Minimum Viable Product
Tech

MVP: save your time, effort, and money

Before you do a lot, do a bare minimum that is really essential. In short, this is the idea of MVP or Minimum Viable Product. It is worth using this principle in practice. Not only because it promotes cost reduction but also because it helps to prioritize and separate the necessary solutions from only valuable ones.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP) goes for the product that includes only basic, most essential functions. MVP development for startups is a highly valuable instrument that can help a lot.

How is it done? Minimum Viable Product in practice

Okay, the theory is a bit complicated, and what about the practice? On the contrary, imagine that a shot idea for service about applications came to mind. To implement it, you can buy a domain, and host, put the website on a paid WordPress theme, commission a graphic design from a professional agency, and hire content people and SEO specialists. You can – but for what is the point? 

Even if you have discovered a phenomenal niche, the chance that the project will not work out so quickly or so spectacularly that its continuation makes sense is considerable. Because you are well aware of this, instead of building castles on the sand, you create an MVP. In this case, it can be a fan page dedicated to a given topic or a makeshift blog. If the concept surprises people and they like it, you can invest in its development. If not, you can get down to another topic with unwasted time and saved money.

There is no great philosophy in it. This is a fairly natural strategy that has been given an expert name. Many IT and e-business giants started in the “mode” MVP. Examples? They are at your fingertips: just take a look at some companies using Node js: some of them started as MVPs. Let’s take a look at several more companies that were first MVPs.

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FACEBOOK

Facebook started as a place for Harvard students and graduates, allowing them to search for friends. A breakthrough function added a few months after the creation of the website was a “wall” on which users could write short messages to each other. This was the minimum that turned out to be crucial for the subsequent success of the site. It can be considered an MVP, assuming that the creators had a vision for further project development.

GROUPON

This giant also started as a simple website on WordPress. Its creators sent offers to subscribers by e-mail in PDF files. The makeshift solution (MVP) brought unexpected results. Only then did the creators of Groupon invest in developing the backend, frontend, and voucher system.

AIRBNB

This story is now legendary. Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia wanted to rent a loft in San Francisco, but it wasn’t always enough places to choose for rent. In San Francisco, this is quite a normal situation. Fortunately, problems give rise to solutions. Chesky and Gebbia “invested” in an inflatable mattress and rented accommodation in the living room. It was their MVP.

“Minimum” but scalable product

Most successful businesses have similar histories. And many failed ones result from reinvesting at the start without developing a product with minimal necessary functionality. The lesson from similar cases is simple: before you spend funds, ensure the idea is worth the investment by testing it on the simplest possible solution. 

However, MVP does not always mean business developed in a garage. Large corporations also use this implementation standard. Zynga is a great example. Before creating a new game, the company analyzes interest in its concept among its users, whom it tempts with the possibility of free tests. If the idea turns out to be a dud, Zynga simply doesn’t realize it.

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MVP can therefore be a cleverly developed test of a given solution, not a product that brings business results from the beginning. In application design, MVP can be, for example, a mock-up – if our goal is to test UX solutions or present the concept to the investor. The “minimum product” can also be the application: just avoid creating an ordinary dummy instead of an application that meets the requirements of the minimum necessary functionality.

Understanding the idea of MVP and the project’s assumptions determines everything. So suppose we have a fully functional product to make in terms of the basic sales function. And let’s assume that we carry out this task by creating an application that will handle transactions carried out by up to a hundred customers simultaneously, give them several shopping recommendations, offer the opportunity to leave a comment, and make a few other functions happy. And what? That’s right: it is a dummy. If the product abounds in numerous additional functions but is not scalable in terms of basic functions, it does not meet the assumptions of MVP. The necessary functionality does not mean partial efficiency but full efficiency in terms of the basic function – in this case, full scalability.

What can go wrong, or how to handle MVP

MVP is a simple concept and, at the same time, a handy tool in the implementation of projects. However, its effectiveness depends on correctly identifying the objectives and interpreting the project’s assumptions. Negligence in this field can lead to errors and distortions, as in the case of creating non-scale solutions in a situation where scalability is crucial for project development.

Realizations in MVP mode also involve other, less obvious risks. 

To sum up, it is worth thinking about MVP as a business concept, not a technical one. If you feel lost and have no idea what to begin with, just contact professionals: they will help you choose the right tools and make your MVP perfect.

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