You might be doing a lot of research around digital startups, ‘lean’ startups, ‘Failing Fast’, and how to even begin taking the steps towards testing and validating your idea. A common thing we hear when we first start to talk to potential clients is that they have “never built an App before” or “Never worked in the Digital space at all”. You’re not alone in this space, and we are especially proud to see success stories coming from our clients like this such as Leda landing major investment rounds, DanceAus Connect being a current aus mumpremeur 2019 Digital Innovation finalist, and the Shake it! team making into the New Venture Spark program.
One thing that these clients had was a clear vision of the overall product, and an app MVP.
MVP? what is that?
An MVP is a minimum viable product, that being a product made up of only the absolute required features that would solve a clear problem for early adopters.
Take uber for example, they started with one specific problem How to quickly get an affordable taxi. UberCab was formed by allowing a targeted San Francisco only audience to communicate directly with taxi drivers and to pay them for the ride. This was used to validate the value proposition of the idea.
In 2019 uber now offers a wide range of features including driver live-tracking, fare splitting, fare estimation, automatic credit card payments, etc. These were only introduced after the validation.
Why build an MVP?
Building a minimum viable product (MVP) helps you validate your idea quickly by getting your product into the hands of users as fast as possible. CB Insights <https://www.cbinsights.com/research/startup-failure-reasons-top/> identified that 42% of startups failed because there was no market need. By focusing only on the core problem solving of your product you can test your assumptions against real data and confirm market validation without outlaying a full development cost.
An MVP differs from a prototype or proof-of-concept in that it is something you can iteratively develop on, rather than throw away if you decide to go ahead and build the fully featured product. You can continue to grow and develop from the MVP, applying your learnings to improve your chances of success.
This works perfectly with our model of working as your development partner, we’re in it for the long haul with you on whatever journey your product ends up taking.
How long does it take to build an MVP?
Don’t confuse MVP with a simple product. Building an MVP shouldn’t mean you are sacrificing the overall quality of the product. On average you are looking at around 5 weeks to develop an app MVP. Any longer than this and you are probably at risk of losing focus on the core problem and building too many features.
It is important to avoid scope creep, you might have some things in mind you would love to throw in right from the start, but just think about the core problem you are trying to solve and is it critical to it.
The hardest part of developing an app MVP is working out what features you should include, and what can wait. You and your development team should work together to create a plan, and prioritise features required to get to market.