Here’s what Statista tells us about the survival rate of startups:
- 90% of new services fail in the first year.
- 37% of companies close within the first two years.
- More than 55% of businesses remaining after the second year close by the fifth year.
- Just 29% of companies are still alive after ten years of lifespan.
Startup founders face massive dissatisfaction when after months of tiring work and large sums of money spent, their business fails to endure the intense market competition. Nevertheless, there’s a simple way to evaluate the viability of a business idea. Financial and technical concerns, in addition to the risk of failure, led entrepreneurs to establish the concept of a minimum viable item (MVP). An MVP is a simplified version of a complete product. An MVP is the least expensive and quickest method to receive preliminary feedback from users so you can enhance your product.
In this article, we’ll explain how to build an MVP and clarify what level of “minimum” it needs to be, go over common mistakes while constructing an MVP to assist your concept in enduring regardless of today’s aggressive service environment, and introduce you to some motivating examples of successful MVPs. For ease of understanding, we have divided the entire MVP development process into stages.
Step 1. Research the market
According to Statista, in 2020, 39% of start-ups didn’t use any worthy solutions for market needs, so they failed at the outset without support from their target audiences. Hence, our first recommendation is to double-check your answers to these two questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- What market are you aiming for?
- Does your startup satisfy these needs in the way users expect it to?
To answer the very first question, you’ll need to deeply examine who your customers are, what habits they have, what difficulties happen in their lives, and how you can help to solve them. There are many web platforms like SwagBucks and Toluna that will help you create an in-depth picture of your target user.
To address the second question, you can use a business model canvas to clarify your product vision. This helpful tool reveals your web project’s value, how it works, its target audience, and your approximated budget plan. You can use a business model canvas to view your company model’s entire structure and see how parameter changes into one essential category will influence other groups. A company model canvas will reveal your target audience’s issues and how your product will resolve them. Only after validating the value of your product concept you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2. Study your competitors
The web app market is continuously growing, with countless new mobile apps and sites appearing every day. A strong belief in your app’s originality isn’t sufficient to introduce an MVP immediately without competitor analysis. To convert app users into loyal clients, your item needs to be much better than others in the same niche. It’s pretty simple to say your product is better, however, how can you measure it? Web tools like SimilarWeb, Quantcast, App Radar, Sensor Tower, and MOZ offer you valuable insights into how rivals’ businesses work. You can utilize these tools to get data about:
- How many people use competitors’ webs and apps (e.g., regular monthly traffic).
- Which sources bring more users to competitors’ apps (traffic sources).
- Where your competitors’ apps are the most popular (local areas of your target market).
- The rank of your rivals’ items (in your nation or internationally).
Also, you can examine feedback from your competitor consumers. When starting to construct your MVP, you can attend to the drawbacks of contending apps. Building an effective MVP would work to embrace your rivals’ best development approaches and avoid competitors’ mistakes. And don’t forget about your potential customers! Learn directly from them what exactly troubles them and what kind of problems do they need to solve. That way, you can enhance your marketing and business development strategies, respectively.
Step 3. Define the user flow
Once you’ve passed the first two preparatory phases of developing an MVP, it’s time to set out the user circulation or what steps your customers will take in your app when they need to achieve a task. If we envision your app as a city, then the user circulation is the roadways that lead users to the wanted location. To describe the user flow, you require to develop a user flow diagram, which will assist you to:
- Specify possible issues with your app and what can be improved
- See the whole picture of the user circulation: what attracts clients to your app, what they do while using it, and what they do after leaving.
- Compare what consumers need and look for with what your app deals.
- Guide users through your app and motivate them to take action.
- Find out where you can most effectively put your lead magnet or contact us to action.
You can use numerous tools to develop a user flow diagram like XMind, Mindmap, inVision.
Step 4. Choose the right features for your MVP
The next stage is sketching out all features for every single essential piece of performance your app users will most likely need when using your mobile app or website. You can do this by making a note of every function while keeping in mind what users desire. Then, you need to divide all your app features into groups like must-haves, should-haves, could-haves, and wish-to-haves at the moment. This also does significantly impact the business plan development for both cost-cutting measures and fast hypothesis validation. Once you prioritize the features, you’ll arrive at a list of vital functions for your MVP.
Phase 5 – Design and develop your MVP
As soon as you have approved your application’s general idea and specified the essential ability and individual circulation, you’ll need about 2 or 3 months to undergo the MVP design and development stage. You can begin with wireframing the significant screens and navigation methods for the web, iPhone, and Android. To save money and time, you can try one system for your MVP and include other methods later. Another way to develop your MVP more economical and also much quicker is to choose cross-platform development. The layout of your MVP screens needs to be straightforward and clear for app users, not strained by complex, lengthy, and also expensive UI aspects in addition to computer animations. You can also collaborate with a contracting out company with a team of competent specialists who can help you produce an ideal design and development methodology.
Want to be next on the list of extraordinary ideas but are afraid to pick the correct tech pattern? Or are you afraid to fall with your vision and end it like that? Put your sorrowful worries away and call JetRuby today! We are an experienced and professional digital firm that supports and assists different health care start-ups. We guide them through the development procedure from point A to point B breaking down every step. Our specialist discusses the development priorities and supports their innovative idea. So what’s holding you back? Leave a short description of your distinct idea or a task on our very first and free advancement action: Product Development Method Session. And we’ll contact you in no time!
Stage 6. Get feedback and improve your product
The last step of MVP development consists of gathering feedback from preliminary customers. You need to diligently analyze this feedback to understand where you should go with your app development. After getting feedback, you’ll understand what your app did well and what it does not have, and you’ll know what you need to change or improve. Your MVP will go through an iterative process of hypothesizing your initial idea, building it, measuring the results, and learning your users’ feedback. This is the proper development cycle before you have a high-fidelity competitive MVP that can be a base for launching your project.
How to build an MVP quickly
Let’s assume you have chosen a lean pre-launch tool for your app and have established an MVP with core features. You’ve also started a build-measure-learn cycle to create a basic app that isn’t overwhelmed. However, how minimalistic should your MVP be? Some start-up businesses focus only on the “M,” forgetting about the “V.” There’s an excellent line between a maxed-out and half-baked MVP. We have prepared tips to help you find the best balance.
Set clear timeframes for your MVP development
In pursuit of a perfect MPV, it’s easy to get bogged down cutting, iterating, and enhancing the final results. However, if you do this, MVP development might last for many years. To avoid falling under this trap, identify the terms of MVP development. It should take you only about two or three months to release your first minimum valuable product. Set clear deadlines. This should not be a long-term task.
Attract a small group of users
Your primary target at the MVP phase is to begin getting initial users: a couple of 10s or hundreds. No matter how many, simply get them. Choose one special for testing your MVP. Trying your product on a small target audience is less expensive and faster than dealing with various users’ feedback.
Don’t expect your MVP to look perfect
Your prototype will not be ideal. However, it does not have to be. These are MVP features: not to have full functionality and not match all your requirements for an entire app.
Focus only on basic functionality
Funnel all your attention into solving a single problem for your users. Extract just a couple of functions that will prove your concept is distinct and beneficial. Remove parts up until you can create your MVP within your timeframe.
Develop a helpful, reasonable, and attractive app
On the other hand, a basic MVP should be attractive. It must have a straightforward user interface, top-quality photos, expert content, understandable calls to action, and easy contact and payment forms. As we have pointed out above, one of the MVP goals is to draw users’ attention to your genius product and make them devoted to your new brand name.
Typical mistakes of MVP development
As you can see, developing a well-balanced MVP is an art. In this part of our short article, we have prepared a checklist of one of the most common mistakes made by start-up entrepreneurs when transforming their unique ideas right into sustainable and practical applications. For each of these four MVP oversights, we furthermore suggest methods to overcome them.
Mistake 1. Wrong product strategy
Your product development strategy is the engine of your future business. You can use it to transform your financial and timing investments into noticeable results – and you can not go far if your engine isn’t running.
Here are the indications of an incorrect item strategy
- The problem you’re resolving is irrelevant. Once an MVP is nearly completed, the proprietor might be stunned to understand there’s no demand for the product. Eric Ries once said:” What happens if we discovered ourselves building something that nobody preferred? In that instance, what did it matter if we did it promptly and also on a budget?”.
- Your marketing and also sales strategies are not clear. What is your target market? Where will users come from? What is the price to attract the first 1000 users? If you don’t have a detailed, well-thought-out answer to these questions, you don’t have a product development strategy.
- You can’t define the unique features of your product. What’s the level of competition? Are you entering into a niche that hasn’t been mastered yet? Or are you going into an oversaturated market? Whichever it is, you should know what can make your product reach the top.
How to develop an efficient product development strategy
- Communicate with your target audience. Connecting with users who encounter problems daily can stir up a superb suggestion for your product to attend to your people a helpful alternative.
- Strategy your sales activities and ad campaign. If you do not have a professional in-house marketer, you can appeal to a remote expert or outsource your marketing to a third-party business.
- Specify your vision. No matter what sort of web application you’re producing, you will not be successful without a deep understanding of the product’s primary function, core worths, as well as a crucial resource. You can make use of Lean Start-up and likewise Agile techniques to succeed in producing an MVP.
Mistake 2. Your MVP is too overloaded or too minimal
In some cases carrying out a web, the product feels like climbing a mountain. There are many climbers with numerous routes to the top. You can utilize a range of methods for reaching your business goals. However, there is one concept of climbing: if you take too much with you at the base of the mountain, it will be harder to succeed. And if you take not enough, it doubles your chances of returning less than midway.
How to define whether your MVP is overloaded or too minimal?
- It takes you more than three months to develop your first MVP version. An MVP is all about fast development. If your MVP has too many features, it can take years.
- You think twice while picking what features ought to be included in your MVP. Lots of startup entrepreneurs who have genius ideas want to see a full-feature app at the MVP stage. However, adding more and more functions is a waste of time and funds because extra parts are more than likely not so crucial for target users, however, it will delay the MVP release.
- You hold off bug fixes after releasing your MVP. This frequently occurs when the app owner rushes excessively to develop a minimum of the most minimal MVP with a poor design and primal features to release and evaluate it.
What can help:
- Apply an Agile methodology. First, divide complex requirements into several basic features. Secondly, set deadlines for implementing every part and stay within the timeframe.
- Start with the MVP prototype. Developing an MVP straightaway and skipping prototype development is like constructing a house without a construction blueprint. A prototype helps you define vital functions of a high-fidelity MVP and validate them so you can build the user experience.
Follow Product Development Strategy. To avoid all the mistakes mentioned above, it is necessary to work out your business’s conceptual component in detail. This requires an accurate estimation of the business goals and requirements, prototype development, setting up clear deadlines, and implementation steps. For this purpose, Design and Discovery Phase has been developed. It is a JetRuby’s program that can guarantee that your business failure risks will decrease by almost 80%. After it, you will have confidence in your business concept and obtain more factual data for your project.
Mistake 3. Incompetent development team
If your product method is the engine of your startup, then your development team is its fuel. Whatever technologies you utilize and whatever is outlined on paper, if you don’t have highly skilled specialists, an effective launch is less accurate. Let’s see how the level of your web developers experience affects the implementation of your project:
- You are often missing deadlines. A low level of skills leads your web development team members might lead your technology solution in the wrong direction.
- You need to hire additional coders. When your development team cannot handle work, you need to employ more proficient web designers, UI/UX designers, QA testers, or job managers. But in doing so, you’re likely to exceed your budget.
- You fail to improve your MVP after receiving preliminary feedback. When you get your very first feedback from initial users, they can show you some bugs or UX-related features they don’t know how to use in your MVP. An inexperienced development team is unlikely to handle these bugs, so it will be challenging to enhance your MVP.
How to avoid this:
- Delegate. If you deal with constant delays for urgent tasks, designate an accountable person who will straight guarantee designers are on schedule.
- Conduct product discovery workshops. Every 2 to 3 sprints, you can hold a product discovery workshop to refine your requirements. This way, you can measure your team members’ workload and specify what recruitment options you’ll have to make.
- Find an experienced partner. You can look for competent specialists for your internal team, outstaff individual freelancers, or outsource your development to a web advancement company that has experience carrying out apps in your specific niche.
As much as any entrepreneur has a passion for developing a truly unique product, we understand that it takes time and knowledge to master or grasp all business aspects at once. It can be hard to be handling it all by yourself, especially when you are entirely new to this. JetRuby’s product is developed precisely for those seeking a fast and correct approach to implementing their project. As you’ll be involved in multitasking operations, you’ll get to know everything you need for your business to launch successfully. So go ahead and check out the Design and Discovery Phase, which was created specifically for you!
By now, you are ready to start your very first MVP Development journey. Simply follow the described actions and methods to develop an MVP for your business. Keep in mind, MVP is a technique that empowers you to find a lot about your users with a working product without spending too much necessary time and funds. All you need is to plan your product hypothesis, define the primary MVP functions, and know your target audience.