How to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) In 2023: Step-by-Step Guide
Table of Contents
A minimum viable product is a great way to test your product idea. Let’s discuss how to build one!
Practice is the best pathway for testing ideas. Many business plans are great on paper. But then they meet reality and fail. How do you prevent this? What is the best way to resolve disagreements between plans and reality? In our opinion, the best choice is to consider MVP development. MVP stands for “minimum viable product.” It’s a version of an app with only the core selling features. Let’s take a 3D printing app for creating car models as an example. Its MVP will only focus on what makes this app truly unique. These features can include new tools for car model design or even generative AI. Non-essential features, such as collaboration tools, will appear after the MVP succeeds. The idea here is to review your core innovations at a minimum cost. In this article, we’ll discuss what an MVP is and how to build minimum viable products in 2023.
What Is MVP?
Let’s define what an MVP is and compare it against other methods:
Defining an MVP
To understand how to build an MVP, one must first define all its aspects. An MVP is a basic, functional product version designed to test its core features and market appeal. Let’s review the core characteristics of an average MVP:
- Core Functionality: MVP focuses on the essential features and core user problems.
- Simplicity: it maintains a straightforward design, avoiding unnecessary complexity.
- Fast Development: developers build MPVs quickly. This approach helps adapt to user feedback.
- Testing Ground: it’s a testing ground for ideas and assumptions.
- Iterative Improvement: user input defines the gradual transformation of the involved apps.
- Cost Efficiency: MVP minimizes initial development costs, optimizing resource allocation.
MVP vs. Prototype
You need to know the difference between MVPs and prototypes before building an MVP. A prototype is an explorative model for testing and visualizing design concepts. An MVP is a version of a product containing its main features. Here are the key differences:
- Prototype: focuses on visualizing and validating design concepts.
- MVP: tests the core functions and market demand.
- Prototype: may not have working features; it often has static or limited functions.
- MVP: contains functional features that early adopters can use.
3) Development Stage:
- Prototype: created early in the design phase.
- MVP: appears after the design phase. It focuses on a usable product.
- Prototype: used for user testing and design validation.
- MVP: tested for market acceptance and real-world usage.
- Prototype: narrower in scope; often involves one or two functions.
- MVP: broader in scope; includes key features for user interaction.
- Prototype: Collects feedback on design and user experience.
- MVP: Collects feedback on functions, value, and market fit.
In summary, prototypes help refine app design. In turn, MVPs test market viability of a product. Prototypes test one or two features before their implementation. MVPs provide functional apps for user testing and feedback.
MVP Building Basic Goals
When building an MVP, you should pursue several key goals:
Validating the Product Concept
A minimum viable product (MVP) has several basic goals. Firstly, it serves as a litmus test for a product concept itself. An MVP helps us understand if there’s a real demand for our proposed solution in a certain market. This method is the first step in figuring out if the problem we want to solve is worth solving. It tells us if people like our product.
90% of all startups fail. Many large businesses fall, too. Why? They don’t fit the needs of the market. Failory features many interesting failure cases that show how important MVPs are. They involve well-known brands like Vine, Musical.ly, Toys R Us, and Justin.tv.
Testing Core Functionality
Secondly, MVPs focus on core functions. They concentrate on the key features that meet the basic needs of your audience. By focusing on those key features, we make sure our product works well and satisfies the users. Every app has some central feature. For example, YouTube is a great platform for watching videos. Social functions are secondary; we can imagine YouTube without community features or comments. The case of YouTube is fascinating because its non-video features are underdeveloped. Nonetheless, the product is among the most popular platforms in the world. Why? Because it does one thing well. It delivers the best player on the market. All in all, the core feature is everything. When it doesn’t work, the foundation of your app will collapse.
Gathering User Feedback
No plan survives contact with reality. As Forbes indicates, one of the main reasons Agile methodology became popular was its flexibility. Waterfall, its competitor, involves a clear, pre-planned vision of an app. Developers then create it according to the initial instructions of a client. Waterfall doesn’t presuppose major discussions during development. This approach can lead to major redevelopment due to changing user demands.
Agile solves this problem through its sprint system. It splits development into several phases. Between them, clients and developers can discuss what to do next. As a result, it’s possible to change core product features during development. This approach opens up a tremendous degree of flexibility for all developers.
An MVP is a framework that is close to Agile in its philosophy. In this light, a critical goal of MVP development is gathering user feedback. An MVP allows users to try out your app as soon as possible. In this way, it collects valuable information about user preferences and pain points. On their basis, you can create suggestions for developers. In turn, this step brings your product closer to meeting user expectations. It removes bad ideas by testing them in real-life scenarios. All in all, minimum viable product development is essential. It allows you to understand the real needs of the clients rather than presuppose them.
Minimizing Development Costs
Ultimately, building an MVP is a strategic move to optimize development costs. This logic works both for failed and successful projects. We minimize expenses by developing only the necessary features. On the one hand, investors avoid spending money on a costly development process if an MVP fails. On the other hand, if an MVP development process is successful, you can minimize the impact of bad ideas. Instead of spending money on useless secondary features, you can focus on things that work well.
The initial idea for Instagram differed from the platform’s current approach. According to Investopedia, Keven Systrom, one of the Instagram founders, wanted to create a photo-based travel app first. MVP testing showed that the idea wasn’t so good. This criticism through practice helped create Instagram as we know it. In short, building an MVP is a great way to boost cost efficiency because it allows us to test ideas via the market. This cost efficiency is particularly beneficial when resources are constrained or uncertain.
An MVP also accelerates your time-to-market. The focus on central features enables it to reach users sooner than a fully developed product. Moreover, the impact is likely to be similar to a full product because an MVP already has central functions. In the end, early market presence helps gain a competitive edge if your product is in a new niche. Many core companies on the market are oligopolies or even monopolies. The majority of their products are imperfect. Some of them are much worse than the less popular alternatives. Still, we use Windows as our desktop OS and not Linux. Why? The answer here is simple. Reaching the market first to capture a wide audience is all-important.
Let’s return to our Windows example. There’s a high likelihood that you’re using it as your central operating system. What’s strange about this? It’s one of the most vulnerable pieces of software on the market. In 2021, as Tech.co notes, over 100 million pieces of malware targeted Windows. Moreover, the infamous Windows update system is genuinely life-threatening. In this regard, developers of WuInstall (a third-party app for managing Windows updates) reported a disturbing situation. According to them, a Norwegian hospital had to expose a patient to an anesthetic for one hour longer than necessary due to an unwanted Windows update. Still, Windows is much more popular than macOS, Chrome OS, or Linux. Why? The answer is simple: it was the first to capture the mass market. In this way, Microsoft created an ecosystem that many companies can’t abandon for decades.
How to Develop MVPs?
We know what an MVP is. Now, let’s discuss how to build a minimum viable product. Here are the steps you need to succeed.
Stage 1: Developing a clear product idea
Many startup creators lack a clear project vision. For example, Failory report on 99Dresses highlighted that its creator, Nikki Durkin, didn’t know how to make it profitable. Her idea of a used dress exchange and sale site was reasonable but didn’t bring in any money. What does this mean for you? The first thing you should do is outline the core features of your project and the ways to earn money on it. If you want your product to succeed, it must target paying customers. More importantly, you must offer something the clients would be willing to purchase. Your project must be so unique that the users see no alternative but to pay for it.
Stage 2: Performing a product discovery process
Product discovery is about figuring out what a new product or feature will do for a specific user or market. It requires researching and validating ideas to determine if they’re worth pursuing. In the case of 99Dresses, the problem with the project was the absence of product discovery. Nikki Durkin based her business on personal experience. The real-life data didn’t prove that the idea was viable. You should always transition from experience to actual data to avoid such difficulties. Look at similar projects. Read user testimonials on the web before creating an MVP. This is the best way to save money.
Stage 3: Delivering a Proof of Concept (PoC)
Project ideas can sometimes be too outlandish to fit current capabilities. Before creating an MVP, you should consider a proof of concept (PoC). The idea is to make a test ground for the key features and see if one can code them. Meta’s approach to VR office workspaces is a good example of an insufficient PoC. Meta wants to create virtual offices and push everyone to use VR headsets for them. What’s the issue here? VR technology can’t offer a comfortable user experience. Modern headsets like the Oculus Quest are difficult to wear for extended periods. Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s gaming division, is right: no one would be willing to wear those headsets all day. They’re great for entertainment but fail at delivering a lasting user experience.
Maybe, the technology will resurge once headsets become light enough. For example, people may be willing to use them if they’re as comfortable as reading glasses. However, Meta’s idea seems to be destined for failure as of today. Why? It didn’t test if users would be willing to use VR headsets all day (or its tests were designed badly). Don’t let fancy technologies like VR enchant you. Yes, they can be revolutionary sometimes. But, in reality, most projects involving them are unviable. Before developing a full-scale MVP, ask yourself: are the core features feasible? If possible, hire some test groups and ask them to provide feedback.
Stage 4: Outlining user experience and journey
It’s not enough to offer great features. They also have to be comfortable and easy to understand. The reason so many people prefer macOS to Linux is the user experience. The former platform makes it easier to interact with basic everyday tools. Linux is more configurable, but it requires significant user knowledge. One can find spectacular examples of UI/UX configuration (so-called ‘ricing’) on Linux forums. Cybernews, a tech-oriented online publication, offers several outstanding examples of custom-made Linux interfaces in its editorial. However, few people are willing to spend months learning Linux UI principles. In this light, you should prioritize user experience after a successful proof of concept. Consider how new users will interact with your project. Only then, figure out the most comfortable way to proceed with it.
Stage 5: Creating a prototype
Before starting an MVP, you should consider prototype development. Why prototype? The best way to answer this question is to discuss its definition. A prototype is a preliminary sketch of your idea. It’s a low-fidelity representation of your product’s core features and functions. Think of it as a visual aid that helps you convey your ideas. Prototypes are invaluable when communicating with stakeholders without technical expertise. They let you show a tangible and easy-to-understand version of your concept. Feedback from a prototype helps developers by showing design flaws and usability issues. An MVP is already commercially viable; a prototype isn’t. We recommend combining this stage with a proper focus group analysis. This approach will help determine the most optimal user experience empirically. Prototypes can’t test the financial viability of your idea. However, they can help you remove bad design ideas.
Stage 6: Developing an MVP
Now that you’ve defined all aspects of your project (UI/UX, features, and monetization), go for an MVP. How do you build an MVP? In our opinion, everything depends on workforce quality. Why? MVP development isn’t different from creating a full project. You need to hire a full-scale team or outsource development to one. A vital step is to also choose a high-quality strategic framework. In this respect, we recommend using the Agile approach as it’s the most flexible method. MVPs are testing-oriented. As a result, it makes sense to use a method that allows for changing strategies. Going with the flow and responding to real challenges is the best approach.
Stage 7: Testing the App and Launching It
A big mistake many firms make is ignoring the testing stage. While this may seem utterly irrational, the problem is real. According to tester reports, many companies hire bare-bones testing teams and then underpay them. All this leads to massive long-term app quality and security difficulties. In the gaming sector, the issue is so bad that many releases get great user scores just for being stable. If you want to stand out in the modern market, proper testing is a good way to guarantee success. We at Keenethics believe that testing is the most important practice in development. No developer is perfect: all apps have bugs. Launching an app without proper testing is like publishing a book without editing. No testing is excessive in the modern environment of a constant arms race between developers and hackers.
And what about the launch? You can go straight for it once you’ve fixed all the bugs. Just don’t forget about the early adopters. They should receive some early access bonuses, such as lower prices for using an app. And, one more thing: launching doesn’t mean development is over. Users like apps that receive long-term support. It’s not always necessary to add something new. Fixing bugs and updating security is often enough. Bloated apps are too common on the market. Still, the post-launch period sometimes offers a space for interesting user feedback. In this way, you can further solidify your position in the market by appeasing the clients.
Related ServicesUI/UX DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Building an MVP: Common Mistakes to Avoid
Now that we know how to build an MVP, it’s time to review the common mistakes people make regarding them. Here’s the list of the top problems:
Creating an unviable idea
The first and most critical mistake in building an MVP is starting with an unviable idea. Before diving into development, it’s crucial to thoroughly validate your concept. Ensure there’s a genuine need for your product. Conduct market research, analyze competitors, and gather insights from potential users. Without a strong foundation, your MVP may be destined for failure. A good idea is to review the failure cases to understand if some part of the market is viable. Failory currently has a tremendous number of testimonials from startup managers. Remember, a product has no value if it doesn’t fulfill someone’s needs.
Going straight for an MVP (no prototype)
Another common pitfall is rushing into MVP development without creating a prototype first. Prototypes allow you to visualize your product’s core features. In this way, you can gather early feedback and refine your concept. If you skip this step, you can face costly design changes later. Remember, practice is the best way to find out the truth. A well-crafted prototype helps align your team and stakeholders with the product’s direction. It assists with removing the fundamental problems your app has. No prototype can show if a product will sell well. Only an MVP, a test in real-world conditions, provides such information. Still, products don’t always fail because they’re necessarily bad. Sometimes, their presentation isn’t good. Pineapple, a UI design company, notes in its blog that bad UX is often behind the death of startups. Even the best idea can fail if it’s not presented well.
Failing to understand the user persona
Building an MVP without a clear understanding of your target audience is unproductive. It’s essential to create detailed user personas. You should outline their needs, pain points, and preferences. Without this knowledge, you risk developing features that don’t appeal to your users. How to understand the user persona? You should look at the next step, feedback.
Failing to consider qualitative and quantitative feedback
Throughout MVP development, feedback is indispensable. Ask for input from users and stakeholders regularly. The users know what they need better than you. Still, it’s not enough to ask for feedback alone. You should also distinguish between qualitative and quantitative feedback. Qualitative feedback delivers insights into user experiences and emotions. Quantitative data offers statistical trends. Both are valuable but require different interpretations to enable informed product decisions. Quantitative data shows which features are popular. Qualitative data highlights why they’re popular.
Choosing an incorrect development framework (Waterfall vs. Agile)
Selecting an incorrect development framework can hinder your MVP’s progress. With its linear approach, Waterfall may not be suitable for rapidly evolving projects. In turn, Agile’s step-by-step nature aligns well with MVP development. Choose the best method for your project to avoid problems and mistakes wisely.
Main Minimum Viable Products Types
Here are the key types of minimum viable products:
MVP for a Landing Page
A landing page MVP is a simplified version of a web page that you can use to test and validate a product or service idea. A landing page is the key way to attract people to your product. It’s the face of your project. This type of page is the most likely to benefit from an MVP. You can choose the best MVP by testing multiple landing page versions against each other.
Many users don’t have enough time to check out a new project. Some apps require several days or weeks of use to prove their viability. Few people would try a new word processor without seeing how it’s better than Microsoft Office. In this light, a video-based MVP or an explainer video MVP is the best option for convincing the users. An explainer video MVP is a concise clip introducing your product or service. It explains an app’s key features and benefits to help potential users understand its value. Dropbox offered a unique concept back in the day. The service’s creators started with a video MVP to explain it. This video created massive hype around the project, securing its funding.
In our opinion, it’s good to have two formats here. Firstly, one should have a corporate presentation on the official social media. Secondly, asking influencers about their feedback is a good idea. Natural engagement is the best, but a paid promotion is acceptable. How do you do a paid promotion without damaging your reputation? Openly state that you’ve paid for a presentation and choose respectable influencers.
Basic (Flintstone) MVP
Many startups have limited resources for their projects. Usually, their creators have standard full-time jobs. In this light, even a relatively small MVP developed by a group of professional coders can be too costly. Still, there’s a solution: a Flintstone MVP. The idea here stems from the Flintstone series. It features prehistoric characters who recreate many modern devices with primitive tools. This approach has a comical effect but hides a genuinely great idea.
Let’s imagine you want to create a site for selling no-sugar beverages. Instead of hiring a development team, you may start with cheap, no-code site creators. They’re limited, yes: it’ll only be possible to create a bare-bones site. Still, people will be willing to use this site if there’s a strong demand for no-sugar drinks.
The modern market proves this approach works. Airbnb started with a basic site, using this model to gain its current dominance. In reality, it’s not even necessary to create a site. One may use free tools such as newsletters or emails to promote the services they seek. Obviously, these are just examples. There are many other ways to advance primitive MVPs. The Internet offers many pathways for creativity.
A concierge MVP is close to the Flintstone one. In this case, however, it doesn’t use any computer-based tools. Instead, everything is done outside the web. A concierge MVP is a way to test a service with users directly before full development. Multiple renowned companies have used this model to promote their products successfully.
When Uber launched, it began with a concierge MVP approach in San Francisco. Instead of building a full-scale app, they used a no-web approach. Uber’s small team of drivers accepted ride requests through phone calls and text messages. This hands-on approach allowed Uber to refine the user experience and gather feedback. Later, the viability of this idea helped Uber’s managers develop their full-fledged ride-hailing app.
As you can see, coding any app for an MVP is unnecessary. The idea behind creating an MVP is to see if some conceptual approach works at all.
Minimum Viable Product Examples
When researching how to build an MVP, a good approach is to look at real-life success cases. They can highlight some great strategies. Here are the stories of the MVPs for some well-known and extremely successful products on the market:
- MVP: Dropbox’s initial MVP was a simple video demonstration that showcased the concept of cloud-based file storage and sharing.
- Case: Dropbox started with a basic video explaining how their product would work. It hadn’t fully developed the complex infrastructure behind it. The video generated significant interest and sign-ups, validating the demand for such a service. This allowed Dropbox to secure funding and develop the full-fledged product we know.
- MVP: Airbnb’s MVP was a basic website allowing people to rent air mattresses in their living rooms.
- Case: Airbnb began by targeting attendees of a design conference who needed a place to stay. To test their idea, they created a minimal platform, a “bed and breakfast” website. The positive response from their initial users validated the concept of peer-to-peer lodging rentals. Airbnb expanded to accommodate various property types and locations, becoming a global platform.
- MVP: Instagram’s initial MVP was a photo-sharing app with limited filters and social features.
- Case: Instagram focused on simplicity and speed. They deliberately omitted complex features common in other photo apps at the time and emphasized the social element instead. This approach resonated with users who appreciated the streamlined experience. Over time, Instagram added new features and became one of the most popular social media platforms globally.
- MVP: Buffer’s MVP was a basic scheduling tool for social media posts on Twitter.
- Case: Buffer started with a simple web app that allowed users to schedule tweets at specific times. The MVP addressed a specific pain point for social media managers and bloggers. As Buffer gained users and feedback, it expanded to support other social media platforms and added analytics features. In this way, Buffer became a comprehensive social media management tool.
Minimum Viable Product Development: Benefits for Your Businesses
Now we know how to build an MVP properly. Let’s review the benefits of this technology. They’re numerous:
Researching the consumer reactions
The first real benefit of an MVP is the ability to see how people react to your product. You can’t know if your app will be successful until it hits the market. According to Elizabeth Kolbert, who is writing for the New Yorker, all people have an internal bias favoring their opinions. It’s not surprising that some app creators have overly high hopes for their products. Disrupting bias is nearly impossible. We have internal psychological blocks against constructive criticism. However, validating your knowledge and learning if it makes sense is possible despite our psychology. Show it to the market, and ‘the invisible hand’ will give a swift judgment. MVPs exist for this goal. They’re sanity tests for a wide variety of existing projects.
Testing app stability and security
Some app concepts propose functions not tested in the past. AI-based apps are a perfect example of this challenge. Considering the hype around this technology, this idea seems viable from the get-go. Financial experts report that adding AI to your app is a perfect way to boost its market valuation. Nobody cares if it fits your app or not.
Let’s imagine you want to create an AI-based language learning system. Hype around AI will make you think that success is inevitable. In reality, the language app will face many hidden problems. Technological evangelists don’t discuss them; they’re preachers, not honest experts. Our experience with AIs shows that they often offer false information despite claiming it’s correct. Moreover, AI-based posts are repetitive and fail on Flesch reading ease scores. In this light, an MVP is the best way to see the downsides and upsides of a chosen technology.
MVP example: ChatGPT
ChatGPT by OpenAI is a perfect example of MVP success. Currently, its platform is minimal. It has received some internal customization features only recently. Now, creating a general prompt for the whole app is possible. For example, you can ask it to target AI professionals or business experts. Before, everything depended on individual prompts. They used to produce inaccurate results in many situations. Small changes to a prompt could alter the resulting text wildly. Nonetheless, even this approach brought massive attention to the app.
The initial hype for the technology presented it as a tool for a new wave of industrialization. Some quasi-religious transhumanists even called it a direct precursor to Terminator-like AI. However, an MVP in the form of ChatGPT has dispelled those myths entirely. In this regard, ChatGPT proved to have limited use due to hallucinations.
The platform is good for working with summaries or presenting general arguments. It fails when asked to offer high-quality facts or solve complex logical tasks. ChatGPT is a great tool for copywriters if used properly. The platform is good for rephrasing, brainstorming, and medium-quality SEO texts. It’s also useful for helping students with their essays (and, regrettably, cheating). You can ask ChatGPT to offer a book summary, and it’ll likely present an accurate result. Knowing this, OpenAI can now capitalize on its real audience. It involves writers, managers, and students who need fast summaries and outlines.
Reducing development costs
The core ideas for an app are usually easy to determine. The most difficult task is to understand what features should accompany them. This factor creates one more reason to develop an MVP. MVPs help reduce development costs by highlighting which features are crucial for your app. For instance, Instagram started as a simple photo app with basic social functions. It gained popularity using these features alone. This approach allowed the app developers to avoid any other costly features.
Through an MVP, they’ve found the core combination of selling features. Now, the company can create new features based on the core aspects that users like. Subjective opinions of the managers have a minimal impact on development. Ultimately, Instagram is so successful because its new features use empirical evidence.
Showing reliability to investors
The key goal of all investors is to earn funds and minimize threats to their income and capital. When faced with a new product, the investors will likely avoid it. Yes, your product can be genius and take the market by storm. However, there’s a much higher chance that it’ll be a flop, since 90% of all startups fail. The situation is especially difficult when no famous people are on your team. Your chances are nonexistent if you don’t offer a functioning product and rely on presentations. MVP development’s meaning shines in this context. It’s about creating a functioning product that people actually use. An MVP shows viability by attracting the core audience. As a result, it presents a functioning product to investors. Having customers and a real product is the best way to project reliability for them.
Capturing a market niche
Some companies target new markets with many untapped niches. In this respect, knowing how to create an MVP is a core skill. Why? Because the ability to capture the core audience is the most important thing here. Many complex projects create a whole ecosystem around them. A note-taking app, for example, can become the central point of a person’s life. Many people use Evernote or Obsidian to organize Zettelkasten. The costs of switching from an app where you organize this system are tremendous. Zettelkasten is a note-taking method for scholars and business specialists. It can contain years of scientific work. Even if your Zettelkasten app is imperfect, you’ll likely continue to use it. Only several failed updates allowed Evernote competitors, such as Notion, to gain success.
A captured niche in a new market is a major part of your success. MVPs are the fastest way to get to the market. So, when you know how to build one, you’ll likely defeat better competitors if they’re too slow. Fortnite, one of the most popular modern shooters, wasn’t the best game in the genre. But, it was the first user-friendly battle royale to hit the market.
Cost of Building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Related ServicesMVP DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Measuring Success After Creating an MVP
Once you have created an MVP, it’s time to see if it’s successful. Here’s a way to assess if your knowledge of how to build a minimum viable product is useful:
Organic Word-of-Mouth Growth
The organic spread of your MVP showcases its appeal and value in the market. It won’t be popular if people don’t tell their friends and family about your product. Our society has an increasingly negative view of consumerism and advertisements. Word-of-mouth promotion means your product is so good that people are willing to advertise it despite social conventions.
User loyalty signifies a dedicated user base that consistently returns to your MVP. Loyalty demonstrates the MVPs ability to meet their needs effectively. This value is crucial to your success if you work in a sector with many new projects. You safeguard the market share you’ve seized by focusing on customer loyalty. How do you achieve it? Understand your core promise and how the customers see it. Then, adjust the project to that vision.
Number of Sign-ups
The number of new registrations shows how interesting your MVP is and how much it can grow. Sign-ups should remain steady for a product that doesn’t offer continuous services. A documentary or an interactive textbook is finite. You need to find new users for them to be profitable. A continuous service needs to attract an initial following, too. Then, its goal is to use sign-ups as a way to replenish attrition. Netflix is an example of such a business model. In short, sign-ups are a great variable for understanding user interest. New registrations are a reliable way to see if a project will survive in the long term.
Feedback from Clients
Feedback from clients shows two things. Firstly, it highlights if a project interests the customers at all. People don’t write reviews for the projects they find boring. Secondly, it lets one see if they’re going in the right direction. Ultimately, valuable insights from clients are critical for improving your MVP. The MVP development process helps understand client opinion before a project launch. It offers you a way to refine everything before the true release. In this way, you can push negative feedback into the beta phase and enjoy a good reputation post-launch.
User engagement and activity levels reflect an MVP’s ability to keep users involved. If people spend many hours on your app and use it regularly, its popularity is assured. Just be realistic about your goals. A fitness app needs several small user engagements per day. A video app such as TikTok benefits from long sessions.
Costs of Acquiring a Client (CAC)
Understanding CAC helps you get new clients efficiently. In this regard, the key factors include SEO (search engine optimization) and advertising. You should learn how to promote your product better at a lower cost. The best way to achieve that is to invest in analytics. Reexamining your product also makes sense. If your UI/UX is bad, even the best advertisements will never save your project from eventual failure. Building an MVP doesn’t mean ignoring the quality of the user interfaces.
Paying User Percentage
Paying user percentage shows how many people are willing to spend money on your MVP. You can understand how many loyal customers you have by analyzing it. Projects often become popular with a freemium model. But most free customers leave these apps because they need to solve some problems only once. In contrast, paying customers are ready to engage with your product daily. Everything you do should be oriented toward these people because they need your app the most. Another vital goal is converting free users into paid customers. Understanding their pain points is the backbone of project success.
Lifetime Value of a Client
Calculating a client’s long-term value helps assess MVP profitability. A big platform for creating websites can survive with a few corporate customers. Big orders compensate for a small number of customers (for example, 30). In turn, TikTok will die with an audience that is 100,000 times bigger. You should determine how much profit each user brings you to make wise decisions about your business.
This factor is the pulse of your project. You’ll likely have a natural attrition rate. Some customers will inevitably cancel a subscription or leave your service at some point. People and their goals change, after all. If you stop being a copywriter, your ChatGPT premium subscription loses value. Attrition should be compensated by the number of new customers attracted by your product. If attrition rises and the number of new users falls, something is wrong with your project. The most common problems include bad updates or a new competitor. Monitoring attrition reveals issues driving users away. In this way, you can make timely adjustments to retain them. This is the best way to know if new updates make sense or if some unconventional competitor is rational.
How to Build an MVP: Keenethics Experience
Building an MVP is an art. To create one, you must be aware of many factors. In this article, we’ve reviewed all aspects of MVPs. Knowing this information allows one to boost their project’s popularity.
What’s the key reason to build an MVP?
The key reason to build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is to mitigate risk. At the same time, the approach maximizes learning and product viability. We reduce development costs and time by creating a stripped-down version of a product with essential features. In this way, we make an app financially feasible and quick to launch. The MVP is a real-world test, allowing us to gauge market demand and gather user feedback. This invaluable data informs later steps, enabling us to refine the product. An MVP is the best way to minimize the chances of building something users don’t need. Ultimately, the MVP approach helps us make informed decisions and increase product-market fit.
What should one do after building an MVP?
The next steps are critical for product success after building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product):
- First, analyze user feedback and data meticulously to identify areas for improvement. Prioritize feature enhancements and introduce changes to the product to make it better. Simultaneously, expand your user base and engage with early adopters. This allows you to get more interesting user insights.
- Secondly, develop a robust go-to-market strategy. Plan for a wider launch, considering marketing, sales, and distribution channels. Monitor user adoption and gather performance metrics to refine your strategy.
- Lastly, secure funding if necessary for scaling. Keep improving based on user feedback and market trends, aiming for sustainable growth and a good fit between the product and the market.
What are the downsides of creating an MVP?
Creating an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) offers advantages but has downsides:
- An MVP might lack features users expect, potentially disappointing early adopters. It can also be challenging to balance simplicity with delivering meaningful value.
- A fragmented product roadmap may be a result of focusing on an MVP.
- An MVP can misrepresent the final product’s capabilities if not managed well.
- Resource constraints could limit the MVP’s development, impacting its quality and reliability.
- Careful planning and communication are crucial to mitigating these downsides.
How much time does an MVP require?
The time required to build an MVP can vary widely depending on these factors:
- complexity of the product;
- available resources;
- project scope.
Generally, a simple MVP with a small feature set can require a few weeks to a few months of development. More complex projects may take three to six months or longer. Balancing speed and quality to meet market demands is essential. Communication, agile development methods, and a good use of resources are all important factors in making an MVP.
MVPs are the best way to save costs and test the viability of your project idea.
Address Keenethics to create a high-quality MVP!