It seems like every cross-platform app development company today has a post literally saying that if you’re building a new product, you need to first make an MVP. That is short for a minimum viable product. And the Internet is overcrowded with articles explaining what this is — the word ‘MVP’, although existing for only two decades, has already been used 246 million times on the web.
But actually, it was first coined in 2001 by Eric Ries, entrepreneur, author, and startup strategist, who gave the next definition to it:
In product development, the minimum viable product (MVP) is a strategy used for fast market testing of a product or its feature to gain quantitative or qualitative feedback.
So it’s about bringing such a version of the product that has only its core features and can reach the market as fast as possible.
Here are the advantages such an approach brings in startup app development if compared to a more traditional way of hitting the market with the completely finished product.
1. Faster to market
As the old saying goes, time is money. And when it comes to software development, there’s absolutely no time to lose. The markets are too uncertain, the users’ expectations constantly grow, so having the product version out in a short term is a great way to minimize risks of bringing a product that is based on outdated data, design, or assumptions.
2. Meet the user
The product owner needs to engage users from the very beginning to make sure the product they’re building is needed and done in a way that meets people’s needs and expectations. Gathering real-world feedback on the first stage is priceless. It’ll identify if the idea is good enough and if it’s a great way to start a relationship with the users.
3. Smaller investments
Money is the holding factor for many ideas to come alive. And no startup app developers are willing to spend much on the things that are not defined. In the case of startups, raising funds for product development can last months and even years sometimes. And for the MVP, the investments are needed to only cover the initial stage with the core features development. So here product owners can get something real and working for less money and see if it’s worth further investments.
4. Better product
Once the MVP is ready and out in the wild, you’ll be able to collect feedback and figure what should be improved or fixed ASAP. You’ll learn which features are most-awaited and which ones were overrated by your team. Iteration and iteration, you will perfect your product based on real-world data and will be able to reach sustainable growth.
Bottom line: Our Experience
This post was initially written in 2015. Back then, the MVP concept was still trendy. Many entrepreneurs, having less than $5,000 on their bank account, would take a simple idea and then code it into a digital product with the help of an app development team.
Today, things have changed. You’ll still go with an MVP, but you’ll need to have much wider research to figure out what your MVP should be like. This is especially true if you’re reaching the markets that are new for you.
From what we see this happens for many reasons, but the biggest among them is the competition. There are almost no ‘user pains’ that are still left unaddressed with a mobile app. Whatever niche you take, even if you don’t have direct competitors yet, people expect your app will deliver an experience similar to the one offered by the other apps they use every day. And this is an already quality level you can barely reach with $5,000.
And then there is marketing.
So although the idea of an MVP will remain, building an MVP today requires a very deep knowledge of the market, of the industry, and of the user behavior. That’s why the EGO web and mobile app development company has product plans, which are sets of services helping you to outsource the market expertise and get a product and business plan for your idea within a couple of weeks at most.
And if you want more about different versions of the product, check out the section about MMP, MLP, and MVP in our blog post “Top 15 Acronyms Product Managers Use Everyday”.