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Why develop an MVP?

March 6, 2024

Why Develop an MVP?

What is an MVP?

An MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, is a version of a product that has just enough features to satisfy early customers and provide valuable feedback for further product development.

A way to test the viability of a product idea before investing significant resources into full development.

What MVP means to business owners

For business owners, an MVP is a way to validate their product idea and ensure they are developing something that customers or users actually want.

It allows them to test the market, gather feedback, and make adjustments before launching a full-fledged product.

This means less risk and more chances of success in the long run.

What MVP means to app developers

When you develop an MVP, you can then test the technical feasibility of a product idea and identify any potential roadblocks early on.

It allows them to experiment with different approaches and technologies, and iterate on the design before committing to a full-fledged product.

This means less time and money spent on development, and more chances of success in the long run.

The purpose of an MVP

Customer validation

One of the key benefits of developing an MVP is the ability to validate your product with customers.

By launching a minimum viable product, you can gather feedback and make adjustments before investing a significant amount of time and resources into the final product.

This helps to ensure that the product meets the needs and desires of your target customers and increases the chances of success.

  • Customer validation helps to confirm the product-market fit, which is essential for success.
  • It gives you the opportunity to test your assumptions about the product and gather valuable feedback from your target customers.
  • Customer validation helps you refine the product and improve it based on the needs of your target market, making it more likely to succeed in the long run.

Quick market entry

By launching a stripped-down version of your product, you can enter the market quickly and start gathering feedback and data about customer behavior and market demand.

This can help you make informed decisions about the future development of your product and increase your chances of success.

  • Quick market entry allows you to beat your competition to market and start generating revenue sooner.
  • It also helps you establish a presence in the market, which can be crucial in building brand recognition and customer loyalty.
  • By launching an MVP, you can test the waters and gauge market demand, allowing you to adjust your product and business strategy as needed.

Focused development

By starting with a minimum viable product, you can concentrate on the core features and functionality of your product, rather than trying to include everything from the start.

This helps to reduce the time and cost of development, and allows you to focus on delivering a high-quality product that meets the needs of your customers.

  • Focused development helps you prioritise features and functionality that are most important to your customers.
  • It reduces the risk of developing unnecessary features, which can add to the cost and complexity of the product.
  • By focusing on the core features and functionality of the product, you can deliver a high-quality MVP that provides value to your customers.

Early feedback

An MVP also provides early feedback, which can be crucial in the success of your product.

You can gather feedback from customers, investors, and industry experts, and make adjustments before committing to a full-fledged product.

This helps to ensure that the product meets the needs of your target market and increases the chances of success.

  • Early feedback helps you identify any issues with the product before making a significant investment in its development.
  • It helps you make adjustments and improvements that are important to your target market.
  • Early feedback can lead to better decision making and help you refine your product and business strategy, increasing the chances of success.


By starting with a minimum viable product, you can experiment with different approaches, technologies, and design elements, and make adjustments as necessary.

This helps to reduce the risk of failure and increases the chances of success for the final product.

An MVP provides a flexible and iterative approach to product development, allowing you to make changes and improvements as needed, without having to start from scratch.

  • Flexibility allows you to experiment and make changes to the product as you learn more about your target market and customers.
  • It helps you adapt to the changing needs of your customers and market conditions.
  • An MVP approach to product development provides a continuous feedback loop, allowing you to make adjustments and improvements, and ultimately increasing the chances of success for your final product.

How to build an MVP

Plan the MVP

Before starting the MVP development process, it's important to plan out the MVP in order to ensure that it will be a success. This includes:

Is the product needed?

Without a demonstrated need, it will be challenging to attract and retain customers.

Conducting market research and gathering feedback from potential users can help validate the need for the product.

Have you added value to the idea?

This can be done by creating a unique solution to a problem or adding new features that are not currently available in the market.

This will not only differentiate the MVP from similar products but also increase its chances of success.

Have you mapped out the user flow?

Mapping out the user flow, including the user's journey, interactions, and pain points, to ensure that the MVP will meet the needs of the target audience.

The user flow should include the user's journey, interactions, and pain points.

This information can be used to refine the MVP and ensure that it is user-friendly and meets the needs of the target audience.

Which MVP features do you want to prioritise?

Prioritising the MVP features to ensure that the most essential features are included in the MVP version.

By focusing on the most essential features, the MVP can be developed and launched more quickly and effectively.

The prioritisation of features should be based on their importance to the target audience and the overall goals of the MVP.

Test the MVP

Once the MVP is developed, it's important to test it with a small group of users to gather feedback and make adjustments before launching the MVP.This includes testing for usability and user experience.

Launch MVP

After testing and making adjustments, the MVP can be launched to the market. This includes:

Tips to launch a successful MVP

A successful MVP launch requires a combination of careful planning, targeted marketing, and customer engagement

Here are 3 Tips for a successful launch

Landing Page for Waitlist
  • A landing page for your MVP is a important first step in getting people excited about your product.
  • It should clearly communicate the key benefits of your MVP and why people should sign up for your waitlist.
  • The page should also be visually appealing, easy to navigate and mobile-friendly.
Marketing Plan
  • A well-thought-out marketing plan is critical to your MVP launch.
  • Your plan should include a clear target audience, objectives, budget, and a timeline for each marketing activity.
  • You should also determine what marketing channels will be most effective for reaching your target audience, such as social media, email marketing, or influencer marketing.
Reach out to Potential Customers
  • Building a customer base is key to the success of your MVP launch.
  • To do this, you should reach out to potential customers and get feedback on your MVP.
  • This could involve conducting surveys, hosting focus groups, or reaching out to industry experts.
  • You should also build relationships with early adopters, influencers, and other key stakeholders to generate buzz and create a network of advocates for your MVP.

B.M.L (build, measure, learn)

Once the MVP is launched, it's important to use the B.M.L (build, measure, learn) process to gather feedback, measure the success of the MVP, and make adjustments for future development.

This includes gathering analytics, user feedback, and making adjustments to the product based on the results.

A graphic showing the six steps in the process of developing an MVP

Build-Measure-Learn is a cycle of continuous improvement The cycle helps in iterating and refining the MVP until it meets the customer needs.

Focuses on Customer Validation

The process puts customer validation at the centre of product development by allowing you to quickly test and validate your assumptions about what the customer wants.

Helps in reducing risk

By launching an MVP, you can test the product in the market with minimal resources, reducing the risk of developing a full-fledged product that may not sell.

Improves efficiency

Build-Measure-Learn helps in focusing on what really matters, by building only what is necessary, measuring the results and learning from it to make informed decisions.

Aids in decision-making

The process provides data and insights that inform future decisions, helping in prioritising features and making informed trade-offs between time, cost and customer value.

Avoidable Mistakes in developing an MVP

Not knowing what problem you’re solving

Having a clear understanding of the problem your MVP is trying to solve is crucial in order to build a product that meets the needs of your target audience.

Example: A corporate innovation unit wants build an MVP for a productivity app.

They dive into development without defining the problem they're trying to solve.

As a result, they end up creating an app that has a lot of features, but it fails to meet the needs of their target audience.

The team realises that they should have defined the problem they were trying to solve, such as helping users prioritize their tasks and manage their time better, before building the app.

Read more about our MVP development services.

Adding too many or too few features

An MVP should have just enough features to validate your idea, but not so many that it becomes overwhelming or difficult to use.

Example: A startup team wants to build an MVP for a meal planning app.

They initially add too many features, such as recipes, grocery shopping list, and meal tracking.

This makes the app becomes overwhelming and difficult for users to use.

They should have only included the essential features to validate their idea, such as recipe suggestions and grocery shopping list, and added more features later.

Not developing a prototype

A prototype allows you to test your product with users and make necessary adjustments before launching.

Example: A new founder wants to build an MVP for a health and wellness app. They dive into development without developing a prototype first.

Because of this the end product was difficult for users to use and doesn't meet their needs.

Perhaps they could have developed a prototype to test the app with users and make necessary adjustments before launching.

Not considering marketing

Marketing is essential to getting your product in front of the right audience and driving adoption.

Example: Startup wants to build an MVP for a home automation app.

They budget only for development and ignore marketing. As a result, the app doesn't get in front of the right audience and struggles to gain traction.

If they had a marketing budget to effectively reach they could reach their target audience and drive adoption.

Targeting the wrong audience

is also a mistake to avoid. It is important to understand your target audience and build a product that meets their specific needs.

Example: A 1st time founder wants to build an MVP for a language learning app.

They target older adults who are not interested in learning a new language.

The results were poor - the app struggles to gain traction.

They should have understood their target audience such as young adults who are looking to learn a new language for travel or work purposes.

Not taking in feedback from users

It's important to listen to what users have to say and make adjustments based on their feedback to improve your product.

Example: A startup team wants to build an MVP for a fitness app.

They launch the app and ignore feedback from users.

The app fails to meet the needs of their target audience and struggles to gain traction.

They should have listened to what users have to say and made adjustments based on their feedback to improve the app.

Not choosing the right development method

Agile development method is an iterative, incremental approach to software development that can be beneficial over the traditional Waterfall development method.

Example: A startup team wants to build an MVP for a project management app.

They use the traditional Waterfall development method, which is not flexible and does not allow for iteration.

he app struggles to meet the needs of their target audience and the team has to redo a lot of work.

They should have chosen an Agile development method, which is iterative and incremental, to build their MVP and make necessary adjustments along the way.

Benefits of Agile over Waterfall

include flexibility, adaptability, and more efficient use of resources.

Agile development allows teams to work in short sprints and make adjustments as needed, whereas the Waterfall development method is more rigid and follows a linear process.

Benefits of not building from scratch

include cost savings and faster time to market.

Instead of building everything from scratch, you can use pre-built components and frameworks, which can save you time and money.

Additionally, you can focus on building the unique features that set your product apart from others.

Not understanding the difference between qualitative and quantitative feedback

It is important to understand the difference and use both types of feedback to improve your product.

Qualitative feedback is subjective, whereas quantitative feedback is objective.

Targeting the right market when building an MVP

Competition analysis

Competition analysis is an essential step when building an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

This process involves researching and analysing the competition in the market to gain a better understanding of the industry and the target audience.

By understanding the competition, you can identify what they are doing well and what they are not, which can inform the development of your MVP.

This can include identifying gaps in the market and areas of opportunity where your MVP can differentiate itself.

Geographic Customer Segmentation

This process involves dividing the target market into different geographic segments, such as regions, cities, or countries.

This allows you to tailor your MVP to the specific needs and preferences of each segment, increasing the chances of success in that area.

For example, if your MVP is targeted at small businesses, you may want to segment by city or region to target areas with a high concentration of small businesses.

Identifying the motivation behind the purchase

This involves understanding why customers are looking to purchase your product or service and what problem it solves for them.

By understanding the motivation behind the purchase, you can create an MVP that addresses the specific needs and pain points of your target market.

This includes identifying the key features and benefits that are most important to customers, as well as the pricing and marketing strategies that will be most effective.

Measuring the success of an MVP

Measuring the success of an MVP is important to understand how well the product is performing in the market and make informed decisions about its future development.

This can be done by tracking key metrics such as user engagement, customer feedback, and revenue.

These metrics can help identify areas for improvement and inform decisions about which features to add or remove in future versions.

Regular monitoring of these metrics will ensure that the MVP remains on track and continues to meet the needs of the target audience.

Scaling up the MVP into a full-scale product

Once the MVP has been validated and is performing well, it can be scaled up into a full-scale product.

This involves adding new features, improving existing ones, and expanding the product's reach to a larger audience.

The key to successful scaling is to focus on user feedback and continuously improve the product to meet the evolving needs of the target audience.

Scaling up the MVP also requires a solid understanding of the market and the resources needed to support growth, including funding, manpower, and technology.

By carefully considering these factors, the MVP can be successfully scaled up and transformed into a successful full-scale product.

MVP Examples

Uber Ride Sharing

The Uber ride-sharing MVP, launched in 2010, was a simplified version of the current full-scale product.

Two screenshots showing the development of Ubers MVP

It focused on providing a basic solution for getting people from point A to point B, using a simple mobile app. The MVP consisted of a minimal set of features including:

  1. User registration: The app allowed users to create a profile and provide their payment information.
  2. Request a ride: Users could use the app to request a ride, view the estimated time of arrival, and track the driver's progress in real-time.
  3. Driver management: Drivers were able to see ride requests and accept them, with the app providing turn-by-turn navigation to the pickup location.
  4. Payment processing: The app handled all payment processing and payments were made through the user's stored payment information.

By focusing on the core functionality of getting people from point A to point B, the Uber MVP was able to validate the concept of ride-sharing and gather feedback from early adopters.

This information was then used to develop the full-scale product, which added features such as ratings and reviews, in-app messaging, and multiple payment options.

The MVP allowed Uber to quickly test its idea and validate its viability, which was essential in the early stages of the company's development.


Airbnb's MVP (Minimum Viable Product) was a simple platform that connected people who needed a place to stay with those who had an extra room or unused space.

A screenshot of the MVP of popular holiday home service AirBnB

The MVP consisted of a basic website that allowed people to create a profile, list their space, and search for available listings in their desired location.

The platform was designed to make the process of renting out a spare room or booking a stay as seamless as possible, and it quickly gained popularity as a result.

Over time, Airbnb has added numerous features and expanded into new markets, but the core concept of connecting people who need a place to stay with those who have space to share remains at the heart of the company.

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