify the economic viability. 

  • To Find the Right Audience

This is the primary purpose of MVP.  With an aid of the MVP concept, one can reach the best target by drawing the suggestions depending on the knowledge and time.   

  • To Create a Balance Between Company Offerings and Customer Needs

Eric Ries nicely quotes: “What if we found ourselves building something that nobody wanted?”  It’s a nightmare for the company owners and creators.  This is exactly why the company is required to build a viable product.  This helps to figure out the needs of customers and encourages the company to establish a fine balance between the offering and the needs, whether by improving the product and services or by introducing something entirely different.

  • To Minimize Errors

Another main purpose of MVP is basically to test the hypothesis which eliminates the errors of the agile product at the early stage.  It ultimately minimizes the risk and increases the speed of software development. 

  • To Collect the Maximum Quality Feedback

Gaining customer feedback is essential for any business, especially when it’s a new business.  However, collecting positive feedback always is next to impossible.  In a few instances, getting feedback – even negative – can also be a challenge.  Therefore, the companies plan an MVP as it helps to target the specific group of users and can collect quality feedback.

As now you are aware of the main purposes of a minimum viable product, let’s understand how to build MVP and what is the process of its development for your business. 

How to Build the MVP?

how to build minimum viable product

Although the MVP is minimum, the process to build it still needs to be considered.  We, at Space-O Technologies, use the following process to build an MVP for our mobile app development process.  

  • Identify the Business Need

A big explanation businesses struggle is that they are confronted with the issue of having little to no market research for the company they have created.  Once a survey based on the 101 startups proved that 42% of startups failed due to a lack of market need.

See, if your company is not aware of the interest of targeted groups, and needs, your offerings will not satisfy your customers.  Because it is important to have a compelling value proposition or a compelling event to cause the buyer to commit to the purchase.

Thus, the first and foremost thing you consider is to analyze as much as you can, not only about the customer’s needs but also learn what your competitors are doing in the market.  This is, however, not an end.  Once you are aware of the product needs, identify whether the need is long term or short term.  If it is a long term, what are the success criteria?  This will help decide which form of mobile product you need to thrive.

  • Get a Clear Idea

Getting a clear idea is a crucial thing for any business that helps people with their solutions.  You can follow the below steps to get a clear idea for the successful business. 

MVP Idea

However, the questions you need to bear in mind such as, 

  1. What benefit will your business offer to its users?  
  2. How do they reap this benefit?  
  3. How are they going to purchase your product? 
  4. What is the initial estimation of your product? 

Outlining all these things should help you get a better picture of creating the agile MVP.

  • Select the MVP Approach

Once you get a clear idea of your business product, now is the time to select the approach you want to carry for a minimum viable product.  There are multiple approaches to get done MVP.  Below are a few choices in this regard.

Select the MVP Approach

 

No Product MVP or no-code MVP is an approach to validate an idea and to get feedback without actual coding. 

It can be implemented in two ways, 

  • Idea Visualization

It is a way to make use of ad strategies to assess a potential hypothesis.  Also, you do not require building blocks for the representation of concepts in the potential project.  This actually offers you an image of what it is, and whether it should be.  

You may extend this approach by landing homepage, media campaigns, polling, videos, articles, newsletter, a presentation, voices, ads, etc.  The biggest advantage of visualizing ideas is it takes less time plus it is more cost-effective in contrast with another methodology of creating MVPs. 

  • Sell Before You Build

To launch a product for presale before eventually producing is the main purpose of this method.  It helps to get proof that your product demand is high and leads to increased investments from contributors.  

Product Mockup MVP is another approach that helps you to offer a portion of your potential product’s features by mockups.  To create product mockups, there are two ways such as, 

  • Concierge

The MVP concierge is a minimally viable tool where you direct the customer manually to a question by solving it.  There is no need to design complex machine learning models to construct viable minimum products.  The main intention is to demonstrate how its features function, so manual handling would be ideal. 

The greatest example of Concierge MVP is Airbnb.  They didn’t originally have advanced hardware.  They had human operators, that are also known as mechanical Turks.  They conducted the job to be completed.

  • Wizard of Oz

This approach also includes replicating core functionalities using manual labor.  Oz MVP Wizard, however, is just to manipulate the customers.  It includes human and physical labels but the user may assume the shuffles of behavior are driven by AI.  Thus, the minimally viable product provides a similar-to-real user experience.

Zappos was one of the companies that started as a Wizard of Oz MVP.  This portrayed a platform that was packed with a large range of pictures of the items that they will deliver.

Single Feature MVP is an approach basically to underline a minimum aspect.  Figuring core functionality is important, but figuring core functionality that solves at least more than half of the issue of users with less than half of the efforts, is what represents the epic or single feature MVP.  

MLP is the greatest method to delight the customer.  It has termed as a minimum lovable product because it gives the memorable first-time experience to its users.  The basic principle of MLP is to boost the product quality with an enhanced user interface through various designs, illustrators, and streamline flows.  

Bevy – Your Beverage Butler is the best example of MLP.  Though it was MVP, Bevy has attracted a lot of customers with the use of essential functionalities.  Initially, they only served beverages in certain locations and at a particular period, but later on, they extended their business with selling snacks, from London to England with an aim to discover more territories soon.

Now, all you need to decide is which approach is appropriate for your business.  However, if you are still confused which is the best approach for your business, just decide the approach based on two things i.e, 

  • Business idea validity, and 
  • Available resources. 

Just make sure the choices you make should match with the customer’s needs.

  • Consider the Design Process

After selecting the appropriate approach, consider the next step to decide the designs for an app or website.  When it comes to design, the viewpoint of the customer is important.  Everything needs to be handy and user friendly.  Nonetheless, in order to describe the user flow, the method stages need to be defined; and for this, the complete attention should be on the basic tasks. 

  • Make a List of MVP Features

Now, let’s list all set of features you wish to integrate into your app before you start developing m v p.  When you are ready with features for each stage, you need to do the following; 

  1. Prioritize each feature according to the needs of customers 
  2. Categorize them based on the priority such as high, medium, and low
  3. Define the scope of each feature  
  4. Create an MVP prototype to see how they will look
  5. Finalize them to build

Important: Let the app’s key feature be the one that is most useful to customers or that has the greatest market interest.

  • Build

If you are settled on the key features and heard about the needs of the business, you are ready to build M-V-P.  Also remember, while this is not a finished offer, you still need to meet consumer requirements.  So make it simple, engaging, and as customer-friendly, as you can.  Startups can start by choosing the technology which best fits their project needs.

  • Measure and Learn

When the product is ready to offer, it’s time for measurement.  The first checking stage, however, is performed by quality assurance engineers who work to increase product consistency before the product release.  Post product released, you can further measure the customer feedback and can improve the quality according to the needs.  And test again.  Yes.  Quality control is not a one time process as you may think, but a constant process.  It helps to reach the final product into the market with a high reputation. 

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The Business Benefits of MVP

business benefits of minimum viable product

MVP software development helps to ignite customer interest but there’s more to it.  Let’s enjoy all the benefits one by one. 

  • Emphasis on Key Development

Focus on one idea and exclusions of other functions simultaneously help your business to emphasize on the key development.  As the idea comes from the lean startup,  it gives the high priority to development with a minimum budget.  It helps expand the key component of enterprise app development. 

  • Early Testing

Early testing is a great benefit of MVP app development as it helps to figure out from the outset of how your plan would succeed without spending the whole budget.  

  • App Insights and Feedback Collection

Your app allows you to familiarize yourself with user activities through device analytics i.e, insight, and metrics and lets you gain views.  This also benefits the company further on how to make the final product. 

  • Market Validation

You can find out if the service is perfect for the target audience and people.  It will introduce the users to your brand and prove to them how exclusive your app is to others in their segment.

  • Quick Development of Application

It takes less time to create the app as it relies on minimal functionality.  So rapid development leads to lower costs too.  Double win.  Even triple wins.  As it also helps to release the updated version (if any updates, you want to add) quickly. 

  • Less Costly

As we just discussed, fewer features and quick development cost less, but there’s more.  An M-V-P helps you to disregard any of those spendings on items that do not function for a while.  

These benefits promote product development with a minimum budget. 

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However, once you build a successful product, it’s not a time to relax yet.  Because everything has a before-after process.  Take a grasp at the below after-process to understand more.

What After Building a Successful MVP?

It’s already apparent that after the product launch, you collect the people’s feedback, but you can do a lot more such as, 

  1. Develop the product for No Product MVPs and kick start your business. 
  2. Promote the product in the market to increase profitability. 
  3. Improve frequently because people keep changing their preferences according to time and trends.  So keep yourself and business up to date. 
  4. Keep testing again and again. 

It will help you create fresh insights that will form the future iterations of the software focused on consumer experience analysis.  

Top 5 Examples of Minimum Viable Product

Below are prominent businesses that have successfully introduced minimum viable product (MVP).  The table typically shows agile MVP examples of how the company launched up and which approach they used. 

Sr. No.MVP examplesHow did they launch?Result
1.Facebook
  • An MVP was done just to connect students of schools and colleges all together via messaging.
  • It was built on the basic model.
  • Facebook was initially available only to students at Harvard University who tested it and provided feedback.
Now it has over 2.6 billion monthly active users.
2.Twitter
  • It opted for a unique approach.
  • It was initially known as “twttr” as an SMS based platform.
  • It was for internal use only before it was released in 2006.
It is now the 2nd largest social media site after Facebook.
3.Amazon
  • Originally the focus was on only selling online books.
  • It launched in 1994 with the viable product development among the users at a low price.
It is now the largest E-commerce site in the world.
4.Groupon
  • It initially came into being utilizing WordPress, where daily PDFs were sent to already registered customers with an idea of sharing and socializing.
Afterward, Groupon built its voucher system and backend. Now it is among the largest e-commerce marketplace.
5.Dropbox
  • They used No product M.V.P meaning they created a video to explain how it works.
Dropbox received 70K emails address from potential users in a single day. Now it is among the largest cloud storage companies.

The aforementioned MVP use cases should inspire start-ups and founders to succeed with MVPs and make a big success of their trip.

FAQ

1. What makes a good MVP?

A good MVP is a working, and accessible asset. This is not a dummy material that has been tested. Several companies struggle on the MVP front instead of reductive thought. They build unfinished products that can’t get away with customers. In a nutshell, the minimum features with high value make a good MVP.

2. What is the minimum viable service?

MVS is basically referred to as “to provide the smallest set of services that will allow the customer to become a highly productive and referential solution consumer.” A minimally viable service lets you define a service’s minimum criteria before the digital transition takes effect.

3. What is the key component of a minimum viable product?

The most pared-down form of a product that can yet be published is a minimally viable product. There are following three key components,

  • Collect the maximum amount of value that people are willing to buy.
  • Display enough future benefits to retain early adopters.
  • It provides a feedback loop to guide future development.

4. How do you create a minimum viable product?

There are simple minimum viable product checklist that needs to be followed such as,

  • Research the business needs and customers’ preferences
  • Have an idea to make it more clear
  • Select the method to create MVP
  • Make the list of product features and allocate them into different categories according to the priorities
  • Build the MVP, learn, and improve

5. How long should it take to build an MVP?

In one survey, 100 mobile app developers showed how long they felt the main components of the Android or iOS device would take to create. Through analyzing the data and information from the 100 answers, revealed that developing a quality device will take approximately four and a half months. This assumes that the rear end can be planned in just 10 weeks.

6. How much should it cost to build an MVP?

It depends on the size of the company typically, however, an MVP may be anywhere from a good developer will cost $15,000 – $20,000 if you hire a freelancer. For outsourcing internationally, it can cost you up to $5000, depending on the skill level. If you hire an agency, it can cost up to $50,000 concerning their previous success.

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Conclusion

Creating a minimum viable product agile (MVP) is more about the analysis and strategy rather than development.  Enterprise and the company test its theories and refine its ideas through the user base.  See, it doesn’t have to be perfect, but just efficient.  It also empowers you with the aid of a functioning tool to learn a lot about your customers, without wasting precious time and resources.  

All you need to do is define the core features of MVP and get to know your target audience.  So if you have a great MVP idea, your wait is over.  Just get the idea on the paper, analyze, and contact your trusted partner Space-O Technologies for the MVP development process.  

 

This page was last edited on August 5th, 2020, at 11:27 AM.

Author Bio

Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel

Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books - Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.

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