MVPs: What are they, and how do you launch one?

MVPs: What are they, and how do you launch one?

If you work in the world of start-ups and product development, you’ve likely heard the term ‘MVP’ more times than you can count. But what does MVP stand for, and do you need one?

MVP stands for ‘Minimum Viable Product’ (we’ll get into exactly what that means later). MVPs can be incredibly valuable for startups looking to create a new product, allowing businesses to test their product idea in the market, gather feedback from users, and make improvements based on that feedback.

Today, we’re deep diving into defining what an MVP is for businesses, its benefits, and what happens once an MVP is released. We will also explore several successful MVP examples and answer your most pressing questions about developing an MVP for your business. Let’s get into it.

What does MVP mean for businesses?

One of the biggest mistakes a startup can make when developing a new product is aiming for perfection. After all, perfection is the enemy of success.

Creating a perfect product full of incredible features takes time, and shooting for perfection from the outset can be time-consuming and costly. Plus, there’s always the risk that the market will respond poorly to the product, sending you back to the drawing board.

This is where MVPs come in. An MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, is the simplest version of a product that is still usable and valuable for customers. It typically contains only the essential features needed to solve the target users’ core problems.

Once launched to market, an MVP helps validate developers’ assumptions about their product, testing its market viability before they invest too much time or money into its development.

MVPs are closely associated with startups, but it’s a misconception that they’re the only type of organisation that can benefit from launching MVPs.

MVPs are popular among startups because they allow them to test the market viability of their product idea without investing too much time or resources upfront. This approach helps startups to reduce risk and validate their assumptions before building a full-featured product. Considering 42% of startup failures are caused by a lack of market demand, the value of launching a low-risk, low-cost MVP is clear.

Software companies, e-commerce sites, service-based businesses and social enterprises can all use MVPs to test new features and products before launching them to wider audiences. These can include services, mobile apps, software and more. Large entities and SMBs understand the importance of validating their assumptions and testing the market viability of their product idea before investing in the development of the full product or service.

What are the benefits of launching an MVP?

Developing an MVP offers a huge array of benefits for businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to enterprises. Let’s explore these opportunities in more detail:

  • Low-risk product testing: By launching an MVP, you can test your product idea in the market without investing significant amounts of time and money in the process. That way, if the product doesn’t resonate with customers, it is easier to move on to your next innovation opportunity.
  • Identify important product features: An MVP is typified by its stripped-back functionality. This means you can focus on testing the features you’ve identified as essential to your customers. This prevents customers from being distracted by unnecessary features, saves time in the development stage, and increases the chances of you gaining valuable feedback on those core features.
  • Build momentum for your product: Wouldn’t it be fantastic to already have an engaged audience on-side before your even product launches? By releasing a simple yet functional version of your product, you can start building a user base and generating buzz around your product.
  • Gather feedback from your users: Feedback is one of the most important benefits of launching an MVP because it can be translated into real value. Whether your audience’s feedback confirms or disproves your assumptions, it provides an opportunity for you to refine the product based on real data.
  • Product validation: Launching a product without market validation is a huge mistake. With an MVP, you can quickly determine whether your product has potential in the market, giving you the confidence to invest more money and time in its development.
  • Supports iterative development: Launching your MVP is just the first step in the product development process. If the product resonates with your audience, you enter a cycle of iterative development, making improvements and optimisations based on user feedback and testing.

Examples of successful MVPs

Most highly successful software products would have begun as MVPs. Let’s look at two famous examples.

Dropbox started as a simple file-sharing service that offered users very basic features. Today, it offers a wide range of complex features that support businesses of all sizes. This would not have been possible had its developers not released an MVP to help identify its most valuable features and build a loyal user base.

Now, it’s rare to find someone who hasn’t heard of Airbnb (or stayed in one of their accommodations). But didn’t become the thriving business it is today overnight. Airbnb started as a simple website which allowed people to rent out their homes; its developers gathered feedback from users and built a platform which went on to disrupt the hotel industry.

What are the steps for creating an MVP?

We bet you’re sold on the benefits of launching an MVP by now and are wondering how you can actually go about creating one. Creating an MVP can be a challenging task, but following these steps can help simplify the process.

Step 1: Identify the problem or need

The first step to creating an MVP is to identify the problem or need that your product will solve. This will require in-depth market research to uncover a specific pain point your target audience is experiencing. Your product should be designed to address this pain point.

Step 2: Set goals

Without clear goals, your development team has nothing to aim for. Determine what you want to test and what metrics would make you consider your MVP ‘successful’. This step is critical to allowing you to measure the success of the product and guide the development process.

Step 3: Design the MVP

Now you know what you’re aiming for, begin sketching out the basic design of your MVP. This should include the user interface and the minimum set of features needed to solve the end user’s problem.

Step 4: Develop the MVP

Once you’re happy with your outline, it’s time to begin development. To keep costs low, focus on the priorities first and simplify the development process where possible. Remember: your goal should be to create a simple yet functional product that can be tested and validated.

Step 5: Test the MVP

You need to test your MVP before you launch it. Yes, you will be running more tests following the launch, but this step is essential to smooth out any major issues ahead of time.

Step 6: Launch the MVP

With the MVP tested and refined, it’s time to launch it to a wider audience. This typically involves marketing the product to your target audience. You will need to create a landing page that provides information on your product and a clear call to action and advertise the product via social media and word-of-mouth.

Step 7: Collect feedback

Now your MVP is out in the market, it’s time to collect that all-valuable feedback. Here are some ways to collect feedback for your MVP:

  • Conduct user testing:Invite a small group of target users to test your MVP. and observe their behaviour and feedback with user testing platforms.
  • Gather feedback through surveys:Surveys can help you understand user preferences, pain points, and other feedback related to your MVP.
  • Monitor analytics:Use analytics tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel to track user behaviour and engagement with your MVP.

By following these steps, you can create an MVP that addresses a specific need, provides value to users, and lays the foundation for a successful and sustainable business.

What makes an MVP good?

The quality of your MVP can make or break your business. Make sure your MVP has these key characteristics before launch to increase your chances of success:

  • Focused:An MVP should focus on solving a specific problem or need for the target audience. It should have a clear and concise purpose that isn’t obscured by unnecessary features. This helps to focus development efforts on what matters most.
  • Cost-effective:As an MVP is designed to be simple, it shouldn’t require a significant investment of time or resources to build and launch.
  • User-centred:An MVP should be designed with the end users in mind, solving a real problem for them while being intuitive and easy to use.
  • Iterative:MVPs are not meant to be the final version of a product. So don’t aim for perfection. Improvements will be made in an iterative process, with each version building on the previous one.
  • Testable:Testing is key in product development. You should consider measurable goals and metrics that will provide valuable insights about user behaviour and preferences during the testing phase.
  • Scalable:Any product should be built with scalability in mind, so it can grow as its’ users’ needs evolve.
  • High-quality:Even though an MVP is a stripped-down version of the product, it should still be high quality. Make sure it is well-designed, well-coded and free from bugs or errors.

So, what happens next?

The post-MVP release phase is all about continuous improvement and growth. After an MVP is released, it’s time to begin making improvements to the product.

By collecting user data, you can analyse it to identify areas for improvement and make updates to the MVP. As we’ve covered, this is an iterative process, and you will release new versions over time with new features, an improved user interface, and optimised performance. The end goal is a scalable and sustainable product that provides real value to users.

But this next phase isn’t all about product development. Validating your MVP sets you up for business growth, meaning you can begin scaling the product and your business by raising additional funding, expanding the team and developing new marketing strategies.

Launch your MVP quickly with WeAssemble

If you’re looking to develop an MVP for your startup, WeAssemble can help. We can build the perfect offshore development team for you, so you can get your MVP off the ground and scale your business in no time.

Save time, money and stress with an offshore development team made up of vetted engineers and specialists who can build your MVP in weeks, not months. We also offer ongoing support and maintenance to ensure that your product continues to evolve and grow over time.



What does MVP mean?
MVP stands for ‘minimum viable product’ and is the simplest version of a new product that is used to validate customer needs and demands before the full version is released.
What does a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) include?
An MVP is designed to be simple, including only the essential features needed to meet the target customer’s needs and solve their pain points.
What is the difference between a prototype and an MVP?
A prototype is a rough draft of a product that isn’t marketable, while an MVP is the simplest version of a product that can still provide value to customers.
How long does it take to build an MVP?
Building an MVP typically takes a few months, depending on the complexity of the product and whether it is validated upon launch.
How do you start building MVP?
The first step to building an MVP is to identify the problem or need your product will solve and then define the core features that will address that need.
How do you know if your MVP is successful?
You will know if your MVP is successful if it meets the goals you set out during development. The main signifier that your MVP is successful is if it is validated by consumers upon launch.

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