How to start MVP development
From our experience, the startup is one of the most interesting and challenging types of projects to work with.
Came up with a great startup idea?
From our experience, a startup is one of the most interesting and challenging types of projects to work with. When presenting a novel product to the market, you never know whether it will be appreciated by your potential customers and if they will be ready to pay for its usage.
The most certain way to find it out is to present an MVP or a minimal viable product. It will give your buyers the ability to try your product and decide if it is worth buying. For you, it’s an opportunity to establish contact with your audience and get their feedback without spending lots of money on development. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
To launch a successful MVP it is not enough just to hire the development team and to get them coding. You will need their help as well, but later. First, you have to do the basic things to launch the project. We have summarized our experience of working with startups and prepared a guide for you. Take a couple of minutes to learn how to take off with MVP development.
Things to consider before starting the development
MVP stands for a minimum viable product which is the first version of your product containing only the basic functionality. Its purpose is to present the service to the target audience 3by solving their core problem quickly and with minimal development costs for the company. If the MVP is successful, you will continue the development and present a fully-featured product one day.
By the way, what do you mean by the words “MVP is successful”? This is one of the questions you should answer while preparing your product to the development. What are the other ones? We have prepared a step-by-step plan to help you to start the MVP development process.
Identifying the problem
Every product must solve a particular problem existing on the market. If it does not, it will fail.
- What is the problem we are trying to solve?
- What are our goals?
- Are you sure that your solution meets market demand?
Do you have answers to this question? Great! You will never know without market research.
Analyzing the target audience
Before launching coming to the basic MVP development stages, you have to know everything about your audience. Who are they? What are their needs and pains?
Selling the product to everyone and anyone will lead only to the loss of money. Define your target audience starting with the broadest groups and continue narrowing them by providing more detailed information. We have selected the most common specifications, yet you may add your own ones according to the goals of your product:
Basing on this information, identify their problems and offer the solution. Put yourself into your customers’ shoes and try to analyze your product from their point of view:
- What do they offer?
- How can it help me?
- Why should I pay for it?
- Do I have a cheaper or better alternative?
For better effect, we recommend you to develop an Ideal Customer Portrait (ICP) for representing each group of your target audience.
Analyzing the competitors
Launching a new product means entering a highly competitive market. In order to gain competitive advantages, you should study the already existing solutions:
- What do your competitors offer?
- What are their strong and weak points?
- How will we differ from them?
Collect as much information about your competitors as you can. Find out what is their target audience, study the functionality of their products, the feedback from their users. Browse their websites, analyze their marketing efforts. Do not hesitate to adopt good ideas from the competitors and learn on their mistakes.
Defining and prioritizing the features
Now that you have learned everything you could about the audience and the market, it’s
high time to think about the product itself! What features will you include to MVP?
Create a map illustrating the steps of the user’s interaction with the product. For each
step, provide the breakdown of features. Move the most crucial ones to the upper part of the list and always focus on the entire process.
Once you have prioritized the features, you may define the functionality of the first version
of your MVP that will be presented to your customers.
Defining the success criteria
In order to launch a successful MVP, you need to know… what actually is a success for you!
Before starting the development, you need to think about the key metrics for analyzing user behavior and measuring your success. Let’s take a closer look at some of them:
- Media & Social media coverage (you can track it with the tools like Buzzsumo)
- Earned media (if the media write about you without reaching them from your
side, you are probably on the right way)
- User activity (analyzing the traffic, conversions, number of installations, sign-ups, social media activity, etc)
- Customer happiness (gathering feedback via surveys and interviews)
To gain the best effect, we recommend you to establish the basic criteria before coming
to the development process.
Launching an MVP is a great idea since it helps to establish and strengthen your connection with the users by involving them in the process, encouraging them to give feedback. For you, it means saving your time and money for developing the features that are not important to the users or missing the essential ones.
Now you know not only how to build MVP application, but also the amount of preparatory work you need to do before starting the development. Read about MVP case study GovRadar.
We have considered the main stages of preparation for startup MVP development. Let’s recall them once more:
- Identifying the problem your product will solve
- Analyzing the target audience, their need, and challenges
- Analyzing the already existing solutions and the competitor’s offers
- Defining the feature list
- Defining the success criteria
We hope that the article was helpful to you. If so, do not hesitate to reach out to get more insights. We are happy to share our experience and help our customers to create awesome products.