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A Guide to Minimum Viable Product for Startups

Akhil Kumar By Akhil Kumar | August 6, 2019
Minimum Viable Product

I have got an amazing idea.

The statement is the foundation of many successful and unsuccessful business stories.

And if you are venturing into the world of mobile app development, it is a must for you to acquaint yourself with the concept of MVP(Minimum Viable Product). 

It is what assists in validating a mobile app idea in addition to providing you a direction on the features you should include in order to achieve maximum traction before the official app launch. 

But before we start with the concept definition of MVP, it will be an icing on the cake if you have a look at our mobile app development guide to understand the mistakes to avoid, choosing the right mobile app development company, the right technology stack, cost of developing an app and other related things which are a must before you reach the MVP development stage.

What is a Minimum Viable Product(MVP)?

Minimum Viable Product is basically a draft of your application. 

It can be defined as the product developed with enough features and functions to get the idea of the app across the actual app users. It is developed with the intention to get a response for the future development of the product. 

In simpler terms, MVP is not just about building products to meet a short-term goal, it is the technique for developing a simplified version of your application for public use.

The ultimate strategy of MVP is to reduce the development cost as well as the risk of financial failures that might occur from launching an unplanned product in the market. And the goal of building MVP is basically to understand what features and experience your product will be delivering to the targeted users.

What are the Benefits of Minimum Viable Product

What are the Benefits of MVP

Speedy Development

One of the most important benefits of MVP is faster development. With fewer functions and functionality in your application, the faster the MVP development process will be. 

Lowered Development Cost

By including only the core and main features of the application, your partnered developers spend less time developing the MVP. This way, the billable hours come down and you end up spending less on the overall app development cost

Gets you Loyal users

User feedback lies at the core of MVP development. When you involve real prospective users in the whole app development cycle, the chance of them getting attached to your app and your business, as a whole, automatically increases. 

Identification of Features That Real Users Need

Collecting feedback, reviews, and response from real users makes it easy for businesses to modify the app on the basis of features that have been demanded straight by your real users. 
Now, that we have established what a minimum viable product and have attended to its benefits, let us figure out how to build an MVP in five easy steps.

How to build an MVP

How to Build an MVP

Know your target audience

The very first step towards successful minimum viable product development is understanding your users. Put yourself in the users’ shoes and ask yourself two questions “why do I need this product?”, “How is the product going to help me?” 

The answers will be the goal that your app would function on. 

Know who are your competitors

Sometimes, well-established businesses even startups neglect the need for competitor analysis because of the pure faith of uniqueness that they have on their product.

But even though you might not have direct competitors but the faith over the uniqueness of the product is not sufficient to bring your product in the market.

To save some of your effort along with making it easy for you, there are various tools available helping you to investigate competitors’ websites or applications. Through those tools, you will be able to get insights about their monthly traffic, sources of traffic, ranking, the geographical location of their users and other related information. 

Furthermore, the customer feedback on your competitor’s product can help you build MVP by addressing the shortcomings of the existing applications. 

Know the user flow

You are ultimately making the app for your users, hence make sure to design the app in such a way that is convenient for the users. Look at the app from the user’s perspective, starting from the process of opening the app to the time they leave it.

Prioritize the necessary features

Once you are done with defining all the steps your customer would take while using the application/product, you can go ahead with creating a list of features for all those stages. 

Here are the following ways you can finalize the list of features – 

  • Ask yourself- what is the most important action that you want your users to accomplish? (this will be your main feature)
  • Again ask yourself- what other features do I want to offer to my users (elaborate why those features are important for them to complete a task and cut down the least important ones)
  • After doing these two steps, categorize the remaining features under the categories “must-have”, “nice-to-have” etc. 
  • Once you are done with adding all the stages and features against each stage, you can draw a vertical arrow going from “high-priority” at the top to “low-priority” at the bottom. 
  • With all the features now prioritized, you can now define their scope for the very first version of the app and move to build an MVP.

Build, test and learn

After the scope of work is defined, you will have to move to the next level – the development stage. If your mobile app development partner uses agile methodology, there are huge chances that your MVP app will come up well-tested and well-designed.

The testing stage here will be divided into two parts, the first testing stage is conducted by Quality Assurance Engineers to improve the quality of the product before the release. They generally test the quality of the app on the basis of the Alpha and Beta testing policies.

The next testing process is conducted by your app’s prospective stakeholders. Your users are the ultimate audiences who will be defining what features and functionality your app lack and what can be added into it. 

Mistakes to avoid while doing MVP

The list of reasons why startup fail is pretty extensive.

Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail

A number of reasons mentioned in the graph can be avoided by careful planning of the MVP process. But if not done right, it can make you just another statistic on the list. 

Here are the mistakes that you should avoid when developing MVP:

Mistakes to Avoid While Doing MVP

Not giving enough attention to market research 

For passing an exam, you need to thoroughly study the chapters. The same is the situation with MVP.

Not knowing the market is one of the many reasons behind the failure of the plan and ultimately your business. Startups fail when they do not experiment with the product and try to bring in something that is already present in the market. Or if they develop something which is not even required in the first place. 

Ignoring the market research process can bankrupt your whole idea, planning, MVP, and the overall competitive advantage. 

A reliable and knowledgeable tech partner can assist you in overcoming the challenge by conducting complex marketing research before developing MVP for your business idea.

Not choosing the right development team

Another reason behind the failure of MVP can be a less worthy team with a lack of technical skills. This is the reason why it is often recommended and advisable to work with a professional team of developers, designers, QA engineers and PMs who can adopt to the changes in app and deliver a well-performing app in real-time. 

Aiming to be the best

Aiming for a big goal is a good thing for business but sometimes striving for perfection comes at its own cost. 

The ultimate purpose of MVP is to test the idea before launching the product to real people in the real market. A good and well-designed MVP consists of only a few, essential features that give end-users a clear understanding of the app. 

Incorrect way of building an MVP

There are generally two ways to build an MVP – Agile and Waterfall. As compared to Waterfall, Agile can be way more efficient in this scenario due to its ability to deliver high-quality results in less time. Furthermore, the Agile approach when done properly can help in addressing bugs along with offering adaptability to changing requirements in real-time.

Neglecting the Prototype Development Phase

Prototyping is one of the most important steps while developing an MVP. It is like the visual presentation of your idea or better say it brings life to your idea. In addition to it, it dispels any doubts the investors or businessmen might have with the product. 

Hence, evading or neglecting prototyping can create a negative impact on the overall process of MVP. 

Not considering analytics and user feedback

One of the most important purposes of MVP is to generate user feedback for making the final product better. Feedbacks are what make you understand the user better along with adjusting and revamping the product as per the need of the user.

Not considering feedback will ruin the whole process in addition to wasting all the invested efforts, resources, etc.

Now, we are done with the benefits of MVP for your mobile app, how to build an MVP and the mistakes to be avoided but this is not the end of the whole process. 

Let us now get to the part which directly impacts an entrepreneur – Cost of MVP Development.

Factors that determine the cost of MVP development

Factors that Determine the Cost of MVP development


There are various ways to build an MVP, it can be hiring freelancers, choosing the outsourcing option, and developing the app in-house.

There are 4 vital factors determining the cost of MVP development. Those factors are-

  • MVP cost of designing
  • Total number of features and their complexity
  • Technology stack
  • Time taken to develop MVP

With this, we have reached the very end of the article, I hope you must have accumulated all the necessary things and understanding to build an MVP – starting from knowing why you need MVP for your mobile app, what are its benefits, the mistakes to avoid, and how much does it cost to build an MVP mobile app.
With every factor covered, there is only one thing left for you to do – get in touch with a trusted mobile app development company to build your application’s minimum viable product.

FAQs About MVP Development

Q-How do you create a minimum viable product?

a. Know your target audience
b. Know who is your competitor
c. Know the user flow
d. Prioritize the necessary features
e. Build, test and learn

Q- Why is minimum viable product important?

a. Speedy Development
b. Lowered Development Cost
c. Gets you Loyal users
d. Get Entrepreneurs idea of what their real users need

Q- What is the purpose of a minimum viable product?

A- MVP is not just about building products to meet a short-term goal, it is the technique for developing a simplified version of your application for public use.

Q-How do you explain a minimum viable product?

A- It can be defined as the product developed with enough features and functions to get the idea of the app across the actual app users. It is developed with the intention to get a response for the future development of the product.

Q- What is MVP lean startup?

A-One of the core components of the Lean Startup methodology- a build-measure-learn feedback loop. The first step is to figure out the issue that needs to be solved, once you are done with identifying the issue, you can develop an MVP to begin the process of learning.

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Akhil Kumar
Akhil Kumar

Co-Founder & Managing Director of AppVenturez Mobitech. An entrepreneur who is tech-savvy and aims to build the largest software business through technological innovation, keen business strategist and a passionate technocrat. He firmly believes in learning and earning by planning and performing.

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One Reply to “A Guide to Minimum Viable Product for Startups”

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    An MVP is a development method where you deploy only the core functionalities to solve a specific problem and satisfy early adopters. To get information about,How MVP is important in app development, Read here!

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