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Cover image for lessons from building an MVP for a startup

lessons from building an MVP for a startup

adamodigitalco profile image Adamo Digital ・4 min read

The adoption of Minimum Viable Product (MVP) can be a time-saving method to launch new products for startups, but not all of them end up being successful.

As a concept coming from the Lean Startup, a Minimum Viable Product emphasizes the effect of user learning during the lean software development process. Building a Minimum Viable Product can help to reduce the risk of software development failure and maximize the chances of success for the product and business.

It’s so popular that most of the startups choose to take the Minimum Viable Product approach when pushing their new product to the market. Unfortunately, there are still some failures in processing an MVP in app development, which make most products soon close after their launches.

Building MVP in entrepreneurship

Firstly, let’s break down the term “Minimum Viable Product” to comprehend the idea of creating an MVP

  1. Minimum: least attempt in developing a product during a short time. This first version of the product only focuses on some core features, while still retaining its purpose and value.
  2. Viable: the valued core functionalities are required to deliver a useful solution and attract users.
  3. Product: straightforward meaning. It can be an application, a video, or a business hypothesis that delivers the idea and the experience from your final product.

Minimum Viable Product MVP development is an early version of a product that is built in the shortest possible time. The purpose of creating an MVP is to push the product to the market sooner and gather learning from the feedback of the first users for further development.

So why building MVP for startups is beneficial?

According to a statistic of sustainability in business, nearly 80% of small enterprises manage to go on after their first year. Half of them can survive till their fifth anniversary. And unfortunately, only one-third of enterprises can stay in operation for 10 years. The average rate of new product failure is around 50-70%, which clearly makes the venture even high-riskier.

In this situation, developing an MVP is an effective method for new mobile app development. Building Minimum Viable Product can help to reduce the risk of failures by:

  1. Gathering learning from users’ feedback as soon as possible to improve the product. Users have chances to test the product and confirm whether it meets their expectations. It saves the cost and time of developing a perfect product first.
  2. Ensuring users understand the product, especially if the product is in a new category
  3. Comprehending the value of the product to offer a suitable pricing model.

Major failures in developing an MVP

Minimum viable product approach

Not focus on solving the problem

A popular mistake of the software company in developing an MVP is the lack of audience analysis. What is the user’s problem and how the product will solve it? Many startup founders work on products without this foundational idea. They expect that some cool new features they offer will make users love the product.

For example, the brand Lytro introduced cameras with the ability to change the field depth after shooting. However, they’re no longer sold as customers can not incorporate them during their photoshoot.

Have no advanced market research

There are lots of products for different audiences in the market. By doing market research, startups can find out what specific features of the product attract customers in comparison to your competitors’ products on the market.

Thus, your product might end up going fail even though it comes with an interesting idea. Besides, there is a possibility that your ideal product has already existed. Developing an MVP that has no potential success in the market just makes a waste of time and money on your investment.

Deliver unqualified features

Creating an MVP does not mean that you meet the deadline for dedicated software development while the product has so many mistakes. Some startups have planned to release a special product, but in the end, they launch a non-functional MVP.

In certain circumstances, the lack of any features will make the software development process unable to solve the problems it set out. Users are not likely to use products that only meet their demands partially.

Notices to combat the failures

The most important steps before building a Minimum Viable Product is to do market research, define the need of customers, and refine the idea of the product.

Find out whether customers have the problem that your product can be its solution, and how they are solving it today. Confirm that users are truly in need of your future product. Do not forget to search for all competitors and their offers on the market. Clarify the strengths and weaknesses of you and your competitors.

dedicated development team in agile meeting
After knowing your target market and audiences, carefully think about the idea again. There are two questions you need to answer: Can the product totally solve the problem for your target users? And are there any advantages of the products that make them outstanding in the market?

Another notice to avoid delivering unqualified features is to decide the feature of the MVP before the mobile app and web application development. Review the list of all product features, categorize, and prioritize them. However, the shortlist has to remain sufficient.

Conclusion

Minimum Viable Product examples effective approaches in product development, especially for startup enterprises. There are, however, some risks that the software development team should pay attention to. The more cautious your development process is, the more successful your MVP is.

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