How to Build an MVP for Your Startup
MVP is the first thing that you give to your first set of customers to see if you can deliver any kind of value to them with your solution.
In this blog, we will look at some of the steps that contribute to the development of an MVP for your startup.
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MVP development is one of the most commonly used startup jargon yet ridiculously simple. It is the first thing that you give to your first set of customers or target audience to see if you can deliver any kind of value to them at all with your solution. It is as simple as that.
In other words, MVP is your step towards idea validation and testing the solution. This stage is extremely important in your entire software development life cycle (SDLC). Floating an MVP in the market lets you get feedback from your target audience and apprises you about its tentative success. This can not only save you from failing due to irrelevance but also helps you control your costs and update your product according to your customer’s needs.
In this blog, we will look at some of the steps that contribute to the development of an MVP for your startup. So let’s jump right into it.
What is an MVP in Software Development (Minimum Viable Product)?
An MVP is a basic, minimal, and simplest version of your final product but it has all the important features for defining a value proposition. The main idea behind the development of an MVP is that it calls for a faster time to market your product, attracts customers earlier, and helps you identify whether your product will make a difference or not, or whether it is solving the problem that it intends to solve.
MVP in a nutshell;
- Product’s ability to work successfully at lower costs
- Aiming for a lower cost at the final development as well
- Faster delivery and time to market
Benefits of Building an MVP
Some of the most important benefits of MVP development are given below:
- An early entry into the market helps you gain a competitive advantage
- It enables you to test and upgrade your product as per your audience requirements thus making it more effective
- Helps you to identify the best possible solution moving forward
- Contributes effectively and directly to the development of your final product based on user suggestions and feedback
- Helps you attract the right audience
- Helps you build the right product with minimum cost
- Gives you an opportunity to early test your product
- You can gather feedback and suggestions from your potential customers
- Allows for market and idea validation – whether your idea caters to the right target audience or not
- Faster customer feedback will optimize your final development time
- The MVP development approach is budget-friendly
Important Questions to Keep in Mind While Building your MVP
- What problem(s) are you looking to solve?
- Who exactly is your target audience?
- Is your product scalable and can grow with changing market conditions?
- Does it have a functional UI and UX?
MVP Product Development Process
Following are some of the important steps to build an MVP:
Identify the Problem
Developing an MVP? First and foremost, you need to identify the problem that you want to solve. As it is the crucial step towards ensuring that there is a need for your product in the market which will help you save costs and resources and withhold you from working on something that may not be needed. Because you can’t possibly solve a problem and expect to succeed when the problem doesn’t even exist.
Customer/ Market Research
Before starting, market research is extremely important. Therefore, even for developing an MVP, studying the market environment is crucial. Because at times, your idea may not suit the market or your target audience’s needs hence why market research ensures the feasibility of your idea and supports the idea validation process.
Moreover, through market research, you can figure out who your competitors are, what are they offering, value proposition, strengths, weaknesses, and market opportunities. Based on the data, you can offer a solution that stands out from the rest which as a result will entice users towards your product.
Now you must be wondering why you need a prototype, well the answer is simple: to ensure the functionality and usability of your product. According to Alan Cooper, ‘The value of a prototype is in the education it gives you, not in the code itself’. A prototype is a working solution of your MVP which performs all the actions, defines all the features, and maps out the user flow.
It not only validates the user interface design (UI) but also surveys the user experience (UX). Moreover, a prototype is significant for easy feedback and suggestions for improvements in the MVP. In other words, MVP is a prerequisite for the final product whereas a prototype is a prerequisite for the MVP. Some people may confuse between a prototype and an MVP – but they are not the same thing.
Build an MVP
Keep in mind that while building an MVP, you need to prioritize all the features. Make sure each and every MVP feature is offering something valuable. You should categorize all the features into low, high, medium priority categories and then focus more on the ones that you think are high priority and start building accordingly. At this stage, initial market research will assist.
Keep in mind, just because you have categorized features priority-wise, doesn’t mean you should neglect or forget to focus on low, or medium priority features, altogether.
Testing and Launch
You would think that testing and debugging are only important for the final product. The notion is flawed. Testing is as important for an MVP as it is for the final product. Therefore, test your MVP, remove any bugs it may have, launch the product into the market, sit back and wait for your potential customer’s feedback.
After you are sure that your idea is worth it in the market, time for you to start building a full-fledged product.
Some Important Mistakes to Avoid
- Solving the wrong problem – that doesn’t even exist in the market
- Neglecting the prototyping stage
- Targeting the wrong target market, customer personas, and segments
- Wrong development and project management methodology
- Not documenting the feedback
- Lack of focus on user experience and interface
To avoid the above-mentioned mistakes it is significant to analyze your market competition and monitor them closely. Know their differentiation strategies to deliver something that is not already available in the market.