A minimum viable product or MVP is a way of developing and managing a product in order to release the product to market and gather learning in the shortest time possible. To do this, a product is created with the minimum features present to solve a problem and satisfy users.
This approach is a highly advantageous method of developing and delivering a product. In this post, we’ll look at exactly how an MVP benefits you when building a new product, or your business.
Due to the focus on keeping the product to a “minimum”, there is a reduction in the cost of development. This is because the product is focused on a few core features to solve a problem, therefore limiting the amount of time needed for the app build. The minimum approach also helps to prevent it from becoming overcomplicated and requiring more sophisticated coding and solutions. By keeping the product and project simple, you can keep costs low.
Quick Development (Less time to Launch)
As with the above, by keeping the product limited by concentrating on core features, the development time for the product is reduced.
This quick development is part of the methodology behind MVPs and Lean Startups. The thinking is that the sooner you can launch a product, the sooner you can get market validation and valuable learning.
Learn what Your Customers Really Want
Being able to access validated learning in the shortest time possible is a great benefit of the MVP method. It stops you from spending huge amounts of time and money developing a perfect end product you THINK people want, to instead produce a product you KNOW they want. By developing the minimum viable product and releasing it to the market in a short time, you can gain valuable feedback from your early users. This feedback can help you plan and prioritise what you can change about your product or business to become truly valuable for them, and what they really want. Which means if you decide to develop your product further, you know the market for it already exists.
We’ve used the word “focused” a few times already while explaining the benefits of MVPs. The “minimum” nature of the product keeps a clear focus on what you are developing, and why.
By limiting the features to only those needed to solve a problem, you prevent yourself and developers from becoming fixated on unnecessary features. Fringe features might make your product seem sophisticated, but won’t actually add value to your product early on. By keeping your focus on solving one problem, you stand a far better chance of your product being successful.
This focus on the core features to solve a problem also means you retain focus on your value proposition. This clarity on the problem you want to address, and how to solve it, will lead you to have a very clear and powerful value proposition to your prospective customers.
Less Room for Error
When taking on any project, you know that the more tasks, people and moving parts involved, typically, the more complicated and harder to manage it becomes.
Additionally, when you are building something new, the more complicated aspects of the build are, the more time consuming it is to create. Whereas if the amount of complex parts is reduced, the building process is made much simpler. It’s no different when coding an app. Especially because the fewer functions and features there are, the less coding there is that needs to be done. With this reduction of code comes a reduction in the room for error in the app.
Less Need to Redo Your Work
Additionally, creating an MVP reduces the likelihood and amount of reworking on your product in the face of any issues.
This is because you have developed a product in its early stages with core features to solve a problem. People buy a product in order to solve a problem they face, not for the additional fringe features made as a bonus. (These extra features can always be added later when you know your product is successful.) This means if you do face a setback or slow uptake, you haven’t got dozens of pages and features to fix.
If you develop a product and find it doesn’t meet your users’ needs, you need to pivot and redevelop. If you have developed your product in the most time and cost-effective way, such as through the MVP method, you reduce the amount you spend before you can test if your product is successful on the market.
But There is Room to Grow
Just because your MVP reduces the room for error, it still has the potential to adapt and grow. As mentioned above, one way of doing this is to add an update with additional features you can roll out once you have validated your product’s success with your chosen market. An MVP benefits your business by providing an engine for growth.
The MVP principle to develop a product quickly in order to learn from the market in the shortest time also has a big part to play in your MVP becoming an engine for growth. Because you can receive valuable feedback from early users, you can use this to update your product or even your business model. Thus making your business more sustainable and more attractive to your audience.
The MVP method is a great way to remain focused on what your product’s purpose is, who it is for, and why it is needed. This ultimately leads to a more effective approach to product development. The method also reduces the time and money spent on development until you can learn what users really want, letting your learnings guide you to adapt to their needs. Overall, developing an MVP benefits your product and business both in the short and long term.
To find out more about developing an MVP and creating your dream product, you can access our free learning resources here.
It includes links to our favourite videos, our brand new ebook, and the invitation to a discovery session. A discovery session provides the perfect foundation to begin creating your ideal product. We can guide you from the big picture such as defining your product goals, down to details like the features your app will need.Tags: app development, minimum viable product, MVP, mvp method, software development