What is an MVP?

How can you be sure that your product will turn out to be a success?
It is quite risky to build a product and not know whether it will succeed or fail. So, to make sure you will actually get happy users or paying customers for your product, you need to find out if they actually like and use your imagined product. Did you know that by building an MVP you can do all that - build your product, get it to the target market (your audience) in no time, and get the customers’ feedback without breaking the bank?

An MVP (Minimal Viable Product) is a common practice in the IT industry today. An MVP is a version of your product that includes only the core features and functionalities - the ones that solve the base problem your customers have. So, it is an actual, fully-functioning product but without the extra features.

Key characteristics

Here are the most important features of an MVP:

  • provides immediate value to customers by solving their problem
  • allows the team to gather precious data and feedback necessary for further development
  • minimizes development costs and development time

What are the benefits of building an MVP?

There are numerous benefits of building an MVP first, instead of developing the full product. These are the most important ones:

1. Understanding the market and your target audience

Building a minimum viable product that solves your customers’ needs is a great way to gain insights into your customers’ interests. Having a real product being used by real customers will get you more information on the market demands than you would get from hypothesizing or assuming about your customers’ needs.

The findings will allow for changing a product’s direction (if needed), more market differentiation, as well as developing a more focused marketing campaign targeting the right audience for your product.

2. Valuable customer feedback and validated learning

Any type of feedback from early adopters will save you both time and money and show whether you are moving in the right direction. Be it the number of downloads, comments, reviews, mentions, etc., they will all help clarify the needs of your target audience. That initial feedback and the interest will help you predict if your product will be able to achieve your desired goals.

Also, the feedback is precious for the development team because it gives them the opportunity for validated learning. Based on the received feedback, the development team has a complete understanding of your users’ needs and can, therefore, improve or adjust the product.

3. Quick launch that saves time and money

Since MVP is not as complicated as the full-fledged product with extra features, the development requires less time, fewer resources, and less money.

This is why building an MVP is a smart and non-costly way to make sure you are investing in a product that will actually be successful and bring revenue. Moreover, the sooner you find out if your product is appealing to your target customers, the less you will spend on a product that will perhaps not succeed in the market.

4. Winning and attracting stakeholders and investors

Building an MVP is an effective way to attract investors and stakeholders and can provide you with the necessary funding or getting a green light for developing the whole product. Why?

Because an MVP is a functioning product that is used by real customers and therefore provides your stakeholders or investors with a physical product that they can see and use which is much more convincing than just presenting them with an idea of a product.

5. Acquiring a user base and creating a buzz

By releasing your MVP in no time, you can start acquiring a potential user base and early adopters. Building relationships with your customers and letting them interact with your product early through feedback can help shape the future of your solution.

Also, with the early adopters creating a buzz about the product, you can start expanding your target audience and attract new customers.

Why can't everyone build an MVP and what to keep an eye for?

Did you know that Instagram, Airbnb, Dropbox, Facebook, Foursquare, etc. all started as MVP’s?
If done correctly, an MVP lays the groundwork for the success of the whole product that will be developed later on. That is why this initial phase of building an MVP can be considered as the most important step in the production of a new digital solution.

And not everyone (or any development agency) can take on such a challenge - to develop a fully functioning product with the minimum costs and resources, and in a short time. That is why choosing a software development house that offers Discovery Workshops is a good idea. During the workshop, the software house will help you decide on the type of MVP that is most suitable for your future product. A knowledgeable software development house should be able to create a custom MVP that will bring the most success to your future product.

Another advantage of doing the discovery workshop before building an MVP is the help you get when it comes to prioritizing the features. Keep in mind that everyone can compile a list of features but it takes a lot of knowledge and experience to skim through them all and take away those that are not needed and still hit the spot and develop a functioning product that fulfills its purpose (some even call it art!)

Key takeaways

Building an MVP first is a smart way of testing if the idea for your future product will be successful. You will get valuable feedback from real customers, discover the ups and downs of your product and ideas, attract investors (if desired), and understand the needs of your market, all for less money and in a short amount of time.

With a lot of experience in building MVPs and organizing discovery workshops, we can help you get to know more about this minimal approach and see how would it best work for you. We are open to your queries and you are welcome to contact us through your preferred channel, no boundaries attached.