What is the minimum viable product (MVP) stage in a startup’s journey? You might have heard the term MVP as one of the key stages in the growth of a startup, but do you know what exactly it is? This article will explain everything about the importance of MVP in startups that help them learn what works and eliminate what doesn’t.
According to statistics, only 10% of startups are successful. While for the other 90%, the outlook is not so encouraging. One of the major and most frequent reasons is that entrepreneurs often doubt the feasibility and necessity of the MVP concept and choose to skip this stage. The MVP’s objective is to allow the entrepreneur to make this process easier by optimizing resources and activities.
As experts in software testing services, we provide a detailed explanation of the need and importance of MVP in startups, its advantages, and how to successfully set up this essential test product.
What is an MVP?
Popularized in 2011 by Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup,” the MVP is one of the fundamental requirements for a startup to minimize risk and achieve a high level of innovation and designates a very simple product or service, including the minimum functionality.
It’s a lighter version of your star product or the minimum representation of it incorporating essential features to satisfy your customer needs. With a minimalist design, it is set up very quickly so that it can be tested with a target clientele without taking great financial risks or wasting a lot of time developing a product that no one wants.
If you start finding enthusiastic users about your product, your idea can quickly turn into a business. Conversely, if the public does not seem to take the bait, it is time to question the usefulness of your project to improve it to meet your prospects’ expectations better.
You will have a quick response from the market towards your product, which will let you know how your growth is going and the appropriate direction you must take to achieve success.
The birth of any startup is the validation of the business idea, and that’s where the importance of MVP in startups lies.
Let’s take the example of software development services. In this case, an MVP will be a test version of the software product with limited functionality to address early adopter issues to improve further and optimize the product.
Gathering early customer feedback allows startups to test assumptions and map out future product development with the least effort. This technique helps gauge user sentiment, and if there is enough positive feedback, an initial product is supplemented with final features to develop a complete product.
The Important Stage of MVP in Startups
Nowadays, the market is saturated with many startups disrupting every sector with new ideas to create a product. Undoubtedly, every entrepreneur tends to reduce risk and increase their chances of launching a product hit.
According to Forbes, the main challenge for startups is premature scaling because the companies unreasonably spend huge sums of money for things that are not essential or do so using the same strategy as the large companies that have already acquired important resources.
Therefore, before scaling the business, it is crucial to understand customer needs and assess ways to achieve them. This is where the MVP stage intervenes.
The main advantage of launching an MVP rather than a final product is greatly limiting the risks. Typically, this lean project is inexpensive to produce and allows you to validate early growth and value assumptions. Conversely, if your Minimum Viable Product flopped, there is always time to understand the reasons for this failure and think about a new product or service.
Therefore, any startup should not think of skipping this stage. If they miss this crucial step in the product development process, their idea will be more likely to collapse.
Additionally, investors are willing to invest in projects with a proven track record and traction beyond that. Thus, there is no point in spending a lot of time and money without interest in your product. According to CBS Insights, 42% of startups fail due to poor product-market fit, followed by a lack of money and an unskilled team.
So why does your startup need an MVP? Read on to learn the key benefits and steps to building an MVP before developing custom software for your product.
Kickstart Your Software Product with a Startup MVP
Your product is like a baby which you must nurture. Thus, a step-by-step approach is crucial in its development. Customer involvement is the key factor in a successful MVP development process. That’s why you must ask yourself: what problem will my product solve?
For this, you need to identify the pain points of your potential customers and adjust your first steps to offer users the highest value. Let’s break down the main benefits your startup will gain when creating MVPs for custom software:
Saves Time and Money
Since MVP in startups requires minimal functionality, and due to immediate feedback from early adopters, developer teams save a tremendous amount of time and effort, thereby reducing the development budget of a ready-to-use software solution.
As a result, you won’t be pouring money and jumping into an untested idea by the market, hence the importance of software testing and quality assurance services. Selecting an appropriate project management methodology is also essential to your MVP development. If you want to eliminate costly waste, the agile model is designed to estimate costs at every implementation stage.
Defined Value Proposition
An agile software development company understands the key functionalities by focusing explicitly on the software project with the MVP approach. A clear project expression helps avoid unnecessary or harmful actions that can hurt your overall product strategy and focus on necessary actions. This helps resolve issues step by step and define concise value propositions.
Credibility to Attract Your Investors
With MVP as part of your business plan, you are more likely to convince investors and raise capital. Involving customers from the early stages of software development is a great sign for investors, as they have proven the feasibility and usability of the product. In this respect, your MVP represents your product in its own right by presenting your intentions and objectives professionally.
Feedback from Early Adopters
The value of your product is highly dependent on market needs and demand. Therefore, conducting early adopter surveys and research will help you understand if you are headed in the right direction.
Alternatively, you can adjust and modify your business idea before your product moves further into the next stages of the development cycle by analyzing its validity among early adopters. Plus, getting user feedback in the early stages prevents your development team from fixing mistakes in the long run, which can be painful for your overall business performance.
Opportunity to Build Loyalty
When you involve potential customers in testing your minimum viable product, both parties benefit from this process: you and your users. While the latter has the opportunity to feel their importance because you show them that you value their opinions and are closer to your product. At the same time, you gain valuable insights through feedback and subsequently build strong connections with them.
MVP in Startups—How to Create Your MVP?
The secret of creating a successful MVP is to stick to the step-by-step process of MVP development. As software testing services experts, let us give you an example of the MVP of an order management application.
Here are the steps in developing an MVP in startups:
1. Identify the Target Audience and Validate Your Idea
This point is the starting point before making other decisions. Conduct thorough market research to provide your users with a real value solution. Ask yourself: who is your target audience? What are their motivations? What problem are you going to solve by offering your product?
2. Create a User Journey
Your customers need to achieve their goals. To accomplish this task, you must create a roadmap outlining the user journey to understand how your customer can move. Take, for example, Airbnb. They described the user flow by breaking down the logic of the steps for a user to book a room: find a property – search results – property details – register – continue booking, etc.
3. Prioritize Essential Features
Brainstorm all the features and break them down, keeping only those essential for your user persona. The key features should solve your previously defined problem and be used to the maximum by your customer.
4. Develop the MVP
A team of savvy web professionals is needed to get a solid MVP. Bringing in experts from an agile software testing services company can provide fast and working solutions and inform and interact with you at every stage of MVP development for startups.
5. Collect Feedback
So now is a phase where you present your product to the first users to gather feedback.
6. Iterate appropriately
According to the information you have obtained after testing your MVP with your potential audience, all the necessary iterations are necessary to improve the product later.
Looking for an Experienced Partner to Create an MVP for Your Startup?
If you’re looking for an expert software development company to create a winning MVP for your startup, contact Vates.
Vates is an agile software development company with decades of experience in providing businesses with top-notch custom software development, Big Data consulting, and software testing services. We understand the importance of MVP in startups and help startups build a strong, stand-out MVP.
Get in touch today to discuss all your requirements!