MVP is an acronym for Minimum Viable Product. This is a concept derived from the Lean Startup methodology, which assumes that by releasing a fully finished and refined product (one in which nothing can be improved), your chances of failure increase.
MVP strategy completely reverses this process – it offers to create a product and release it on the market in its most simplified version. It is a product that has only those functions that are necessary for its proper use and meet the needs of users – the so-called essence of its functionality. The term MVP in 2001 was co-Cranded by Frank Robinson. However, it did not become popular until ten years later, when Eric Ries discussed it in his famous book “The Lean Startup.”
The purpose of an MVP stage is to assess the potential of the idea at an early stage of the product life cycle. The tests and opinions carried out are to give the creators an answer whether the product has a chance to interest the audience, whether its further development is paid, and ultimately – whether the invented solution has a chance to achieve success. If the study is positive, further work on the project can be continued. Otherwise – the game is not worth the candle.
The abbreviation MVP itself comes from the words Minimum Viable Product, which means:
- Minimum – that is, the minimum. It assumes the creation of a product with basic functions with the least amount of work and finances.
- Viable – that is, profitable or viable. This means that the product gives enough value to its first users. It is interesting, useful, and fulfills a specific purpose.
- Product – just a product. When turning around the technology industry, this term hides some software (application).
Why is it worth betting on MVP? Most important benefits
Before you invest a lot of money and time to develop your software, check if you have success chances. Thanks to the MVP, you will get data that will confirm that there is real interest in your product. You will minimize the risk of subsequent failure with such a green light. What else can you gain by choosing an MVP?
- MVP minimizes costs and saves time. No one wants their great idea and business, which they worked hard on, to simply fall because, for example, the money runs out. And yet – such situations happen all the time.
- Imagine spending weeks, a month, or even years building your dream mobile app. However, once you released it, nothing great happened…No one downloaded it, and no one even became interested in it. If you could have predicted this, the lost time and money could certainly have been used in a more useful way.
- With the MVP, you have a chance to make sure that any resources you invest in a project that has a chance of success. By minimizing the time and financial outlay at the outset, you will be able to use it better in the next stages of conscious development. If it turns out that the idea was wrong from the beginning, your starts will be much smaller than when a fully refined product is released.
MVP is a way to quickly enter the market of a product
Deciding to develop an application with basic functionality will significantly accelerate its release on the market. The sooner it falls into the hands of users, the sooner you will have feedback on whether your hypotheses were accurate and what are the specific expectations for the new product. Delaying the premiere can lead to wasting time developing useless features and correcting mistakes.
MVP allows you to analyze and verify demand
When you come up with a new product, you probably think everyone needs it. And maybe it is, but you can’t be sure until you check it out. It may turn out that the products already present on the market completely meet the needs of your potential customer or the need you assume does not exist at all.
Intuition is good if it concerns, for example, what someone will like as a birthday present. However, in the case of larger-scale ideas, much more expensive and time- and labor-intensive, decisions are best based on data and meticulous analysis. MVP helps test market demand at the initial stage of the product’s existence. If the result is positive, you will receive a strong argument for investing more resources in further development.
MVP indicates how to improve product usability (dedicates the path of project development)
Creating MVP applications is more than just the verification of concepts and the market. One of the main reasons to opt for it is because of the feedback. It is user reviews that give a better insight into what functions and elements are missing in a given application and what is unnecessary in it. The collected data indicate a path worth following to meet the expectations of recipients.
Famous MVP stories. How big did the little ones become?
It is important to be aware that large-scale application development requires a lot of effort, time, and money. Most of the most popular programs today were initially small projects that few people knew existed at all. Only over time did they begin to grow and take on more and more extensive functions. Until they finally became world giants! Here is an example.
Eliminating intermediaries and allowing short-term rental is a key mission behind Airbnb. Its founders succeeded, and it is now one of the largest platforms for booking stays. And it started completely inconspicuously.
Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia are two unemployed students who had difficulty paying for their apartment in San Francisco in 2007 after the owner raised their rent. It so happened that just at the time when tenants began to have financial problems, a large conference was to be held in the city. Unfortunately, all hotels hung information about full occupancy, so some of the visiting participants simply had nowhere to stay.
Taking this opportunity, Chesky and Gebbia came up with the idea that they would spread inflatable mattresses at home and offer willing guests from the conference weekend accommodation for $80. For that, they launched a simple AirbedAndBreakfast.com website and got the first three guests!
In the end, the idea turned out to be a hit. Brian and Joe used MVP as a tool to collect information from users and collect relevant data. It was thanks to them that they were sure that their idea was good enough. Verifying the initial assumptions and constantly developing their product, they created Air Bed and Breakfast, which later became a global giant known as Airbnb. Currently, the website offers its customers the most interesting stay offers, trouble-free online service, and many other benefits.
Take a look at several node.js example sites: some of them started as MVPs! Who knows, perhaps your product will soon be on a similar list. Good luck!