The abbreviation MVP has nothing to do with sports greats provided you’re working from the garage and conference rooms of the computer sector. “Most valuable player” is a thing of the past. The term “minimal viable product” alludes to the simplest possible version of any commodity or service you want to bring to market in today’s business world. The rationale for starting with a simple product before moving on to more complicated custom software lacks resources. An MVP allows businesses to begin proving a product’s feasibility before investing the time and money required to create a polished, shelf-ready item.
This article describes the MVP stage and why it’s such an important idea to know when starting a bespoke software development project.
What Exactly is an MVP?
A minimum viable product, according to Wikipedia, is a product that has just enough functionality to satisfy early clients while also providing input for development down the line.
It should be noted that the term “product” is used in the definition in a broad sense. It may also help describe a strategy for evaluating a starting business notion.
The strategy is based on Eric Ries’ lean startup technique and some of his concepts.
Consider this complex product: a creator wants to construct a high-tech smart home system capable of watering a client’s plants and feeding the pets while he’s away, all while utilizing a network of tubes connected to the kitchen sink. Understandably, the entrepreneur would prefer to ensure that such a device is practical before engaging a half-dozen high-priced automation engineers. However, the MVP’s principle also applies to any less sophisticated ideas you may have for a new firm or a spin-off from your present small business.
In other words, you boost your chances of creating a practical full-featured project in the future if you have a defined objective and a set of features. Let’s look at the major reasons why the MVP methodology is ideal for testing ideas and their advantages to your custom software.
7 Reasons MVP Should Precede Custom Software Development
The concept of an MVP phase is particularly significant in the IT industry. You’ll need customer interest, use statistics, and feedback whether you’re building a new software platform, a website, or another type of digital service. Here are the key reasons to consider MVP during custom software development.
1. Early Adopters’ Feedback
Early feedback is the primary goal of MVP development. Choose one or two important characteristics that will please the initial clients and begin building connections with them right away.
Early adopters will be eager to voice their thoughts on desired improvements, new features, and upgrades. They will assist you in verifying your MVP and enhancing it by making changes in this method. Furthermore, consumers like discussing the good attributes they discover in their products. Their favorable responses may even result in a following for your idea.
Last but not least, early adopters of your product may become your first paying clients. As a result, you may earn money even if you’re starting. The initial target group you’re focusing on could be uninterested in your product. Don’t get irritated. To locate people who will surely love your product, try presenting your MVP to a variety of target groups.
Today, few people remember Uber as an MVP with a single function and a minimal design in its early days. This function connected iPhone users with taxi drivers and allowed them to pay with a credit card for their journey.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the idea’s simplicity, the brand could break into the market, improve their app, and win their first devoted clients. So how did Uber become a household name? First, the business focused on a small group of customers in San Francisco and used their comments to upgrade the app with new intriguing features like cost estimates, split fares, and planned rides.
2. Launch in a Flash
The creation of a minimal viable product will not take long. It’s important to remember that you’re not creating a flawless product; it’s so much faster and easier to supply the essentials. All you have to do now is locate the bare minimum of functionality that will assist you in solving the challenges of your target audience.
The essential thing is that the earlier you finish a job, the more helpful experience you will gain. Furthermore, building an MVP before moving on with custom software development saves time and work and assists you incorrectly planning your company and scaling the firm.
Furthermore, the early launch enables you to evaluate your marketing approach and sales channels sooner. It’s impossible to overestimate the value of promotion. Remember that even the best product will fail if it is not promoted effectively.
3. Attracting potential investors
We can discover professional investor advice geared at new enterprises seeking financial help in this Forbes article. They specify what is required to secure the necessary money. As a result, several investors predict that clients will show early interest. Companies with early traction are more likely to attract investors and obtain funding.
The MVP technique is a wonderful way to demonstrate a need for your product or service in this regard. First, you release a minimal viable product and wait for feedback from consumers. If it’s positive, you’ll be able to confidently show your MVP to investors, confident in the viability of your company concept and the importance of your project.
Zach Coelius, a technology investor and advisor in early-stage startups, understands how critical it is to test the waters before going into full-fledged product development. However, he is convinced about MVPs and stated the following:
“Ideas are meaningless; validated ideas are priceless.”
You simply can’t disagree with his assertion. Another factor to consider if you want to be considered for angel or venture capital investment is a clear grasp of the problem your product or service will solve. You should express a well-thought-out solution to a specific problem and explain its attractiveness to the target audience.
4. A distinct focus
You have an opportunity to describe the business’ value proposition clearly and concisely with an MVP strategy. It focuses your attention on determining the specific value you wish to provide to your target clients.
Consequently, you’ll be able to define clear goals and make informed judgments about which functionality should be built first.
Instagram’s Case Study
For example, the early years of Instagram demonstrate why it is critical to focus on a single feature rather than developing comprehensive capabilities. As a result, it is now well-known as a popular photo and video-sharing social media platform.
Did you realize, though, that Instagram began as a GPS-based application? Most likely not.
The creators of Instagram, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, were working on a project with features such as checking into places, making plans, and publishing images, among others. However, they quickly recognized that many of these features rendered their product too complex for users. As a result, they chose to focus on a single feature instead. It has to do with photo sharing.
Burbn was the name of the first version of Instagram. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger added several features over time, such as tales, direct messaging, and so on. What can we learn from this example? First, it demonstrates that product demand is determined not by the level of features incorporated but by their value to customers. Start small, then once you’ve received favorable feedback from early adopters, expand your product with new features. The MVP technique is based on this principle. It assists your fledgling company by providing expansion opportunities.
5. Efficiency in Terms of Costs
The MVP strategy may help you save money on custom software development in more than one way. First, because you’re creating a product with minimal functionality, it won’t take long for developers to finish it. As a result, the cost of their services will be lower.
Once you scale your product, you may utilize the money you saved to add new features to satisfy your consumers’ growing demands.
You may add the needed functions one by one, and enhance the current ones, thanks to the rapid feedback from your early adopters. Compared to building a fully functional project, this method reduces the cost of product development. In addition, you may cut starting costs by using the agile project management approach to create your product at any point in the MVP development process.
Real-world Example of Zappos
Zappos is presently the world’s largest online shoe retailer, with more than $ billion annual sales. It’s hard to imagine, but this behemoth began with an MVP.
Nick Swinmurn had the concept that people could be interested in buying shoes online. He discovered a technique to verify his hypothesis without spending a lot of money on shoes or software development. Swinmurn just went to local shoe stores and photographed the products on sale. He then proceeded to publish the images on a simple website to see if anyone was interested. When a site visitor selected the Buy button, he immediately moved to the store and purchased the desired pair. He then dispatched the order and took care of the payments.
Nick Swinmurn was able to evaluate the viability of his company idea without having to invest a fortune to do so.
6. The Chance to Amass Customer Loyalty
You and your users both benefit from involving potential consumers in testing your minimum viable product. Whereas the latter get a sense of significance by demonstrating that you appreciate their input and are more familiar with your product, you gain vital insights from feedback and, as a result, form strong bonds with them.
You’ll have information to inform the future version(s) of your product or service once you’ve created and released your MVP. You’ll have learnt a lot about both the process of manufacturing your product and the product itself. Include these facts as soon as possible to improve your future version. Set away any preconceived thoughts about the features you thought would be successful and instead rely on actual feedback and statistics. The minimum viable product was created to prevent you from wasting any more time or resources on a product or concept that would not be profitable. Negative feedback may persuade you to pivot sooner than planned. However, you should be motivated to keep pushing forward if you receive positive encouragement.
7. Bridges The Various Stages of Your Development Process
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product, and it serves as a bridge between the early phases of the software development process and the final product. It’s one of the most crucial stages in the entire development process, in a manner. From here, you’ll be able to test your product in marketplaces and with your intended audience, as well as a pivot if necessary.
Everyone desires to have their custom development projects with a prompt completion and within budget. You can achieve this with an MVP by removing all of the additional features that users haven’t verified and may be included in the next edition. This enables a quicker turnaround time and offers your team a product that they can flesh out. It’s excellent to be prepared to construct your product entirely and to have a unified vision for any product, but occasionally, similar to eating an elephant, it’s best to take little steps toward your objective.
Business owners, consumers, developers, and stakeholders benefit from a minimum viable product. It is beneficial to your company in both the long and short term.
You may do the following with this method:
- Concentrate on your distinct value offer.
- Lower the cost of developing and testing bespoke software;
- Obtain the required funds;
- To collect input from early users, launch the product quickly.
The MVP method isn’t about creating an excellent product. Instead, your main goal is to create a project with very basic functionality and obtain feedback from early adopters to improve it further.
How ISHIR Can Help
Every project we complete for our clients at ISHIR goes through the whole custom software development life cycle, from business idea validation to MVP execution and scalability. In other words, ISHIR understands everything there is to know about creating a successful MVP. Contact us today to begin your MVP approach to a successful custom software.