Why Build a Minimum Viable Product?

Here Are Six Great Reasons

A minimum viable product (MVP) is an early version of a software or mobile application (or any business start-up for that matter) that is released with just enough features to satisfy early adopting end-users.  It is a fully functioning product that works great but does not have the extra bells and whistles that may be planned for the full version. MVPs differ from prototypes in that they are designed for actual use by customers whereas a prototype may be fully functioning, but with the purpose of proving a concept prior to full development of the product.

If you are considering building a technology based product, starting with a prototype, then advancing to a MVP prior to creating the full product is a wise move for all the following reasons:

  1. Proof of Concept
    By building an MVP, you are proving the concept is a viable one.  An MVP allows a startup to know with all certainty that “if we build it, they will come”.  It is not just learning if the product is viable, but rather, as evidenced by point 3 below, a way of discovering more about the customers’ needs for future development.
  2. Limit Risk
    Limiting your risk is one of the primary benefits of building both a prototype and an MVP.  The MVP will allow you to get your product to market for the least amount of money.  Thus, rather than spend the full ball-of-wax on developing your product, you’ll be able to wisely spend some of your start-up dollars on the other important needs such as marketing* the product.
  3. Gain Valuable Feedback
    Getting feedback from users is one of the most crucial purposes of releasing an MVP. Your customers can let you know what they like about your product or alternatively what they don’t.  This is part of validating its usefulness and appeal.  It can also help you determine which features are most important to add next.
  4. Faster Time to Market
    Software and application development takes time. The more complex the product, the longer it will take.  Rather than waiting to release your program until it has everything you think you want, creating it with only the most important features, will mean you’ll have it ready sooner.
  5. Early Monetization
    By getting your software to market sooner, you’ll be able to start making money with it. This can offset the cost of or even pay for development of additional features.
  6. Incremental Development
    You may find through the feedback you’ve gained from your first users, that the features you think are important, aren’t that important to them, and they may request items you did not think of. This allows you to build only what is best suited and roll out additional features over time.

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In conclusion, it is very important for startup companies and companies with new product roll-outs to focus on delivering a product that works. That is what is accomplished with an MVP.  Trying to go all-out with all the features you envision is less important that making sure your product succeeds. You can always add features later.

Sofmen is an experienced developer that helps start-ups and clients with new product offerings determine the right features their product needs that customers want.  We work directly with you to develop prototypes and MVPs to ensure ultimate success.

* Marketing is crucial when rolling out your software or application.  It is essential that you don’t mistake the lack of users for lack of interest if you have done nothing to promote your concept.  You must put in a concerted effort to advertising and selling your product.

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