How to build an MVP and Conquer the market
In this article, we've delved into the art of building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) the right way, ensuring you don't drain your budget or time while achieving your objectives.
Let's skip the standard definitions – we value your time and assume you're already familiar with what an MVP is. If not, there's a separate article for that - What does MVP mean.
Now, let's talk about the three primary goals that founders typically pursue when developing a new product:
- Generating Revenue
- Reducing Operational Costs
- Securing Initial Investment Rounds
No matter which of these objectives you're chasing, until real users interact with your product, there are no guarantees it'll be valuable. You're operating on assumptions and hypotheses alone.
In our time, the cost of developing a full-fledged software product can soar into the millions of dollars. Few are willing to invest such a significant sum solely on hypotheses, right?
That's why we usually turn to MVP development as the first step. It allows us to test our ideas, launch a minimal test version of the product, and gather initial feedback. Then, we adapt and expand based on the results.
So, how do you develop an MVP in a way that's cost-effective and expeditious?
Step 1 - Define the Core Feature:
The first step is brainstorming. Do it yourself or with your team if you have one. Identify the core function of your application, the foundation upon which we'll build the MVP. We recommend selecting just one key feature, though you can include 1-2 supplementary ones. But no more, as overloading the development process can lead to delays. You need to get a feel for the market as quickly as possible.
Step 2 - Killer Feature over Core Feature:
Here, you analyze and answer one key question: "Why you?" Chances are, there's already a similar product or one that addresses the same problem in the market. To stand out, list at least 20 ways in which you can do it better. Then, choose the best options to transform your Core Feature into a Killer Feature.
Step 3 - Create a Prototype:
You can use online services like FigJam or simply pen and paper to sketch how everything will look. For instance, let's say you're starting a venture that reminds users to take medication. Visualize how it will look for the user. Usually, Product UX Designers handle this aspect, but you can try your hand at the initial drafts.
Step 4 - Comprehensive UI Design + Tech Requirements:
Based on the prototype, create a design and a document detailing all requirements and functionalities. For UI design, you can hire a freelance designer or an experienced team of Product Designers. Costs may vary, but so will the results. For the detailed document, you can choose to hire a Product Manager, an experienced team, or attempt it yourself. While an experienced team can foresee potential scenarios, even a basic description simplifies subsequent work.
Step 5 - Select the Technology Stack:
Determine the technical stack. There's a vast array of programming languages out there, and it's growing. If you're not tech-savvy, consult reliable technical experts. It's a good idea to seek and compare multiple opinions. Check out our post on determining your project's tech stack for a more detailed guide.
Step 6 - MVP Development:
Let's skip the nitty-gritty. Your mission is to find a competent team that can develop your MVP. This is one of the most crucial steps. You can also explore our post on choosing a development team.
Step 7 - Testing and Release:
If you have a professional testing team, that's excellent. If your budget is tight, prepare to do it yourself. Determine a list of commonly used devices, resolutions, and browsers and embark on testing. Monitor not only obvious scenarios but also less apparent ones. Always test security, validations, registration, login, and, of course, the core features. It's better to catch errors early rather than dealing with negative user feedback later.
Step 8 - Release:
The day you've been eagerly awaiting has arrived. Are you hoping to finally relax? Well, not just yet. Your journey has only begun. You need to attract your first users to the application, especially if it's not for internal use. We recommend delving into strategies for startup promotion and Mobile app marketing strategies (2023-2024).
So, here's the golden rule: MVP development is a structured process that balances budget constraints, time limitations, and user expectations. With careful planning, precise execution, and a pinch of innovation, you can launch a successful MVP that propels your business to the next level. Your journey is just beginning, and the possibilities are boundless!