A common thing we hear when we’re approached by potential clients wondering how to create an app is they’ve “never built an app before”, with many being completely new to the digital space.
This is not a unique occurrence – we have many clients with zero digital experience go on to launch highly successful apps, such as interactive training platform Leda, who landed major investment rounds; DanceAus Connect, who were an AusMumpreneur 2019 Digital Innovation finalist; and the AUFC Shake it! Team, who were accepted into the New Venture Spark program.
The one thing these clients all had in common was a clear vision of the overall product, and an MVP app.
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. In other words, it’s a product made up of the minimum features needed for users to have their key need, question or problem met.
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 MVP was then 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, and more. These were only introduced after the validation.
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 identified that 42% of startups fail 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 outlying a full development cost.
An MVP app differs from a prototype or proof-of-concept because it’s 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.
As your development partners, we’re in it for the long haul with you on whatever journey your product ends up taking.
Don’t confuse MVP with a simple product. Building an MVP doesn’t mean sacrificing the overall quality of the product. On average, expect about five weeks to develop an MVP. Any longer than this and you’re probably at risk of losing focus on the core problem and building too many features.
It’s also important to avoid scope creep. You might have some things in mind that you’d love to throw in right from the start, but it’s vital to think about the core problem you’re trying to solve and whether those features are critical.
The hardest part of developing an MVP app is working out what features you should include, and what can wait. As your development team, we’ll work together to create a plan and prioritise features required to get to market.