Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the initial version of the product with a minimum set of features sufficient enough to validate your idea. MVP development starts by building minimum most important features that cater to the needs of the user. Ideators only scale the product if they think it is worth the time and money involved. The reason why this approach is so popular is that it minimizes risk, saves money and helps in fund raising. A good MVP should communicate your value proposition, retain your early adopters and provide feedback to initiate further development.
Do you know some of the most popular software companies started with an MVP – Apple, Microsoft, eBay, Kickstarter, Groupon, Unsplash, Google, Facebook and a lot more?
MVP software development, can at times be, a long and overwhelming process. The problem arises when entrepreneurs spend a huge amount of resources in building the MVP and still it fails. Minimum Viable Product is called minimum for a reason that it has to be minimum. Do you know you might not even need to write a single line of code for developing your MVP software? MVP is not about perfection. It is about starting up. So the question is- How should I start my MVP software development? Should I start with a dummy UI, a presentation, some software with basic features, a demo software, a beta application and the list of possibilities goes on. We have compiled a series of steps to guide your MVP software development so that you do exactly what is needed.
How to start your MVP Software Development?
5. Choose your method:
You read the number correct 🙂
There are many ways you can get your product into the market. The choice depends upon the availability of resources, time frame and the risk involved in your idea.
a. Wizard of Oz:
Wizard of Oz is a technique in which instead of developing a software you just develop an interface which feels like you have already done your job. The main focus here is to tell your end users that you have a working product for them. You collect the data of responses from your users and move ahead accordingly. The advantage is having a user base for your product even before development and availability of reliable data indicating the practicality of your concept . Some companies that nailed this are Buffer, CardMunch, etc.
b. Concierge MVP:
Concierge MVP is when instead of developing a software, you perform the backend manually. This method was popularly used by Manuel Rosso, Founder of Food on the Table. Food on the Table is a mobile app that collects people’s food preferences and provides suggestions for recipes and identifies local grocery stores. In the beginning stage, Manuel conducted a survey by asking for people’s preferences and then manually compiling a list of grocery store and recipes to provide suggestions. Now, this app helps thousands of buyers shop wisely and grocery stores do targeted marketing.
c. Piecemeal MVP:
Piecemeal MVP is a concept of using existing resources to build a product. For example, Groupon used its current algorithms to build a product just to test whether or not there is a demand in the market. Often we assume that end users will need our product but that may or may not happen. Building a piecemeal product ensures that we don’t waste more resources than necessary in getting our product off the ground.
4. Start reverse pyramid:
A common misconception is that backend is the first thing to be developed for a product. The actual process is the total opposite. We should first make a workable front-end just to check if a potential user is interested. Moreover, you can also start with a marketing message like a landing page, article or ad. Once you gauge the initial response then proceed accordingly.. During the development process, focus on building the core and important features before moving to advanced functionalities.
3. Smoke Test:
Smoke test is a way to validate a potential user’s interest in your idea. Smoke test checks user behavior for your product. It also provides an idea of what potential users think and you can change your product accordingly.
a. Demo Video
You can create a demo video of your product to check whether or not you have a standing in the market. It is also a good idea to ask for viewers opinion regarding the product in comments. You can use that video for fundraising and communicating your idea to your team.
b. Landing Page
A landing page is the most popular idea for creating a platform for communicating your idea. This also helps in generating a number of leads for your software.
c. Start a Blog
Starting a blog for your target customer base helps in generating traction and also helps in ranking your landing page and website. However, It is not recommended to depend completely on blogging as it might or might not give you detailed insights. That said, it perfectly compliments your landing page and video efforts.
2. Build data set
Now that you have gathered insights – what’s next? You now need to prioritize your MVP software features based on the market feedback you have received. Use the data derived from landing pages and early adopters to modify your product and scale up. The contact list generated can be used for strategic marketing and acquiring your first paying customers.
1. Save your early adopters – Word of Mouth
Do you know how many word-of-mouth conversions occur via digital platforms?This is where we make a mistake. People tend to rely completely on online channels to gain momentum. The fact is only 7% of WOM comes from online sources. Your initial users are advocates for your brand. Do remember to nurture them.
If you need help getting your MVP developed soon, please contact us. We will be happy to help. Good luck with your MVP software development.