Why your Business Needs MVP

It’s the same old story; you have a product that you want to sell. You know that there are going to be takers. After all, field tests do not lie. So you do what makes sense in this day and age; you take your product to World Wide Web. But how do you market it? The businesses of today use MVPs.

What is an MVP?

MVP or Minimum Viable Product is a term in web development. It basically defines a process in which new products or websites are developed according to specific features that will attract early adopters.

The term itself was coined by startup consultant and writer, Eric Ries who defines it as “…a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

In other words, an MVP is an elementary version of a product.

In order for an MVP to have any affect at all, it must have at least three basic characteristics –

  1. It has enough value to attract buyers or users
  2. It has enough potential to retain early adopters
  3. It has a feedback loop that provides data for future development

Of course, you also need to ensure that your product gains the feedback you need to guide development.

The Benefits

Starting a new service or promoting a new product as an MVP has its benefits –

Less is More

While you may be tempted to perfect your first product from the get go, the decision may come back to bite you especially since you don’t know how it will be received by your target audience. You aren’t alone. Most new businesses tend to overbuild new releases in a bid to outrun the competition. This is often accompanied by a fear; a fear that underbuilding might set the product up for failure.

But can such a product guarantee its success? The beauty of an MVP is that it actually improves its chances of success. Here is how –

  • It doesn’t need to be reworked as much
  • It allows you to focus on core value propositions and efficiencies
  • It brings focus to critical business functions
  • It allows you to create relationships with customers immediately

Example

Let’s explain the concept with an example. Let’s say that your pizzeria just started a home delivery service. You decide to design an app that has basic functions and allows users to place their orders online. You get in touch with them once they select their choice and provide their contact information. Keep in mind; you still don’t know how successful your idea will be until you test it out. If your customers are happy with the app, you can add some more features that will make it even more valuable for paying customers.

By allowing you to create relationships with early adopters sooner, a Minimum Viable Product makes it possible for you to authenticate your value propositions early as well. Testing basic functions before you scale ensures that the weakest are improved and that any feature that you add in the future works perfectly for your target audience.

How to start planning your first app

One of the most lucrative professions nowadays is creating apps for android and iOS, and if you manage to create a good, or better said popular app, you can build a good reputation for your company. Apps can be classified in the following manner: popular apps (low price, high rate of downloads, almost everyone likes them), Niche Deluxe (high price, low download rate, high quality and created for specific audience), Deluxe popular (high quality, high price, high download rate, and almost impossible to pull off), Failure apps (the majority of apps in the app store, low price, low download rate, doomed to be forgotten and never seen).

Basically, your goal for the first app should be to avoid making a failure app, so it could be a good idea to download a few of them, just to see their major shortcomings. After all, it is far easier to notice mistakes in a bad product, than to find all of the key elements in an app that is harmoniously executed. Here are a few suggestions that can help guide your creative process.

Your minimum viable product (MVP)  

This is the very core of every app – if your minimum viable product is boring or not engaging enough, your app will very likely be a failure. Take a look at flappy bird, the game itself is nothing more than a minimum viable product, and yet it was such an amazing success. So you need to ask yourself – what is the purpose of your app? To help or entertain people? Once you have established that, then you need to know the minimum number of features that your app needs to have in order to live up to its task.

Another good example of a successful MVP is Dropbox, since it was simple for them to explain to the masses what their product does and why they should choose it. Basically, it is the main reason why people choose you as their provider. The same thing applies when you construct a website and want to design your landing page. A landing page should clearly communicate to the visitor what it is that you offer, and motivate them to take action, i.e. make a purchase, subscribe and so on.

Plan your app based on the upcoming season or pop culture trends    

If you are not certain what you first app should be, then all you need to do is focus on a current or an upcoming topic/trend. So, if summer holidays are around the corner, you can make an app that helps people decide where to spend their summer vacation, or you can create themed lock screens with pictures of exotic and beautiful locations. For fall, you can make an app that is connected to Halloween in some way, helping people with costume ideas or hacks for costume creation etc.

The main idea here is to focus on current topics, because this is what most people will be searching for online, so the possibility of your app being noticed increases if it is related to the latest trend. The sooner you start the better, since IT firms usually rush these apps in order to meet deadlines for a specific date, and a lot of them are poorly executed. If you invest a whole year into this project, you can take the market by storm.

Explore different tactics for going viral

In order to secure popularity, you need to have some sort of strategy, so you can utilize the viral potential of your app. As mentioned in the previous part, you can focus on popular trends, and your app should have some level of utility or incite engagement, but that is not all. You need to implement some sort of reward for users who share your app. Moreover, your app should also reward customers who are frequent users. Clearly, it can be hard to know how to perfectly connect all these features in a natural manner. You should attempt to do so nevertheless – after all, this is what it means to be creative.

Finally, always ask for a second opinion before you proceed with the idea. If people around you are not really hyped about your idea, then maybe you shouldn’t go with it. Remember to have your app tested before the release, and use the feedback as valuable input for your future app creation.