Insights

A Step-by-Step Guide to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

  • Amit Manchanda
  • By  Amit Manchanda
  • |
  • 87D32530-FD6E-468E-BB24-045278513D21 Created with sketchtool. 10 MIN READ
  • |
  • 6BCC25D0-42B3-420B-8C28-C5D7EF3F6856 Created with sketchtool. Updated: August 17, 2021

The year was 1999. There was a young guy who wished to own a particular pair of shoes. He went to a mall close to his place but, unfortunately, he was unable to find the pair.

Frustrated, he came up with an idea to sell shoes online and that’s where it all started.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) was born.

Rather than conducting extensive and expensive market research, he built a basic website. Then, he approached a shoe store, clicked pictures of shoes, and placed them on his site. Upon receiving the order, he purchased the shoes from the store and shipped them out.

Zappos build an MVP

Although he lost money on every sale, it was an incredible way to test a business idea. Once he inferred that customers are willing to purchase shoes online, he started to turn his idea into a fully functioning business.

This is how Nick Swinmurn built the company Zappos, which was later acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion USD.

The approach that Nick followed is what is termed MVP Development in today’s time.

What is an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)?

An MVP (Minimum viable product) is a basic, launchable version of the product that supports minimal yet must-have features (which define its value proposition). An MVP is created with an intent to enable faster time to market, attract early adopters, and achieve product-market fit from early on.

Once the MVP is launched, initial feedback is awaited. Based on this feedback, the company will reiterate to fix the bugs and introduce new features that those early adopters suggest.

The MVP approach allows for:

  • Making an early market entry which leads to a competitive advantage
  • Enabling early testing of the idea with actual users to check whether the product is able to solve their problems efficiently
  • Working effectively towards developing a fully-fledged product that integrates user feedback and suggestions

What is the MVP Development Process?

Minimum Viable Product (MVP), is exactly what it says on the label: the product in its smallest, least featureful avatar. An MVP has just the basic functionalities that demonstrate the product and its ability to solve a user problem. Eric Ries defines it in the following way:

Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

In mobile app development, MVP is a basic version of a mobile application. MVP is a process of building a new product with core functionalities and important, minimum features, to test how the target audience would respond. Then, the building of the actual product takes place with the full set of features after a series of iterations, with feedback from early adopters.

P.S.– It is building a slice across the whole development process rather than one layer at a time.

Minimum Viable Product Development Approach | How to Start a Tech Startup

MVP helps in testing, designing, and delivering the final product. MVP Development plays an important role in web development and designing. Several businesses have pitfalls while trying to launch a Minimum Viable Product for a mobile or web app. That’s why it is important to understand the vital question: what is the best way to develop a Minimum Viable Product?

Purpose of an MVP

The purpose of building an MVP is to launch a product quickly, based on an established idea, with a small budget. This approach allows a business to collect users’ feedback for the primary product and include it in future iterations. With the help of an MVP, one can find the right audience, pull the ideas based on experience, and save time.

Building an MVP implies finding the right balance between what the business is offering to users and what users actually need. The purpose of the MVP is to test the hypothesis that the product will solve a user problem. MVPs also allow businesses to minimize errors in the development process. An MVP helps in collecting maximum quality feedback by targeting specific groups or user types.

Business Benefits of MVP Product Development

What if we found ourselves building something that nobody wanted? In that case, what did it matter if we did it on time and on a budget? – Eric Ries

To survive in today’s cut-throat, Darwinian business era, releasing a product faster and within a budget is a prerequisite for a successful new product development process. The following are the benefits of building an MVP:

1. Focus on Building the Core

An MVP app focuses on one idea, and it does not include any other function. The approach of the MVP belongs to the ideology of a lean startup: building the right product with a minimal budget in a given time. Having only some of the high priority, but minimum features can reduce the cost of MVP development. The MVP then allows the app to be tested, with minimal risk.

2. Early Testing Opportunity

It is good to find out from the beginning if the product idea will work without investing the entire product budget.

3. User Intelligence and Gathering Feedback

The MVP offers the possibility to find out potential users’ opinions, and what they want to see in the final product.

4. Allows Market Validation

An MVP helps a business understand whether the app is right for the target market. An MVP should present the company brand well to the users, and show them how this product is unique compared to what the competitors are offering.

5. Takes Less Time to Develop an App

Less development time means lower app development costs. The faster the mobile app is launched to users, the faster the business will receive feedback. This means they can work on the improvement of their app, and release an updated version quickly.

6. Budget-Friendly

Another important advantage of developing an MVP early in the new product development process is that this approach is budget-friendly. Using an MVP allows businesses to test their idea before spending their entire budgets on things that may not work.

Research shows that, in 2017, the mobile app market grew considerably.

Very few apps are actually downloaded out of many available on the play store and iOS store because of issues in their user interface and poor performance. It is advised to create an MVP as it is an easy way to enhance the mobile development strategy.

The Need to Build an MVP

The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. – Eric Ries

While starting up a business or launching a new product, people often invest a large amount of time in the initial idea screening and approval phases. Once the idea is approved, the MVP Development process is the right solution to quickly turn that idea into a bare-bones product that can be launched and tested.

Stats Emphasizing the Need to Build an MVP

  • 29% of startups fail because they run out of cash
  • Startups that scale properly grow 20 times faster than those that scale prematurely

These stats explicitly show the benefits of beginning the new product development process with an MVP. However, there are more reasons to build a Minimum Viable Product which include:

  • Creating an initial model that provides a starting point for discussions and offers clear visual points of reference
  • Conducting initial idea approval which includes sharing the model with a few prospects, and testing it with genuine users. This helps in understanding the issues that may become apparent with the product
  • Starting the actual building process of the product after dedicating months to improving and refining the software idea is a large and motivating step towards building a fully-fledged product

Design thinking, Lean UX helps to build an MVP

While building a mobile app, a business must understand that the whole idea to build an MVP is divided into two main parts, which include:

  • Business and Marketing: An MVP allows the business to launch a survey to identify the best marketing approaches and advertising platforms that could be used for the advancement of the product
  • Proof of Concept: By building an MVP, the business will gain important technical insights from important programming and designing a minimum feature set, which, in turn, will help them make their app unique

Right way to build an MVP

How to Build a Minimum Viable Product?

Queries like “How unpolished can my minimum viable product be?” trend on Quora; Hackernoon writes, “The MVP is Dead. Long Live the RAT.” Google’s autocompleting suggestion says: “MVP is dead.”

Reid Hoffman said: “If you are not embarrassed by your first product, you launched too late.”

And this quote of Hoffman allowed start-up founders, especially the first-time entrepreneurs, to focus mainly on ‘M’, and almost ignoring ‘V’. The result is a below-average product, rather than an excellent one.

For instance, startups come up with a free sub-domain website with almost no content and call it a startup. When it fails to attract visitors, they call it a failed MVP and look for a solution to the so-called MVP problem.

However, the real problem lies in the lack of understanding of the steps involved when it comes to the MVP Development process. It is necessary to follow all of the steps involved described to successfully build an MVP:

Net Solutions SIMPLE steps to build an MVP

Step 1: Start with Market Research

At times, ideas will not fit into the market needs. Before a business initiates an idea and embarks upon an MVP Development process, they should ensure that it fulfills the target users’ needs. This can be accomplished by conducting surveys. At the end of the day, the more information a business has, the higher the chances of success. Also, do not forget to keep an eye on what the competitors are offering and how the product idea can stand out.

It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best. – W. Edwards Deming

A survey conducted by CB Insights revealed that the number one reason for a startup’s failure was a ‘lack of market need.’ In a nutshell, if the product doesn’t nail the problem, customers won’t go along with it to find a solution.

CB Insights study on why startups fail

Step 2: Ideate on Value Addition

What value does the new product offer to its users? How can it benefit them? Why would they buy the product? The answers to these questions can help define the value proposition of the app.

It should also be clear what the essential estimations are for the product. As MVP implies, the product in its most basic state has to introduce value to the people. Begin by outlining the users and build the MVP based on their needs.

Step 3: Map Out User Flow

The design process is an important MVP stage.

Design the app in a way that is convenient for users. The business needs to look at the app from the users’ perspective, starting from opening the app to the final process, such as making a purchase or delivery. In addition, user flow is an important aspect to consider because it ensures nothing will be missed while keeping the future product and its user satisfaction in mind.

To define the user flow, it is necessary to define the process stages. For that, it is essential to explain the steps needed to reach the main objective. The focus should be more on basic tasks such as finding and buying the product or managing and receiving orders rather than features.

These are the goals that the end-users will have while using the product. When each of these procedure stages is clearly laid out, it is time to define the features of each stage.

Step 4: Prioritize MVP Features

At this stage, prioritize all the features that the MVP will support. To prioritize the MVP features, ask questions such as: What do the users want? Is this product offering them something beneficial? Etc.

Next, categorize all the remaining MVP features based on priority: high priority, medium priority, and low priority. Another essential step is to arrange these features in the product backlog (priority-wise). It is time to begin building an MVP. If a business wants to see how their future product will look, they can even create an MVP’s prototype.

Fun Fact: Steve Jobs was out of his job because of avoiding the stage of prototyping while building the Apple Lisa. The result was a disaster as it failed to achieve a favorable number of sales.

Step 5: Launch MVP

Once a business has decided upon the main features and they have learned about the market needs, they can create the MVP. Keep in mind that an MVP is not lower quality than a final product, but still needs to fulfill the customer’s needs. Therefore, it must be easy to use, engaging, and suitable for the users.

The main reason why products fail is that they don’t meet customers’ needs in a way that is better than other alternatives. – Dan Olsen

Step 6: Exercise ‘B.M.L.’ — Build, Measure, Learn

Everything is part of a process: first, define the scope of work followed by moving the product to the development stage. After the completion of product development, the product needs to be tested. Quality Assurance engineers, who work to improve the quality of the product (even if the product is not released) conduct the first testing stage.

Review everything thoroughly after launching the MVP. That is, the business must collect their client’s reaction to the release. With their feedback, they can determine the acceptability and competitiveness of their product in the market.

5 Development Mistakes to Avoid While Building an MVP

In today’s highly competitive digital commerce world, Darwin’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ theory offers a fitting description. Business leaders are following the MVP development process to test the worth of their product without constant outflow of money or time.

However, to build a successful MVP, it is important to dodge a few development pitfalls that can result in an epic business failure.

1. Choosing the Wrong Problem to Solve

Before spending months of effort towards developing a product, the initial step is to determine whether the product is worth creating or not.

Once a business has analyzed the pain on which their startup will be built, they should ask themselves these questions:

  • Who is this for?
  • What problem will this product solve?
  • Is the proposed idea an effective solution to that problem?

If they intend to target everyone, they will end up getting no one. Find the doors first, then start to build the key. A great-looking key is not useful if it can’t open the right door.

After cracking the right target audience, if the answer to the second question is positive and a confident ‘Yes’ for the third, then the business has the problem and solution juxtaposed effectively. It’s time to start pressure-testing their idea.

2. Skipping the Prototype Phase

Prototyping is the conversation you have with your ideas. – Tom Wujec

Imagine building a car without referring to a visual model. It is quite impossible, right? Jumping straightway to the development process without defining the requirements is just as difficult.

A vital part of product development is the evolution of the idea from a unique concept to a fully working product or service. Between the idea, and the full-fledged product lies the prototype that focuses on the ‘How’ part of the product.

Consider prototyping as an MVP to build an MVP: not a fully functional version, but a version to help visualize the user experience of the Minimum viable product.

The ideal prototype should be of Goldilocks quality. If the quality is too low, people won’t believe the prototype is a real product. If the quality is too high, you’ll be working all night, and you won’t finish. You need Goldilocks quality. Not too high, not too low, but just right. – Daniel Burka, Google Ventures Design Partner

3. Targeting the Wrong Segment of Persona

The main reason why products fail is because they don’t meet customers’ needs in a way that is better than other alternatives. – Dan Olsen

Once a business is ready with an MVP prototype, it’s time to validate it through testing. At this stage, it is necessary to acquire comments and feedback from the target audience. It is important to keep in mind that everyone is not the targeted user.

Do not ask friends or relatives to be involved in this stage unless they are potential customers. It is important to avoid irrelevant feedback that could lead to the product/service getting dumped for the wrong reasons.

The Importance of Feedback in Building an MVP

It is important to realize that the end-users are the ones who can tell what is lacking and what is redundant. Once a business collects feedback from the users, they can start improving the product. Once improvements have been made, they will once again test, learn, and measure the quality. This process repeats until the product is finalized.

Example: The feedback from the potential users after the prototyping stage helped Nike to understand that it is hard for users to locate the call to action (CTA). The feedback from prototyping prevented them from releasing a product that was difficult for users to engage with.

How Nike adopted the customers' feedback in MVP

4. Inappropriate Development Method

There’s a way to do it better find it. – Thomas A. Edison

Jumping directly into the process of MVP development without prior knowledge of the correct development method of building is one of the major reasons for startups giving up the project in the middle. This is one of the major contributing factors to why nine out of ten startups fail.

Generally, there are two approaches for MVP product development: Agile and waterfall.

When compared to Waterfall (Traditional Method), Agile product development is far more efficient and offers better results. Agile offers speed to market and offers a flexible approach as it focuses on incremental and iterative development.

5. Confusion Between Qualitative and Quantitative Feedback

[Triangulation is an] attempt to map out, or explain more fully, the richness and complexity of human behavior by studying it from more than one standpoint. – Cohen and Manion

Qualitative and Quantitative feedback are two ways to collect data from the target users. However, relying on one of them and neglecting the other can hinder the business’ ability to reach an accurate conclusion.

Both types of feedback have a different role to play and hence it is vital to hit the right balance between these types to come to a well-rounded conclusion that can help to inform intelligent changes.

  • Qualitative feedback consists of findings that are associated with the quality and user-friendliness of the features of the product/service. It directly assesses the usability of the system by helping developers to analyze the specific problematic UI elements
  • Quantitative feedback is in the form of metrics that pinpoint whether the tasks were easy or difficult to perform. It indirectly assesses the usability of the design. Such feedback can be dependent upon the performance of the user on a given task (i.e., success rates, number of errors, etc)
Concern
Qualitative Feedback
Quantitative Feedback
1. Questions answered Why? How many and how much?
2. Goals Both formative and summative:

Inform design decisions

Identify usability issues and find solutions for them

Mostly summative:

Evaluate the usability of an existing site

Track usability over time

Compare the site with competitors

Compute ROI

3. When it is used Anytime: during the redesign, or when you have a final working product When you have a working product (either at the beginning or end of a design cycle)
4. Outcome Findings based on the researcher’s impressions, interpretations, and prior knowledge Statistically meaningful results that are likely to be replicated in a different study

The ideal approach is the amalgamation of qualitative feedback with quantitative feedback. This is known as “Triangulation Feedback” and describes the process of gathering data for an overall accurate interpretation that takes a variety of different factors into consideration.

This approach boosts the chances to control the threats that can result in product failure. If both the feedback methods come to a common conclusion, then the developer will be more confident with the success of the product.

Tips to Target the Right Market while Building an MVP

Beautiful product development in an ugly market segment simply makes no sense. – Dan Adams

Imagine how to sell a minimum viable product of an air conditioner in Antarctica. This is definitely a challenging task. The same rule applies when a business is on a mission to build an MVP. No matter how good the product/service is, it will fail if the business is unable to solve the other half of the equation: finding the ideal target market for the MVP.

Most startups begin to build an MVP with a sweet assumption that “everyone” will rush to buy their products or sign up for their services. Soon, they become one of the references for various studies and researches. For example, this report from HBR reveals that 85% of 30,000 new product launches failed because of poor market segmentation.

1. Analyze the Competition

It is important to dive deep into the competitor research to find out what the product will be up against. It’s nearly impossible to build an MVP that doesn’t already exist in the market. Even if a startup has unique ideas, they will still be joining an existing and competitive industry.

Therefore, they have to figure out how to place their Minimum Viable Product within an industry where competitors are already doing what they are trying to do.

To find this out, the startup will need to conduct research on the competitors. Evaluate their strong points and weaknesses. Figure out their target audience and what they are offering to them. The startup can go ahead with the same target market their competitors’ chose or they can concentrate on a group that their competitors might have overlooked.

Porter's generic strategies

Look at the image above as a reference. There are 4 basic options for any startup in successfully competing in a given industry: cost leadership, differentiation, cost focus, and differentiation focus.

2. Geographically Segment the Customer Base

Once the startup has found the right customer base for the MVP, the next task is to focus on geographical segmentation. This is an effective strategy used by businesses to get familiarized with the location-based attributes that comprise a specific target market. Analyzing the location of the ideal customer base can be a real game-changer while on the route to build an MVP.

For instance, what’s the purpose of initiating the search from Southern California if the minimum viable product is a winter jacket. The winter varies between moderate to warm at this place.

Target consumers that live in different geographic regions have different needs and cultural characteristics that can be individually targeted for better and more efficient marketing. Once the startup becomes aware of the geographical location of their target customer, they can better design their MVP by finding answers to key questions such as:

Key questions to be asked when you are on a way to build an mvp

It is evident from the picture above that there are various factors, dependent upon geographical location, which play a vital role in the success of an MVP and product development.

3. Find the Motivation Behind a Purchase

After geographically segmenting the customer base, the next task is to understand their motivation behind the purchase. This will help the startup perfectly balance its MVP positioning.

The easiest way to achieve this is to run a survey. Keeping the Minimum Viable Product in mind, come up with relevant questions that circle around the points that were discussed above. Once ready with a survey, it can be run in a number of ways depending upon the budget.

Measuring Success After Building an MVP

There are several approaches to give a real prediction of the future success of a product. Here are the most common, effective, and proven ways to measure the success of an MVP:

1. Word of Mouth

Traffic is a useful metric to predict success. Another way to track success is by interviewing potential customers. Begin by listing the problems a customer is facing or is likely to face, and then ask what they think.

2. Engagement

Engagement enables a startup to measure not only the current value of the product but also the future value. Engagement helps to improve the user experience based on feedback.

3. Sign-Up

Sign-ups are a feasible way to gauge user interest. They may also convert to revenue, based on the results of measuring interest in the product.

4. Better Client Appraisals Based on the Feedback

The number of downloads and launch rates show the interest of users in the app. The lighter the app is, the more downloads it will get.

5. Percentage of active users

Download and launch rates are not the only factors that measure the success of an MVP. It is important to study users’ behavior and regularly check the ratings of active users.

6. Client Acquisition Cost (CAC)

It is imperative to know how much it costs to acquire a paying customer. This helps a startup stay updated on whether their marketing efforts are effective, or if they require changes.

CAC = Money spent on traction channel / Number of customers acquired through the channel.

7. Number of Paying Users

Know the average revenue per user (ARPU), and keep track of products that bring revenue.

ARPU = Total income for the day and age/Number of active users

8. Client Lifetime Value (CLV)

CLV demonstrates how much time a user spends on the app before uninstalling or discontinuing their use of the app.

CLV = (Profit from a user *App usage duration) – Acquisition cost

9. Churn Rate

Churn shows the level or percentage of people who have uninstalled or stopped using the app.

Churn = Number of churn per week or month / Number of users at the beginning of the week or month

Ways to Measure Success After Building an MVP

Minimum Viable Product Examples

Here are a few notable companies that launched MVPs successfully. These examples go on to show what startups focus on when it comes to developing a key MVP feature set.

1. Facebook

When Facebook was launched, an MVP was done just to connect students of schools and colleges all together via messaging. The idea was just to connect friends through a social platform, and organize gatherings. Facebook, in its early days, was built on the basic model of an MVP containing the needed functionality to fulfill its goal.

This application was launched to test among users, and it gathered lots of feedback. This resulted in making the application extremely popular over the internet. Currently, Facebook has over 1.3 billion active users.

2. Twitter

The widely popular social media platform, Twitter, involves a unique approach. After Apple released iTunes, Odeo, a podcasting platform, experienced tough times. They organized hackathons to figure out what to do next. During one of their hackathons, they came up with an idea to create an SMS-based platform.

It was initially known as “twttr”, and was a product for internal use only. However, employees were spending several dollars on SMS to post to the platform, in order to test it among users. Finally, Twitter was released to the public in 2006 and a year later it was a hit. Twitter increased its user base and became the second most popular social networking site after Facebook.

3. Amazon

Amazon started to sell books online by challenging the Barnes and Nobles’, of the world who were largely stuck in the ‘bricks and mortar’ age. Originally designed in 1994 to focus on books at a low price, their easy web design based on the minimum viable product was all they needed to develop and establish their organization in the retail market.

4. Groupon

Using the old concept of vouchers and discounts combined with the idea of sharing and socializing, Groupon has attained new heights. Initially, Groupon came to existence using WordPress, where regular PDFs were emailed to users that were already subscribed. In this case, testing with the help of an MVP proved successful. Afterward, Groupon built its voucher system and backend, further driving it to a great achievement.

5. Dropbox

Before launching Dropbox, the co-founder and CEO Drew Houston, was aware that there were tons of existing cloud-storage startups. Therefore, he decided to create an effective MVP based on the video, explaining how to use the application. The video played a crucial role in reaching out to the right audience, as it received a large number of views and comments. Dropbox even received 70k email addresses from potential users in a single day, which gave the company a green light to launch the product.

The above-mentioned MVP examples can inspire start-ups and entrepreneurs to start with MVPs, in order to make their journey a massive success.

4 Tips to Move from Minimum Viable Product to Full-Scale Product

You know that old saw about a plane flying from California to Hawaii being off course 99% of the time — but constantly correcting? The same is true of successful startups — except they may start out heading toward Alaska. – Evan Williams

It is the same story that repeats time and again. Initially, a team comes up with an idea to launch a startup. Next, they invest some time and money in the MVP development process, arguing which features to include in and which to leave out while building an MVP. Finally, the MVP gets launched in the market and, if everything moves as per the plan, the startup comes up with a stable and mature product.

So what’s wrong with this fairy-tale success story? In reality, over 90% of them fail.

So, why do many startups still fail?

Because they don’t understand that MVP is not just a product that is worked upon for 2-3 months and then launched. A considerable amount of effort goes into the process even after the launch of an MVP. Once done with launching an MVP, the list of the to-do tasks is long.

1. Collect Feedback

Up until the MVP launch, the MVP was based upon features the startup thought was important when considering the needs of the users. However, as soon as MVP lands on the market, they received better advice to follow: the direction shown by the actual, potential customers using the MVP.

The job is to collect the ‘real data’ after launching an MVP to the market in order to discover why potential customers bought the product or why they didn’t.

By tracking the metrics or user behaviors critical to engine growth, a startup can measure and learn from user interactions. This helps to decide which features to improve, add, or delete.

2. Prepare to Scale

In the world of startups, there seems to be a belief that building an MVP, means an important aspect of technical scalability can be avoided. All startups worry about testing their assumptions, validating the same in the market, and gaining huge traction. The factor of scalability comes as a concern at a later stage.

Unfortunately, this blind belief has led to some brutal startup failures. A home-service startup, ‘TaskBob’, which had raised around $5.7 million in funding in 2014, had to shut down in the year 2017 because they were unable to scale up and generate profits.

However, it is good to always be prepared and optimistic. There’s a chance of your MVP catching on quickly and the signups rolling in.

For instance, Dropbox decided not to launch any product at all as an MVP. Rather, they came up with a simple explainer video about what the product does.

The video actually worked and helped them increase the beta signup from 5000 to 75000 overnight. The real question is whether they were ready to entertain such a huge number of users.

Rajiv Eranki, head of server engineering at Dropbox, explained in a RAMP Conference presentation that the Dropbox team made use of Python for virtually everything.

This means that the whole platform “could get to 40 million users without having to write thousands of lines of C code.”

3. Get the Pricing Right

During MVP development or even after the launch of an MVP, startups mostly choose to defer the ‘pricing quotient’ because they think that their product is not ready yet. They often argue with the definition of an MVP wondering how a company can possibly charge for a product that is ‘minimal.’

However, even if the product is still in the MVP stage, if the top pain points of the customers have been addressed and the startup follows a customer development process, they are set to go on a journey of success. A minimum viable product is not the synonym of a half-baked or a buggy product.

Buffer, for example, identified this winning strategy. First, they analyzed the demand for their product with a basic MVP (a landing page) amongst the potential customers.

Once their landing page started gaining traffic, they instantly added one more page that carried the pricing plans to their signup process. As a result, they analyzed the demand for the product and found an optimal monetization approach.

Buffer MVP

4. Don’t Shy Away from Marketing

As discussed, MVP is not a final product, but a package in an early stage of product development. However, once the MVP gets launched in the market, the startup should be ready with their marketing strategy to let the world know that their product is finally live.

It is better to start with the promotion of the product as soon as the MVP is launched. However, there is a difference between marketing an MVP and marketing a final product.

Mint, a personal finance app, is a good example of how to utilize a perfect marketing medium from the MVP launch stage in order to witness the light of success in the future.

The marketing plan of Aaron Patzer, the founder of the Mint app, was “Whatever we can do, basically, for cheap or for free.” And the channel they chose to market their product was Content Marketing. They began with a personal finance blog to build an audience for Mint.

Eventually, the app hit a milestone of 1,000,000 users in just a span of two years since its launch.

By simply placing an email subscription form at the end of each article, the startup accrued about 20,000-30,000 emails from potential customers in just around 9 months, while their app was still in the development phase.

Conclusion

By now, embarking on a first MVP Development journey should not be as intimidating. Remember, it does not have to be perfect! Follow the described steps and strategies to build an MVP for the product.

Note, MVP is an approach that empowers startups to discover a lot about their users with the help of a working product, without overspending valuable time and funds. All that is required is to plan a business hypothesis, identify the main MVP features, know the target audience, and partner with the right MVP Development company.

Request Free Consultation

Turn Your Next Big Idea Into an MVP


Amit Manchanda

About the Author

Amit Manchanda is working at Net Solutions as Project Lead and has over 9 years of experience in technologies like ASP, Adobe Flex, and Android. He has been part of SME (Subject Matter Expert) Group for RIA applications. He possesses a sound understanding of technical requirement/problem analysis and resolution for providing the best solutions to clients. He is passionate about his work and enjoys interacting with his team. In his leisure time, he loves to listen to music, watch cricket, and play with his daughter.

Leave a Comment

Ashish Bhushan

5:19 PM, Jul 29, 2021

Excellent article. De-layers the MVP process very well into a simple and actionable plan.

Sylwia

4:45 PM, Jul 29, 2021

I will check if thanks to your advice I will succeed in create an MVP

Lalit

12:10 PM, Aug 31, 2020

Very insightful

Sajeev Kumar Menon

9:30 AM, Aug 28, 2020

I found this article very interesting and clear. The examples are also add value to the message.

Joseph

2:14 AM, Jul 03, 2020

This was very insightful! Thank you for this information.

Nalaka Wakkumbura

7:09 PM, Jun 20, 2020

Excellent detailed explanation helpful information

Rupinder

12:34 PM, Apr 13, 2020

Great work Amit Manchanda, Keep writing this type of article in the future. You cover all topics about minimum viable products.

Dr Shelley Cooper

2:13 PM, Sep 25, 2019

Great information. Very helpful suggestions. Thx!

Michelle

9:11 PM, Jun 09, 2019

Hello. Do you know how i can go about creating an MVP without any experience whatsoever?

Nuno Alexandre Marquês Flórido

3:06 AM, Apr 03, 2019

Great content! Congrats.

Michel Bürki

7:00 PM, Jan 28, 2019

Hi Amit,
I love the tips on how to SUCCESSFULLY create an MVP. I know you didn’t discuss much if any about the Customer Development part of building and experimenting with an MVP to actually find the customers problems you are trying to solve with your MVP.

I know we should build a first version as fast as possible to get instant feedback. But if we take a little bit of time to find our target users and truly understand them first, we can prove a lot of assumptions beforehand.

If you have an idea, I recommend you to start with the following process before you set out to build something nobody needs:
1. Formulate a Customer and Problemhypothesis
2. Do problem-interviews with people who fit to this hypotheses and try to falsify the problem hypothesis.
3. Iterate step 1. and 2. until you can predict the next ones answers
4. Then go ahead and present this target group a solution in a solution-interview.
5. Iterate until you are certain that this solution solves their problem.
6. And then you can build your first MVP.

What helped me most was listening to other entrepreneurs and get inspired about tactics they used to get there. One option to do this is to listen to a podcast like Nerd Entrepreneurs

John Campbell

5:55 PM, Sep 07, 2018

Great work Amit Manchanda, Keep writing this type of article in future. You cover all topics about minimum viable products.

Sign Up and Stay Updated

Articles written by industry experts about things that matter most in designing and building Digital Products and Platforms for Startups and Enterprises.

Get quick Digital Insights on-the-go:

We have sent a short welcome email your way.