Reasons to build a Minimum Viable Product or MVP

Gimena Aguerreberry
April 5, 2021

The point of building an app is to solve a problem that a group of potential users has.

Once you’re determined to build a product, the logical course of action is to develop a minimum viable product or MVP to begin the process of learning from that product as soon as possible.

A Minimum Viable Product is a version of the product that includes only the fundamental components and features your product needs, to satisfy your end-users.

The goal of an MVP is to provide quick and immediate value and minimizing development costs while gathering data and feedback that can then be applied to improve future iterations of the product.

An MVP is not a raw product built in haste, but rather a product that is created during a short period, with the purpose to examine how necessary are the set of features for the target audience.

Most businesses that we take for granted today, (such as Uber), were MVP startups at one point in time. They saw a problem and decided to solve it with a minimalistic product, and then used the learnings to improve and reach where they are today.

The purpose of building an MVP

The purpose of building an MVP is that it will help you quickly turn your idea into an actionable product while finding the right balance between what your users need and what your business can offer. This will greatly reduce the chances of failure while controlling your budget.

Since nearly 70% of startups fail, if you’re planning to launch your own product, building an MVP is the smartest way to start.

A study showed that MVPs have a better chance of success than full-blown products. This study came to the following conclusions about startup failures:

  • 42% fail simply because there’s no market need for them.
  • 17% fail because they have no business model
  • 13% fail because of disharmony amongst the team and investors

MVPs that follow the build-measure-learn-loop approach are majorly successful in the long run. They can validate, learn and eliminate uncertainties.

Build - Measure - Lean

In 2011, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries changed the history of startups by introducing several new concepts, and the main one was an answer to this question:

** “How can we learn more quickly what works, and discard what doesn’t”?**

When you are planning to develop a product, likely, you’ll make assumptions.

Assumptions can be made on what users to target, how the design should work, what marketing strategy to use, and which monetization strategy will make the product sustainable. However, for a product to find success, these assumptions need to be validated.

By using the iterative, “build-measure-learn” process of MVP development, you can validate or invalidate these assumptions with little to no risk. Iterative development is designed to identify user pain points and determine the proper functionality to address, by continually testing assumptions against user feedback.

The “build-measure-learn” process begins by building an MVP to test an assumption, release the product, let the users test it, and then collect feedback to guide the iterative loop that is used to make decisions on future iterations of the product.

The main benefits of building an MVP

  1. Cost-efficiency. When apps are created iteratively, the cost is spread over time. The minimum approach also helps to prevent the product from becoming over complicated and as businesses begin to gain more users and gather more information, they can begin to invest more intelligently. The development process of the MVP will include only the features that make the product functional, with this approach the app development is faster, and you won’t waste money if some features prove to be useless and need to be removed.

  2. Secure your investment. The shorter the development period is, the less you pay. Quick development is a part of building an MVP. Your product hits the market faster, and it may generate revenue faster as well. You can secure your initial investment spending a small subset of your seed funding in developing an MVP. A minimal viable product is a fully functioning product that businesses can show to investors. Stakeholders want to invest in products that will be successful, and an MVP not only proves the merits of a product, and if the buy-in is granted, a product that can be launched into the market.

  3. Focus on customers. With an MVP you’ll collect feedback that will help you understand users. You may provide them with a product they want and they’ll use, if there are dissatisfactions, you’ll have the tools to improve the user experience or your overall working product while saving precious time. You build, measure and learn and repeat. It’s simple, efficient, and fast.

  4. Monetization development. You definitely need to know what types of monetization strategy your mobile app will include. Products need to be profitable. An MVP helps you make the right decision. Once you see the customers are ready to pay for the premium version or any upgrades, you can choose a proper monetization strategy. If results show users aren’t purchasing as much as you had hoped for, then that another approach to monetizing the app should be taken. With an MVP you’ll save time making these decisions.

  5. Product testing. When you build an MVP, you can run tests on different types of users, identify which users are more active, your target audience, and how people interact with your software. Thus, you will learn about their expectations. You can perfect your product development before launch day, having a well-polished product that will make investors and customers happy.

If you are ready to build your minimum viable product, you should look for a software development company with experience developing MVP agile products.

In Sophilabs, we have years of experience helping people to build MVP solutions using the lean startup methodology. We can transform your idea into a product.

"Reasons to build a Minimum Viable Product or MVP" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Monica Sauro.

Categorized under mobile.

Book a free consultation.

We'd love to hear about your team's challenges and help you improve your agility.