Written by: Justyna Cichocka, Communication Specialist
We’ve all heard of MVPs; some of us have probably even seen them. MVPs are a massive topic, and many texts have been discussed on how to build them, what to pay attention to, and how to monetize them. But what are the most common mistakes made when creating a Minimum Viable Product? Is there a way to prevent them? We can safely say yes, based on our MVP experience!
Many popular apps come to mind when thinking of software development. Spotify, Facebook, Uber – what do they all have in common? For starters, there is the MVP. It was the development of a minimal version that launched their success. The best way to see if your idea has potential is to create a stripped-down version of it, equipped with only the key features. A well-crafted Minimum Viable Product must be scalable so that it can be easily developed and expanded. Taking a step back and looking at the project from above is extremely vital at this point. A thorough business case helps a lot, so you can see what areas are critical and need to be looked after carefully. Why? So that later, as the MVP succeeds, it can be scaled without changing its original assumptions. In our experience, this is a key element in software development that is often overlooked but can prevent unpleasant (and budget-consuming) consequences.
So, the idea is fantastic. It’s flawless, well-honed, and planned. But have you done any market research yet? What about sound business analysis? Are any monetization strategies in place? If you answered negatively to even one of these three questions, stop and take a pause to gather your thoughts. You should re-evaluate your plan, preferably with someone else. It is imperative to hire someone who can look at the project coolly. Seek the help of an external company with experience in business analysis and product MVP creation. Having a business analyst and engineer evaluate your project will help you identify risks, suggest solutions, and verify assumptions. We can assure you that every opinion at this stage counts and will pay off in the long run.
“It’s just an MPV.” No, it’s more than that. Depending on how well it goes, the launch can mark the beginning or the end of a product’s success journey. Developing software takes extensive work at every stage, but this first step is crucial. In addition, developing the architecture lays the foundation for subsequent parts. Poorly thought out, this step could lead to a bumpy road full of twists and turns instead of heading straight toward scalability. An application should consider the first step and the subsequent ones, perhaps even more so. Product development must be done to make adding further functionalities easy – the Product Design Sprint methodology may come in handy. This cannot be accomplished without an experienced and motivated team. To begin, you will need developers to design the application, testers to ensure its quality, and a project manager to manage software development. You can build a team internally or hire a technology partner to do it for you.
Regardless of how simple the application appears, it should be thoroughly tested. Bear in mind that the testing done by developers is simply not enough. MVPs are finished products you can present to a broader audience, such as users or investors. To make your product a success, you need to get everything right. Several hours of thorough software testing won’t ruin your budget but will give you the quality your stakeholders expect. You only get one chance to make a good first impression, right? You don’t want to discourage potential users (or investors!) by providing them with a buggy application.
According to the ‘App Uninstall Report 2023’, most users uninstall apps within the first few days of use if they don’t meet their expectations. If you make a promise, you must follow through. If you skip the stage of software testing, you cannot guarantee the features your audience expects to work smoothly and quickly.
Your app is now available – pride, success, followed by many sleepless nights. Although much effort has been put into the design and development phase, positive feedback has not been received. So, where do we go from here? The most effective course of action is to go backward. Your product users are the best reviewers. Don’t forget that. Negative feedback and a lack of interest doom the app’s success. Take a cue from Dropbox’s video – the CEO explained how his software solved a problem and asked for audience feedback. At the time, the product was in the concept stage. Buffer explored user interest through polls. A simple landing page was developed, describing the app’s basic functions and price list. Based on users’ clicks, its creation rationale was estimated. When creating your own product, don’t overlook your users. In the end, you’re making it for them, not for yourself – even the finest idea won’t succeed without an audience. Often, small changes made at the right time determine success in the end.
If you have no experience building MVPs, consult your idea with a team of specialists who have dozens of successfully completed projects to their credit. Do you have an idea for a mobile app, web app, or custom system and are looking for an experienced technology partner? Check out some of our projects with clients who needed custom software.