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MVP product development
  • Mobile

  • Web

How to Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) From Scratch

October 3, 2022

As an entrepreneur, you can be inspired by a great idea to create something. However, how will the market respond to it? How will you know if many people will eventually purchase your product?

 

 

The answer lies in validating your idea through the minimum viable product (MVP) development process. It’s beneficial for designing, testing, and delivering your final product. Businesses must avoid certain pitfalls while preparing to kick off an MVP for a web or a mobile app. 

 

Thus, it is vital to have a firm grasp of this concept. Since Onix specialists have worked with startups for years, we decided to share our expertise in creating an MVP from scratch.

 

This blog post will outline 5 steps for creating an MVP based on our experience. Keep in mind that the exact approach will vary depending on your specific business and product.

 

With that said, let's get started!

 

What is an MVP?

A Minimum Viable product is a basic version of an application. Thus, the MVP development process is a procedure by which a new product is built with core functionalities. The main purpose of an MVP is to test the target audience’s response to it. After this step, an actual product with full features is developed.

 

Moreover, MVP is an essential element of a lean startup business model. This methodology states that there are several repetitive cycles of improvement in the IT product development process. How does it play out?

 

Here’s how Eric Ries, the author of Lean StartUp, defines the MVP: “The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”

 

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The purpose of creating an MVP

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An MVP is a version of a product with just enough features to be usable by early adopters. The goal of an MVP is not to have a fully-fledged product but to test critical assumptions and gather feedback from users.

 

Sometimes, an MVP can be as simple as a landing page with a signup form. This was the case for Dropbox, which used a simple landing page to gauge user interest before building out the rest of the service. In other cases, an MVP might be a fully functional product with limited features. This was the case for Twitter, which launched with a very basic set of features and gradually added more over time.

 

Building an MVP can be a great way to get your product off the ground without spending too much time or money on development. However, it's essential to keep in mind that not every product is suited for an MVP. In some cases, launching with a fully-fledged product might make more sense.

 

 

When you should or shouldn't build an MVP

Every startup is different, and so is every product. However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to help you decide whether an MVP is right for your business.

 

- Do you have a complex product?

- Is your product novel or innovative?

- Are you targeting a niche market?

- Do you have limited resources?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then an MVP could be a good option for you. On the other hand, if you have a simple product with no room for innovation, or if you're targeting a mass market, then an MVP probably isn't necessary.

 

Creating a minimum viable product can be a great way to get your product to market quickly and efficiently. However, it's important to ensure that you're doing it for the right reasons. Otherwise, you could waste time and resources on something that isn't ultimately going to be successful.

 

Do some research and consider whether an MVP is right for you and your business before you take the plunge. It could save you time and effort in the long run.

 

 

Core 5 steps for building an MVP

 

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Conduct market research

The ideas may be good, but they have to survive the harsh conditions of the market. Before you propose your new idea, identify your target user’s needs. Glean as much information as possible. And keep an eye on your rivals as well. Your task is to make your idea stand out. 

 

Ask yourself: Who will be my target audience? Why is my product idea unique? Use real statistics. Wishful thinking doesn't help here.

 

Decide what problem you want to solve

What value is brought by your product? How can users benefit from your product? Keep these important questions at the forefront of your mind. You have to express your idea simply. You also should be crystal clear about the basic estimations of your product. MVP implies introducing something of value to the customers.

 

List the product’s features

You need to determine which features are most crucial and which ones are not. It could be helpful to have a scale from 1 to 10 for the increasing importance of the features. It would also be helpful to include information on the complexity of product implementation. Most importantly, in what ways is it beneficial for users? These questions are to be anticipated.  

 

Build your MVP

 

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After you are clear on the main features and know the market's real needs, you are ready to create your MVP (or hire a responsible team to do that). An MVP should be high quality, user-friendly, engaging, and suitable for your potential customers.

 

Build, measure, and learn

First, the amount of work needs to be determined; then, the product is ready for the development process. After the MVP version of your product is built, it needs to be tested. Quality Assurance (QA) engineers start running the first series of tests.

 

After your MVP is launched, do a thorough review (i.e., gather your potential customers’ feedback prior to the release). Their reaction can help you determine if the product is well-received in the market and can compete with other products.

 

It is crucial to grasp that users are your friends. They can inform you about how to improve your product. Some features might not be needed. Alike, your product might lack an important feature.

 

Pay attention to what they have to say to you. Once you collect enough information from them, start improving your product idea. Rerun tests, learn from testing results, and then do more tests again. This process needs to be repeated until your product is finalized.

 

NB:

  • Hang on to every word of your users
  • You are building products, not for your good per se, but for the user’s benefit
  • Be intentional and inquire of your users about what they want

 

Measuring the success of your MVP

Some common metrics you may want to consider tracking include user engagement (e.g. time spent on site, number of page views, etc.), conversion rates, and customer satisfaction levels. Additionally, it can be helpful to set up some sort of A/B testing system so that you can compare the performance of your MVP against a control group (i.e. those who didn't receive the MVP). But here are some common tips that can help get a better sense of whether or not your MVP is achieving its desired results.

 

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1) Verbal communication

You can conduct interviews with potential customers. Kick this off by envisioning the issues a customer might encounter and just ask for their opinion.

 

2) Sign-up

Sign-ups are a tangible way to assess user interest.

 

3) Better client appraisals based on the feedback

If your app is downloaded and launched repeatedly, then customers are interested in your product.

 

4) Percentage of active users

Monitoring download and launch rates is necessary. However, you can also evaluate the success of an MVP by studying users’ behavior. Try to check your active users’ ratings regularly.

 

5) Churn rate

It gives you the number of people who stopped using your app or uninstalled it. Churn = Number of users at the beginning of the week or month/Number of churns per week or month.

 

 

How much does it cost to build an MVP

Estimating the cost of an MVP can be difficult, as there are a lot of factors to consider. The first step is to understand what your MVP will entail. Once you know that, you can begin to break down the costs associated with each element.

 

There are generally three types of costs associated with building an MVP: development costs, hosting costs, and marketing costs. Development costs will include items such as paying your developers or designers, as well as any tools or software required. Hosting costs will cover things like server fees and domain registration. Marketing costs will vary depending on how you plan to promote your MVP but could include paid ads, PR, or content creation.

 

Many factors can influence the development cost of an MVP. Some of these factors include the size and scope of the MVP, the platform on which it will be built, the team of developers who will work on it, and the time frame.

 

The most important factor in determining the cost of an MVP is its size and scope. A smaller MVP will generally be less expensive to develop than a larger one. This is because a smaller MVP will require less work from the development team and will take less time to complete.

 

Another factor that can influence the cost of an MVP is the platform to build it. If the MVP is being developed for a new platform, it may cost more than if it were being developed for an existing platform. 

 

The team of developers working on the MVP can also influence its cost. If the team is experienced in developing MVPs, they will likely do so at a lower cost than if the team is less experienced. 

 

Finally, the location where the MVP will be developed can also influence its cost. If the MVP is being developed in a country with a high cost of living, it will likely cost more than if it were being developed in a country with a lower cost of living. Let’s have a look at development rates across various countries.

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Concerning time required to build an MVP, our experts give the following approximate estimation:

Backend5 months (800 hours)
Frontend5 months (800 hours)
DevOps1 month (160 hours)
QA1 month (160 hours)
TotalApprx 1920 hours

 

Once you understand all the necessary costs, you can start to ballpark the total price. Remember that MVPs are meant to be lean and efficient, so don't go overboard with your budget. 

 

With all that said, estimating the cost of an MVP is still very much a guessing game if you don’t have much experience. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to speak with a development company specializing in building MVPs. They will be able to give you a better idea of what to expect based on your specific requirements and their expertise in this sphere. 

 

Onix-Systems Experience in MVP Development

Onix-Systems has over 20 years of experience in MVP development. We have a team of experienced developers who are experts in their field and can help you create a successful MVP. We understand the importance of an MVP and how it can make or break your business. That’s why we take the time to understand your business and goals before starting development.

 

We have a proven track record of creating successful MVPs for our clients. We’ve helped businesses of all sizes, from startups to enterprise companies, launch their products successfully. We understand the challenges with MVP development and are ready to help you overcome them.

 

At Onix, we're all about building solid relationships with our customers and creating software your business would enjoy using. We take responsibility for the technology solutions you need from us - no matter how big or small they are! Our development process ensures flexibility to keep things simple. Thus, both parties can make better decisions based on what works best for them individually.

 

One of the projects we made an MVP for is Adoric. When the client approached us, he wanted to fix the plugin for WordPress. But after our investigation and business analysis, we proposed to the client to we create a full-service website. We created an MVP for Adoric in record time, allowing the startup to validate its business idea and secure funding rapidly. Our experts used a lean approach, focusing on the core features that would be most valuable to users. The result is a beautiful and functional website that received rave reviews from users and investors alike.

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Wrap-up

An MVP can be compared to a trial balloon. It helps to forecast the commercial and technical potential of your product’s vision and delivery. It enables you to make technical and business decisions based on factual information rather than mere speculations. Thus, the key objective of building a successful MVP is wrapped in the idea of testing the concept or the product in the market. 

Drop us a line if you need consultation on your future MVP. Let’s build something meaningful together!

 

FAQ

1. Why create an MVP?

Creating an MVP reduces the risk and costs of developing a full-fledged product. By starting with a minimum viable product, you can validate your assumptions about the product and the market before investing too much time and money.

 

2. How do I create an MVP?

There are a few key steps to creating an MVP:

 

1) Define your target market and customer base

2) Identify the problem that your product will solve

3) Identify the essential features of your product

4) Build an MVP of your product

5) Test your product with potential customers

 

3. What are some best practices for creating an MVP?

Some best practices for creating an MVP include:

 

1) Keep it simple – focus on the core features that are essential to solving the problem

2) Build a prototype – this will help you validate your assumptions and get feedback from potential customers

3) Get feedback early and often – use customer feedback to improve and iterate on your MVP

4) Be prepared to pivot – as you get feedback, be prepared to make changes to your product

5) Be scrappy – MVPs are not about perfection, they’re about learning and iteration. Don’t spend too much time or money on your MVP, but make sure it’s high quality.

 

4. What are some common mistakes made when creating an MVP?

Some common mistakes made when creating an MVP include:

 

1) Overbuilding – don’t include too many features; focus on the core problem you’re trying to solve.

2) Not getting customer feedback early enough – get feedback early and often to ensure you’re on the right track.

3) Not being prepared to pivot – as you get feedback, be prepared to make changes to your product.

4) Not being scrappy enough – MVPs are not about perfection but learning and iteration. Be prepared to make changes, and don’t spend too much time or money on your MVP.

5) Trying to do too much – focus on one problem and one solution. Don’t try to solve everything with your MVP.

 

5. How do I know if my MVP is successful?

A few key indicators will help you know if your MVP is successful: 

1) Are you getting customer feedback?

Written by:
Dmytro  Durach
Dmytro Durach

CEO at Onix-Systems

Development of top-notch web apps, startup launching, and effective product management.

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Anastasiia Diachenko
Anastasiia Diachenko

Writer