4 Reasons Why Do You Need to Build an MVP

You know how they’re saying? In the game MVP stands for Most Valuable Players. Well, in the IT-field it means the same just in other words. In one of our previous articles we explored the topic “How To Build a Mobile App in 7 Easy Steps?”, where one of the key steps was represented by thesis “Develop an MVP”. I think time has come to discuss this subject further because it’s really hard to overestimate the value of the MVP strategy in the mobile app marketing. 

Let’s say, you have a brilliant idea for some potentially awesome app, but we both know that it’s impossible to create a perfect successful product right from the start. For it to hit the top it needs to be tested, improved probably not even once, tested again and only then you’ll have a chance to become a star among mobile app developers. To do this while having a tight budget, limited resources and short amount of time you must stop for a second and be realistic.

Ask yourself – what problem you wanna solve with your app and who will be your target audience? Have an answer?

Perfect, then let’s begin your race to the success, by using the extremely popular business model in the mobile app development sphere – we are going to tell you, why it’s a wise decision to build an MVP for your startup.

MVP. Is the beast that scary?

What does it mean, how to use it and how will it help you during app development? First things first. Let’s listen to some experts to find out more about MVP, because there are a couple of different definitions of the term and all of them are right, depend only on for which project will you need an MVP.

MVP is not scary

The father of MVP, Eric Ries, discussed it for the first time in his best-selling book, “Lean StartUp”, as a way to get a critical feedback during the early stage of product development.

“A Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
Eric Ries

So, basically, an MVP is the most simple fully-functioning reflection of the app you can create that will deliver customer value. If look at this closer, more broad definition was given by Techopedia (as we mentioned in the article “How To Build a Mobile App in 7 Easy Steps?”):

“A minimum viable product (MVP) is a development technique in which a new product or website is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters. The final, complete set of features is only designed and developed after considering feedback from the product's initial users.
MVP is the most pared down version of a product that can still be released. An MVP has three key characteristics:
  • It has enough value that people are willing to use it or buy it initially;
  • It demonstrates enough future benefit to retain early adopters;
  • It provides a feedback loop to guide future development.
The catch to this development technique is that it assumes that early adopters can see the vision or promise the final product and provide the valuable feedback needed to guide developers forward.”

Techopedia (c)

Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) first of all results in avoiding the development of the apps that users don’t want or don’t need. MVP tests the actual usage scenario in the focus groups, which will give you an answer whether your product is attracting people or not.

“A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product that has the minimum set of features to prove the essential hypothesis in your business.
If you're starting with an idea and nothing built, your first goal is to prove that people want what you’re planning to build. A Minimum Viable Product would be what you could build at a minimum to prove that”.
Mikael Cho, Founder/CEO of Crew | Unsplash

To make an MVP for the startup means to create something that solves a valuable problem for the target audience. To do this you must figure out what exactly your MVP will look like – determine the smallest and fastest, but completely functional product that you can pass to your customers, and take action from there, based on what you’ll learn from their first experience with the app. 

Why Do You Need to Build an MVP?

Really, still wondering why do you need it? If you’re so unsure, let’s get right to the point.

The developer roughly suggests what functions of his app will be useful, but only his users and customers will be actually using the product. So you must prepare that they could have a very different opinion on this matter, that’s why it’s better to create an MVP, get it released and take into consideration first feedback. Basically, it’s called beta-testing of your idea, which will help you to find and fix some bugs before your app will be launched.

Okay, now we have to talk about key reasons to build yourself an MVP.

Reason number one: test the waters

What you’ll get from the launch of MVP is the valuable information. Basically, you can call it your own secret intelligence operation! While other developers will fail after putting to app stores the fully ready product that nobody is looking for, you on the other hand by launching the MVP model of your idea will get a chance to test the waters you want to step into.

See the reaction of your potential users and get their feedback that will help you to understand their needs better and to decide for yourself – does your app solve the real problem or it just doesn’t fit in the niche you wanted. Did you find the right solution? If not, then MVP will allow you to fix your mistakes on the earlier stage of the app development and find a new way to win over the hearts of your customers.

MVP is the first test of your app

An MVP is a great IT-approach to build a user-centric digital service in a little amount of time. And it helps you to learn what problems should be solved before the app is released to the market and to test your current suggested business model.

Reason number two: care for your resources, save your budget

You don’t want to spend it all in a blink of an eye, right? Well, MVP helps you to save a lot of money under the conditions of limited development budget and resources. It also saves much of your efforts by letting you see the problems and solve them quickly and almost pain-free. Especially you need to pay attention to this reason if you’re a startuper and your first goal is to assure the investors that they won’t lose their money after engaging with your app. You need to prove to them that your product is desirable on the market and it will pay back fully after the launch stage.

Resources for your business 

The benefit of the MVP is its low price. When you should keep in mind that after first feedbacks you most likely will need to change some of the app features and make improvements which will cost you time and money. Then after making this upgrades you’ll have to test the product once more! See my point?

An MVP allows you to deliver the message to your target audience with a small effort and not so highly priced bill. This way, if your idea doesn’t work for some reason, you’ll lose much fewer resources compared to the situation when you failed with a fully ready app. Also you'll save money for promotion (read more in "How To Start Mobile App Marketing Campaign"). Don’t forget, the bigger cost savings the bigger your chances to be able to win the race in the future.

Reason number three: Speed and determination are the pledges of victory

What else can you get from building an MVP? Well, let’s say, it will get you to the market much faster than if you plan to build the whole product at once. So, you will get the valuable knowledge about your apps impact much earlier, which will direct you to the right features that your target audience really needs and to bugs that you should pay attention to.

But, I’ll be honest with you, don’t forget that MVP, after all, has limited functionality and allows to hear the reviews from a much less demanding group of your potential users, they call them early adopters.

Speed and power of MVP

Anyway, when you can start with something simple and not have with many technical features it just makes sense that you’ll get to the market much faster than your competitors. Which gives you an essential advantage and ability to carve out a market niche.

Reason number four: engage your customers, improve the app, get rich

A minimum viable product allows you to get the critical data about the users and lets you observe their natural behavior regarding your product usage. After this, it leads to a more awaited and interesting product, because by analyzing gathered information and processing it correctly you’ll give people what they need and they will gladly pay for your app.

When they see that you hear them and want to create a really useful product your customer’s satisfaction will jump up and there we go – recommendations. The full-on promotion of you and your product. We know perfectly well, right? When we like something will do everything to tell about this thing to all of our family members, friends and colleagues. Therefore, the number of your users and revenue stream will rise up quickly then you think.

Improve your app before launching it after probing the market with an MVP and you’ll most likely secure yourself a bright future.

How to create a minimum viable product for a mobile app?

“Startup success can be engineered by following the process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.”
Eric Ries
So we sure, yes? You want yourself this useful thing call MVP? Okay, time to talk about how to develop a minimum viable product for your mobile app. It’s pretty easy if you know exactly what you want to get from your idea. But, just to be clear, to develop an MVP you should do your homework first. Which means planning a business strategy, making detailed specification and the list of requirements for your future app and creating a plan of the marketing campaign.

To ease the whole process sit and write down all the features you plan to have in your app, literally – to see how difficult and costly it will be to include some of them into MVP. Range the based on their priority – which of them will pay off shortly after apps launch? Which will be more valued by users? After getting such specification, focus on developing the top ones from each category keeping in mind your startup budget, available resources and the timeline. And believe me, it’s okay to ask for help – get in touch with other entrepreneurs and startupers in the niche you chose, speak to your target audience, don’t be afraid to research something you still new to.

Also, there is another question – whether you plan to create an MVP for clean slated startup or develop already existing product improving it with new features because it will be a whole lot different projects in terms of price and deadlines.

“MVP doesn’t mean cutting down the features to fit into a timeline, the focus should be able to test the absolute core of the idea, minus the bells and whistles. MVP time-frame could be 3, 6 months or a year, it will be solely based on the type of the product we are looking for”.

Rajesh Kumar, founder of INKONIQ, UX driven product engineering company

If you’re not a professional app developer then we strongly recommend you to contact with a reliable MVP development company where you’ll get perfectly qualified and helpful services which will perfectly satisfy all your early requirements.

As for our advice if you want to develop an MVP by your own either way... Choose some basic and critical features (only the highly valuable ones) of the app and prototype them. The list of tools for such prototyping you can find in the mentioned article “5 Best Ways to Prototype your Mobile Project”.

Here some more free tools to make your life easier:
  1. “Keynotopia” for mobile apps prototypes.
  2. “Mockingbird”, “Framer”, “InVision” for creating initial mockups.
  3. “Adobe Illustrator”, “Bootstrap”, “Foundation”, “Balsamiq” for UX/UI design.
  4. “JustInMind” for web product prototyping.
  5. “Unbounce”,”LaunchRock” for landing pages.

And last but not the least issue at this stage – do you need to gather a team first or to develop an MVP? We answer pretty straightforward – win over the MVP project and build a team a little later. You need to be sure that your idea is ready for a long run so you can engage in this extra people.

Types of MVPs

Just a quick word about the general types of MVP as it is. You can choose from:

  • Wireframes;
  • Mockups;
  • Explanatory video;
  • Landing page;
  • Website;
  • Mobile app;
  • Software prototype.

All of them are fully capable of becoming super successful product without even getting to the stage of the completely developed app. There already dozens of examples of the MVPs that blew up the market and made their founders well-known and rich.  

Want to learn from the best? Check out the history and development info of such MVPs as “Dropbox, “Buffer app”, “Pebble watch”, “Copyblogger blog”, “Walt Disney World Radio podcast” etc. Use their innovative ideas to motivate yourself and get ready for the launch of the product you’ve been dreaming of creating for so long.

How much does it cost to build an MVP?

As you can see, a minimum viable product is a so-called magic ticket to success. It’s not always the right approach, sure, but when building a mobile app it is often better than the alternative. And after we spoke about core points, you most likely are wondering right now what exactly will be the price of the simple but fully functional MVP.

Cost of MVP

Well, as it always is in mobile app development, the MVP development cost will depend on the complexity of your project, given timeline, a country where your developers reside and a couple of other things. Let’s look at it closer, shall we?

Factors that will affect the cost of your MVP:

  1. Desirable features and their sophistication.
  2. Parts of the project that are most time-consuming.
  3. Number of platforms/devices and the development technologies.
  4. UX/UI design.
  5. Will there be any monetization functions included?
  6. Execution team – number of developers involved, their experience level, required payment and the country where they’re currently situated.  

So, what options do you have? If you’re lucky enough to have experience and technical skills you can manage the development by yourself. Agreed, the cheapest way for sure. But... what if it’s not your strong side? Then there are two other alternatives: you can hire freelance developers or get help from a qualified mobile app development company. In the first case, based on hourly rate of developers, the price of an MVP will start from $5000-$10000. If we’re talking about highly organized and strictly following your needs development company approximate price will range from $20000. But keep in mind that by hiring a team from a mobile app development company you secure yourself a good and promising start in advance. Also, you’ll need to check all of the terms and conditions of partnership that each company offers. Choose wisely to save your budget from draining.

So, again, how much does it cost to build an MVP? We can’t name the exact number, as you see, but...  judging from that fact that the list of required for your MVP features should be limited and adapted for development in 2 - 4 months and known hourly rate for developers around the globe we can tell you to prepare an approximate amount of money.

Average cost to develop a minimum viable product for your mobile app will range between $10.000 – $50.000. The final number will depend only on your choice of actions and the factors listed above.

For example, here is the average price of famous apps MVPs:

  • Uber – $35,-50,000
  • Airbnb – $24.000-40,000
  • Tinder – $15,000-35,000
  • YouTube – $20,000-30,000
  • Twitter – $18,000- 30, 000
  • Facebook – $30,000-70,000
  • Snapchat – $16,000-25,000

See you soon

Hope, this information was helpful and if you looking for someone to make your dreams come true, don’t hesitate to contact us right now. Our company has an experience, qualified developers and huge desire to conquer any challenges you might throw at us!

We specialize in MVP development, so we can guide you through the whole way into your future success. We will use a creative approach and help you to:

  • Select MVP strategy that will work for you;
  • Create a simple tool to execute it (MVP);
  • Support the product from the development stage to the launching day.

Kindly awaiting for your feedback!

Yours sincerely,
TecSynt Team

Tecsynt mobile development company

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