What Is a Minimum Viable Product and How Important Is It?

Minimum Viable Product
teresa-square By Teresa Pham December 6th 2021

Imagine your app is the top app in its category on the App Store and Google Play. You may think you need to start with the best app to reach that position, but a minimum viable product is a better option.

After you launch your app, you can always modify it to meet the needs of your users. Then, you’ll have a better shot of landing in the top charts on app stores.

Read on to learn more.

Overview of a Minimum Viable Product

minimum viable product (MVP) is something you create that has just enough features to launch. It should be complex enough to attract your first few users or visitors.

However, it doesn’t need to be as complex as a full app or website. If you wait until you have an app or website with more features, you may need to work a lot longer and harder to launch.

At the start, you may not have a huge audience, so you should focus on what it takes to get your product out there. Then, you can start to grow your audience with your MVP.

Minimum Viable Product vs. Prototype

When you create a product, you may come across the idea of creating a prototype. While this can be a good alternative to an MVP, you should consider the differences.

As mentioned, an MVP is a full product that you can launch to your audience. Whether you develop a website or mobile app, it has enough features for people to use and enjoy.

However, a prototype isn’t a full product; instead, it’s a sample. You might develop a prototype that functions similar to the final product, but the prototype stage involves more experimentation.

With a prototype, you want to explore a few ideas to see which one sticks. When you create an MVP, you already have nailed down your idea and know what you want to create.

You want to develop a product that you can launch, even if you don’t get a ton of users at first. So think about your goals to make sure you create the right type of product.

Benefits of Releasing an MVP

You should consider why you may want to build a minimum viable product. There are a lot of benefits of creating an MVP before you develop an app or website with all of the features that you want.

Whether you plan to create the product yourself or not, an MVP is great. It can help a lot of startups launch and start making money.

If you aren’t sure if creating a minimum viable product is for you, consider the following advantages. Then, you can make sure you create the best MVP.

Learn More About the App

Launching an MVP gives you and your development team a chance to learn how people use the app. You can predict how people may use it, but releasing the app to users will give you more information.

After the launch, track how people use your app along with user behaviour and any patterns they follow. Then, you’ll be able to use that information when developing future iterations of the app.

The MVP can help you figure out what your users need and want from your app, which will help you make the app better. When you reach a larger audience, they may like the app more than they would have otherwise.

All of this is crucial for helping you develop a product that will grow your business. Releasing your MVP is one of the best ways to figure out what will make your app successful.

Test the Market

You can do as much market research as you want, and that may help you figure out what to include in your app. However, you’ll eventually need to test the market to confirm that your app idea is viable.

After you release your MVP, you can figure out if enough people want to use it. Then, you can confirm if there’s a market for the app before you spend a ton of time and money on development.

Plus, releasing the app can help you determine how profitable your app may be. If you get a lot of users but don’t bring in much revenue, you can switch up the strategies you use to make money.

You might also realise that the market you expected to use the app isn’t the market that does. If that’s the case, you’ll know to change things about the app to better reflect its user base.

Eliminates Excess Features

The best minimum viable product examples don’t contain a ton of features. After all, you just need the basics so that you can launch and have people start to use the app.

You and your development team can focus on what you need to get your app out there. That can keep you from spending time on adding a ton of extra features that may not even make sense for the app.

An MVP should do exactly what you say it does, and it doesn’t have to do much more. If you wait until your app is “perfect,” you may not get to test it on a basic level.

By focusing on the necessities, you can also reduce a lot of the risk of developing an app. If the MVP doesn’t do well, you won’t be out as much time or money, and you can improve the app for the next launch.

Check Usability

Releasing an MVP also allows you to check and monitor the usability of your mobile app. This will help you ensure the app is easy and enjoyable to use.

If you find there are problems, you can figure out what those issues are and how to fix them. Then, you can improve the user experience and use better UI and UX design.

Sure, you can test the app before you launch it, but that’s a very small sample size. When you release an MVP to the public, more people can test it in different ways and on various devices.

If you’re able to collect feedback on someone’s experience, you can use that to your advantage. That way, you can release the best version of the app later on.

Saves Time

Since your MVP doesn’t have as many features as a full app, you don’t need to spend as much time developing it. That can be a great way to help get your app to market in less time.

Maybe you want to release an app in a few months or within a year. Some apps can take much longer to create, depending on the features and complexity.

If you can figure out what features are absolutely necessary, you can save everything else for later. Then, you can release the MVP within a few months.

You can also save time because you don’t have to develop features that no one will use. So even if the overall timeline doesn’t change much, you’ll be able to optimise everything you do to create the app.

Saves Money

Along with time, knowing how to build a minimum viable product can save you money. In this stage of your startup, you may not have a ton of capital to use to create a product.

To help make the most of the budget you do have, you can create something minimal. If you decide to develop the app yourself, that can save money. But even hiring a development team will cost less for an MVP.

After you launch the basic app, you will need to spend more time and money to build it out. However, you can ensure that the money you spend is well worth it.

You’ll know how people will use the app, so you can add features to improve their experience. And you don’t have to waste money building features that no one wants or needs.

Get Investors

You can use your minimum viable product to help pitch your idea to investors. Whether someone’s an angel investor or a venture capitalist, they want to see proof of your idea.

Having an idea is great, but it’s just that. If you can’t prove that you can build on your idea and create something, you’ll have a much harder time convincing people to invest.

An investment can help you fund the cost to build the rest of the features your app needs. Even if you haven’t launched your app yet, you may be able to show it to investors during a pitch.

If an investor likes the idea and believes in it, they may decide to support you. The more you can show investors that your idea is valid and has a need, the more successful you can be in securing funding.

Compare Monetisation Options

When you come up with an idea for an app, you may already know how you want to make money from it. Perhaps, you want to charge a monthly subscription fee to users.

That can be a great way to monetise an app, but it’s not your only option. Maybe you launch your MVP with a subscription, and you get some signups, but people choose the lowest tier.

While the subscription model may work, those results could encourage you to consider other options. You might decide to look into advertising or in-app purchases to make money.

You can earn money through an app in multiple ways. So keep an open mind to a few different methods, and use the data from your MVP launch to adjust your strategy.

Build a Foundation

When you launch the MVP, use it as a chance to build intrigue in the app. As you create some buzz, you may get more people to download and use the initial version of your product.

This will help you get feedback that you can use to create a better version the next time. You can also figure out how to market to your ideal client.

Now, you may not want to spend a ton of time or money marketing your app yet. However, you can do some marketing to see what works and what doesn’t.

Deal With Your Competition

You may have a unique idea for an app, but odds are good that someone else has done something similar. That gives you a good chance of having some sort of competition.

Use the launch of your MVP to see how well your app performs against your competitors. Figure out what makes your app different from those currently available.

As you determine how your app will be different, you can use that to market your app and get investors. If you don’t know how your app differs, do some competitor research. Then, use those results to come up with unique ideas to help your app stand out.

Even if you don’t have much competition, you need to make your app unique. You don’t have to do something crazy different, but think about what you offer that other entrepreneurs don’t.

Learn When to Pivot

Another advantage of creating a minimum viable product is that it can help you pivot after the first launch. When you spend time and money developing a more complex app, you may need to change more features to compete.

However, a simple app will be easier to adjust to meet the needs of your audience. Then, you don’t have to worry about making a ton of mistakes in the early stages of your startup.

It will be easier for you to make your app fill a demand in the market. That can help you pivot your entire business, and you may find the new version of your app is more successful and profitable.

A Minimum Viable Product Done Right

When starting to develop an app, you may want to create a full version to launch. However, starting with a minimum viable product offers more flexibility and less stress.

After you finish the basic app, you can launch it to start earning revenue. You can also get feedback from users to make the app as good as it can be.

Are you ready to create your MVP? View our mobile development services and book a free consultation.

teresa-square By Teresa Pham

Teresa is a highly skilled and technical strong UX designer. She has a really good grip of client understanding and is an excellent scholar.

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