How to build MVP of mobile or web app?
| What is an MVP?
MVP means Minimum Viable Product – it represents the state of a new product with the goal of collecting the maximum amount of knowledge about customers (their preferences, expectations, and behaviour) with the minimum possible effort.
This concept comes from the book “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries – a famous American entrepreneur and blogger. The author claims (and we agree!) that learning has a huge influence on the entire process, from concept development to the overall long term success of the final product. Only projects that allow you to learn, adapt quickly and solve key problems of your customers will win.
The idea is simple – build the product, observe how your customer engages and watch with your own eyes the behaviours unfold. It’s proven that this gives more insights than asking about the customers' preferences before you begin building. The best part is it doesn’t need to be a fully finished solution – even a nice landing page can provide a lot of insight.
Remember – start small to achieve big results!
| Why build MVPs?
Starting the project by building the minimum viable product can save considerable time, money and energy. In the end, you can save yourself from extending all of these resources on an idea that may fail once it faces the target market. The faster you can collect information about how the market reacts, the faster you will find the best way to develop the project and avoid critical mistakes.
MVP is not about building a product with a minimum set of features – it is about delivering the product quickly so you can begin to learn from your targeted customer base.
| How much does it cost to build the MVP?
This is a tricky question, because well…it depends. The most important factor is the scope of work – if your project is just a simple app with a few features, the price could start from as little as $15-30K, but if you plan to develop a new Facebook, it can multiply many times. The most important MVP price factors are:
- Technologies – some of the development languages or frameworks are simply more expensive to implement than others and some are better positioned for specific solutions. The technologies that are chosen from the beginning of the project, can and will influence the cost to develop the MVP and the final product
- Complexity – the more features you need, the higher the cost to create. Identifying the minimum feature set when building the MVP will provide the best price. Also, depending on how many platforms your app will be available on may affect the overall cost. That said, this cost factor is constantly going down, as more and more technologies like Flutter support multiple platforms effectively lowering the overall cost to deliver.
- Development team – It’s simple, the MVP for your app doesn’t need to be developed by your in-house team or even in the same area where your business is located. You can partner with a company anywhere around the world and have the same quality of work done for less money and in a shorter time frame. For example, Poland is famous for its high-quality development services.
- Development time – the faster you want to have your product ready, the faster you need to create your MVP. Speeding any process along requires more resources to work on the project, thus costing more money. Increasing the loop of customer feedback can greatly reduce the development time and building an MVP is the first step.
A common mistake that’s made is thinking of building an MVP is an extra cost. It’s not an extra cost, consider the MVP as an investment – the more knowledge gathered during the MVP development phase, the fewer mistakes you will make in the future. The biggest mistake you can make is building a product that no one wants!
| When you should do it?
Building the MVP is generally a good idea in almost every business, as it is always better to test the idea and gather information first. Don’t forget that almost 70% of startups fail, mostly because they don’t properly test their initial idea. Also, those that conquered the market don’t take their success for granted – usually, their success is derived from a long series of product testing before they see great results.
| Important components when building the MVP
Building an MVP is always a good idea, but only if you understand what it means and what value you are expecting from it. Before starting the work on the MVP be sure that you have:
- Product strategy – remember, that product development does not end in the moment of finishing the MVP. Actually, it’s just the beginning. Always be sure your next steps are clearly outlined and you have the resources to complete them. Securing your development team or finding a trusted tech partner is just as important as creating a structured budget. Also, strongly consider building the marketing plan, as marketing is the major tool to activate product testers and early adopters.
- Minimum feature set – keep in mind that you are not building a full product. Consider building the MVP with a minimum set of features that can convey the goal of the app. Usually, a good development team can deliver a minimum viable product in around 2-3 months focusing on the essential feature set.
- Collect and analyze the data – if you are not able to gather data from your MVP, then the whole idea will not work. The main goal is gaining knowledge about your user behaviours. Anticipating the collection of data and structuring a team to analyze it will be one of the most important components of a successful competition of the MVP.
| How to choose the right partner for your MVP?
Building an MVP is not a typical development process that all companies offer. Choosing the right partner for your MVP can be a crucial decision. They should be able to create a project focused on gathering information about customers and help you learn about their behaviour.
In most cases, you are not choosing only a technological partner for your MVP, but also a partner who can develop your app post MVP feedback. That’s why finding a partner with a relatable experience is important. Have they created a similar project to yours? What technologies are they using? What is their culture of work? Request to speak with someone who has worked with them before and ask for their opinion.
Also, take some time to verify a potential partner by checking their website, reviewing their portfolio of past projects as well as independent review sites like Clutch.io. With Clutch you will be able to see more advanced data like quality, schedule and costs of each project the prospect partner has completed.
AppTailors is a true proponent of incorporating an MVP into a new application development project. It is our experience that the success rate of an application increases when you leverage a tool that can help clients better understand the end-user. Hopefully, this article was helpful in outlining the importance of creating an MVP, the elements to consider and the reasoning behind investing to build one. As always, our team is open to talking through any questions that you may have in exploring your new application project.-Best of luck!
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