Every business starts with some idea, however, not all of them are winning. "Is this idea good just for me or for many people?" - this is the question that may keep you up in the middle of the night. Alas, it happens that entrepreneurs find out that people don't need the product their startup offers. With MVP you may sleep at night without tormenting yourself with this question.
Developing a new product, whether it is a website or a mobile app, based solely on your own ideas about what the market needs, can be a disastrous step. It is essential to get feedback about the idea from potential consumers at an early stage, to follow their reaction and willingness to purchase a product.
Today's startup founders are getting savvier about the value of a minimum viable product approach. If there was a "startup bible" it would probably begin with the proverb:
"In the beginning was an MVP, and that was good."
Why it is necessary to build an MVP app
Smart entrepreneurs use an MVP mobile app as a starting point for running a successful project. An MVP app is the shortest way from an idea to a business. It provides a quick market entry and therefore real user experience that gives an opportunity to assess the potential of a project.
MVP is the crux of an app
An MVP app concentrates only on one idea and it doesn't include secondary functions. An MVP approach belongs to the ideology of Lean Startup - a startup, which is built with minimal budget in a reasonable time. This is an app that already provides enough value to try it out, thus you start getting customers as quickly as possible. Risks are minimal. Having only a few main features reduces mobile app development cost.
As seen from the above, MVP is not a sign of a lack of money for a "normal" product, but a way to quickly check what the market really needs (or doesn't need). So, do not hesitate to build MVP apps!
An MVP development technique helps you guess less and win more
Suppose, you suddenly had an idea to sell ice cream with ketchup. You don't need to sign an agreement with a local dairy farm, to buy pasteurisers, continuous freezers and other equipment for producing ice cream, and to cultivate tomato fields for ketchup manufacturing to learn that people don't like an ice cream with ketchup. Just take ten ice creams with ketchup, go outside and ask people if they like the product you offer. The same is for mobile apps. It's unreasonable to spend months developing an app with a bunch of features just to find out that people do not need it.
If you ask people the question: What do you want? They will say… Actually, people literally don't know what they want and won't be able to give you a clear answer. That's why you should offer a few variants and look which of them are of most interest. It's all about MVP.
"If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses." ~ Henry Ford
A mobile app is an MVP by nature
There are lots of restrictions that should be taken into account in custom mobile app development as mobile devices come in various types and flavors. All companies providing mobile app development services are aware of the fact that mobile users are different. Their behavior is different. They won't wait till the page will load. They won't overlook some bugs in your app but will delete it without any doubt. There is minimum functionality in an MVP app, but it must be perfect, otherwise, users won't accept it.
Moving from words to living examples of minimum viable product
Try to think back to when you first used Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. They looked like so different from what they do today, didn't they? These awesome services did better by getting to market even though they weren't finished. Let's take a look at popular app examples that began with MVP.
Uber. All that Uber did in its first version of the mobile app was to connect drivers with customers plus the ability to accept payments. It seems primitive. However, this is exactly what allowed Uber to quickly enter the market, receive feedback, and gradually create a multi-billion dollar business. Today Uber has a much more complex application with hundreds of features.
Snapchat. The main concept of Snapchat is that images and messages are available for a short time. Students at Stanford University Evan Spiegel, Bob Murphy and Frank "Reggie" Brown decided to implement an unusual idea in the educational project - an instant messenger with "self-destructing" messages 10 seconds after reading. The first version of the app launched in 2011 was only for iOS devices and for sending photos. In May 2017, Snapchat had 166 million active users daily.
Foursquare. MVP version by Foursquare company initially contained check-ins and awards for them in the form of badges. After studying the user's reaction, the MVP app developers began to expand its capabilities, and add recommendations and guides to cities. Today, the service brings together 50 million people who have been checked in 8 billion times.
Hints and tips for using the MVP approach in mobile app development
In the MVP phase, the main goal is to get a clear vision of how your application is intended to be used and what works or not for your customers. Then, based on the users' feedback, you can build a full-featured product without taking the risk to waste time and money due to the fact that your app is of no interest to anyone.
When developing an MVP app, keep the following points in mind.
You need to determine the most crucial set of functionality, which features are important, and which ones are not. It is easier to understand the significance of different features when you evaluate them on a scale of 1 to 10, including the importance of this feature for the product, the complexity of its implementation, and the value to the user.
"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." ~ E. F. Schumacher
The competition in in the App Store and Google Play is tough and a glitchy app released with the blind confidence that mistakes are forgivable for MVPs can kill your startup. A team that will not have either experience or horizons to make the right decisions in the app development is not a good choice. You should find qualified mobile app developers for your MVP.
Do the final check before release
Make sure your MVP app works. Leave time for troubleshooting. Test the beta version of the app with your family and friends. They will help you find if it does not work correctly before your product is downloaded by thousands of users. If everything is OK, congratulations, your MVP app is ready to release.
You got your MVP! What's next?
You have finished developing the first version of your app, and the exciting moment of launch has come. This is the stage when the work really begins because now you need to understand how successful your idea is. It is necessary to use analytics and data capture to make informed decisions.
As a rule, people are more inclined to talk about what they do not like, than about what they like. Therefore, if you receive more negative feedback than positive, this does not mean that your product is bad. In fact, the viability of the app is determined more by statistics than by user reviews. The most difficult part here is to figure out how to take advantage of the information you have - what conclusions to make and what to change in your product to improve it.
MVP is a strategy that enables you to find out a lot about a user with the help of a basic and perfectly working app without overspending precious time and finances. All you need is to formulate your business hypothesis, identify key functions and choose a good mobile app development company for your project.
Viva la MVP!