Once you have come up with a decision to create a new software product, your next step should be an elaboration of the product features and its main goal. That is where a minimum viable product comes to the rescue.
In this article, we will focus on an MVP definition, its types, advantages, and development steps. Stay tuned and feel free to ask your questions!
What Is An MVP?
So, what does an MVP mean in business? An MVP, or a minimum viable product, is a product with a minimum number of features that allows software owners to get meaningful feedback from users, understand what they need, and remove everything that is not interesting for them.
An MVP for startups is not a raw product that was built in haste. It is just a product that is created during a short period, and it includes essential features only. The purpose of an MVP is to examine how necessary these features for users are. According to Standish Group research, only 20% of software features are used by customers mostly, while 50% of features are rarely used and remaining 30% are used periodically.
An MVP concept makes it possible to reduce the time required for product launch, add vital features, and start collecting feedback as soon as possible.
The Purpose Of An MVP And Its Advantages
If you want to build a successful product, you should start with an MVP. It helps you save not only time and money but also deliver the right solution to your potential customers. That is the primary purpose of a minimum viable product. Let’s figure out all the advantages of an MVP.
Cost-efficiency. It is already clear, but this advantage ranks the first position. Software developers build an application or a website with the required MVP features that only makes your product functional. Thus, you don’t need to waste your money if some additional features won’t be unusual for users, and they are to be removed.
Development time. Lower expenses are tightly connected with development time. Thus, the shorter the development period is, the less you pay. Quick development is a part of such a methodology as an MVP. Your product hits the market faster, and it may generate revenue faster as well.
Focus on customers. You collect feedback. Feedback helps you understand users better, and you may provide them with a product they want because your expectations may be contrary to the needs of customers. Once a minimum viable product is built, you focus on customers’ reviews. And if there are some dissatisfactions — everything could be revised as soon as possible.
Monetization development. Before you create a final product, you need to know what types of monetization strategy your product includes. The most important here is to provide your users with the right monetization type, and an MVP helps you make the right decision. Once you see the customers are ready to pay for the premium version or any upgrades, a proper monetization strategy will be used further.
Product testing. We mean not quality assurance by specialists but testing of a business concept by real customers. When you build an MVP, you can test your startup on different categories of users, identify what users are more active, what is your target audience, and how people interact with your software. Thus, you will know the expectations of your potential target audience.
Easier modification. If everything is good with your MVP and customers are satisfied, developers may modify your software and add more features. We bet you agree that adding new expected features is better than the removal of unnecessary ones. Besides, it also impacts your budget.
Types Of An MVP
When creating an MVP, you should also know that MVPs may be different. There are four main types of a minimum viable product you need to consider and use one (or all of them) to get the maximum useful information of your software.
Wizard Of OZ MVP
If you make a product that should include a wide range of complicated features (financial, AI-based app), you may start with the development of the Wizard of Oz minimum viable product. What is this? This type can be created on your own since it involves a minimum of technologies.
The WoZ MVP allows you to provide beta users with standard services your app focuses on, but you will handle all requests of customers manually. That is, the process won’t be automated. But customers don’t know it. They think that their requests are processed by the system automatically.
That is why it is called the Wizard of Oz — you are in the shadows, they don’t know that they deal with a human. And your goal is to work directly with your users and understand their behavior and preferences better.
This type is often confused with the WoZ MVP type. However, they are a bit different. The Concierge MVP doesn’t require the usage of any technologies. As for the rest, you also manually guide your user from the very beginning to the end, delivering them a solution. Users know that humans guide them right now, not the system, that is the difference from the WoZ MVP type.
The Concierge MVP allows you to identify all the weak sides of your software and find out all the pains of users together with them. So the concierge MVP type may be the best option to understand your users’ needs.
The next type of an MVP allows you to use existing services and solutions, reducing costs, or avoiding them at all. The Piecemeal MVP type doesn’t require you to build your eCommerce platform if you want to test your product. For example, you may use a ready-made eCommerce platform like Shopify.
Based on this, your MVP includes components and tools from multiple sources, and there is no need to build everything from scratch.
Landing Page MVP
We guess you know what a landing page is. A simple website with a single page that plays a CTA (call-to-action) role. And it becomes a perfect MVP. It describes your product, contains attractive images, and calls users to take relevant actions. You can use a few landing pages to find out what messages and CTAs impact users’ activity.
Using a landing page, you collect feedback and emails of the interested users who may become your potential customers. By the way, landing page development is a rather quick process that may take a couple of days. But it depends on the graphic and text content you need.
MVP Development Process
However, before you start MVP development, you should follow a few critical steps. Otherwise, you may waste your time and money on the product that nobody needs. Keep up with the steps mentioned below to be prepared for all pitfalls.
Conduct Market Research
Even if you think that your startup idea is breathtaking, it doesn’t mean your app fits the market. That is why your primary task is to conduct research and find out whether your idea is unusual for people. Feel free to conduct target surveys and use collected info to make the right decision.
Also, don’t forget to analyze your competitors. It will help your software stand out and become crowd-pleasing. But mind that you need to offer something your competitors lack. That is what our next section is about.
Define Your Product Value And Idea
Of course, your products should be valuable for potential users and provide them with certain benefits. In some cases, it may even improve their lives. Therefore, elaborate on the idea of your project and its values to stay ahead of competitors. And then, your MVP will show people the advantages of your software.
Draw Up Feature List
Sit down and draw up the list of all features that are necessary for your opinion. When it is done, look through this list and prioritize all the features by importance rate. You may see that not all features are must-have. And your goal is to remain features that make a minimum viable product.
Even if you don’t know what features are must-have in that or the other product type, the software development company will help you troubleshoot this issue. At Cadabra Studio, our designers will create a clickable prototype to let beta users test it as an MVP. Then, we may build a full-fledged software for you. Get in touch with us easily!
Start The Development
And, finally, let software developers build your minimum viable product. Mind that it should be a product of high quality since if it doesn’t capture the attention of users — it is entirely useless. When it is done, test it, collect reviews, analyze, and make conclusions.
Don’t hesitate to read our detailed article concerning the tips for real MVP development. We bet you will have much to discover!
Examples Of Successful MVPs
For your information, many well-known projects were created as MVPs first. We will list a few of them to show you that even such a giant like Facebook has started small.
Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, founders of Airbnb, have decided to create an online marketplace for a room, apartment, or house rent. They had come up with this decision when they had trouble with payment for rent during a vacation. So, Airbnb’s first website version was a simple website with a couple of features and a few photos of their loft. When the number of paying guests started growing, the site was modified. You know how it looks today.
Thefacebook, as it was the first name of a service, was created for students to let them create groups for their classes or college and connect there. It was an MVP with minimum features and an uncomplicated design. But its idea gained popularity, and today Facebook is one of the most popular social networks in the world.
Far away, in 2010, Uber’s MVP was created for San Francisco users only who had iPhones (Android version wasn’t even considered). Yes, it also offered cheap taxi services, but, at the very beginning, it was hard to find passengers who are willing to make cashless payments to unknown ridesharing service. However, its idea was astonishing. Today Uber needs no introduction.
Drawing The Line
Do you need to create an MVP? Having read this article, you have understood that it is a must-have stage, we guess. If you want to make your product accessible, profitable, and arrange a long-term business — a minimum viable product must be created.
At Cadabra Studio, we are always ready to help you resolve a problem related to your future project, deal with your idea, and provide a reliable solution. We are open to new challenges and opportunities, and our experience proves it. Check out our blog, find some interesting info for you, and hurry up to the Contact page!