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MVP Development with Brivian: How to Successfully Start an App?
26 SEP 2022

9 out of 10 startups fail within five years of launch. 2 out of 10 startups do not even survive the first year of their existence. Such statistics were cited by the Indian branch of Entrepreneur magazine in 2017, and in 2022 the same figures were presented by Failure. Why do forecasts remain so sad for five years? What mistakes do entrepreneurs keep making?

One of the biggest mistakes startups make is a poorly tested business model. Business owners just don’t know what their target audience wants and how to deliver it to them. This is how applications enter the market, and in a few years remain either without funding or without users. To avoid this scenario, you need to test the application before launching it. This can be done by creating a minimum viable product.

MVP is a version of an application, shortened to basic features. A minimum viable product does not require large financial investments and takes less time to develop. It can be used to present a business idea to investors or show it to the target audience in order to get feedback and improve the user experience in future app versions.

In this article, we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the MVP approach to application development, as well as how to make a minimum viable product step by step. Go!

How to use MVP conception for a business?

To get started, let’s understand what a minimum viable product is. A minimum viable product, or MVP, is a product with enough features to attract early customers and test the product idea in the early stages of the development cycle. In areas such as software, an MVP can help the development team get user feedback as quickly as possible in order to refine and improve the product. 

‘Minimum viable product’ is a term coined by Frank Robinson and popularized by Eric Rees, the founder of the Lean Startup methodology. According to Rees, an MVP is a version of a new product that allows a team to capture the maximum amount of proven customer knowledge with the least amount of effort. Based on the definition, the main goal of an MVP is to test a business idea at minimal cost, seek feedback from the target audience, and identify further iterations to add value to the product.

Understanding what users want is one of the most important tasks for an entrepreneur. The concept of a minimum viable product does just that. This is the main benefit of MVP for business: not to waste money and to know in which direction to continue the application development.

The MVP approach in development helps to draw up a clear action plan and determine at the start which features will be the main ones in the application. Here are a few steps that our experts advise to go through before starting to develop an MVP.   
  • Make sure the product is in line with the company’s goals. 
For example, you are planning to create a messenger for teams, such as Slack. If your purpose is to reach a large audience, which will include not only work teams but also individual users, then such a narrowly focused application will not achieve your goal. In this case, it is better to look at such market players as WhatsApp or Telegram. These applications are suitable for both team use and personal communication.  
  • Define the problems you want to solve with the application. 
This is where target audience analysis can help. What do your clients want? How can you improve their lives with the application you plan to develop? With this approach, you will determine the core features of the application and possibly come up with a killer feature that will distinguish you from competitors. For example, instead of creating a typical restaurant delivery app, you can focus on local establishments so that the customer receives ready-made food in a short time.  
  • Turn the list of key features into an MVP work plan.
When you know what audience problems you can solve with the application, and you have a list of features that will help you do this, you can move on to development planning. An approximate plan looks like this: one feature — one stage of development. It’s important to remember that the V in MVP stands for viable. That means you must allow your customers to complete an entire action, and there must be a high-quality user experience. An MVP cannot be a user interface with many half-built tools and features. It must be a working product that your company should be able to sell.

After these steps, you can proceed directly to the development and launch of the MVP. When the application is ready, you need to collect feedback from the target audience. To do this, you can choose a focus group among users and ask them to install the application. Based on their feedback, you will learn what gaps remain in the current version and what can be improved in the next ones.

Why is MVP development the best approach for your business?

In addition to a clear structure for working on an application, the MVP approach has a number of advantages over other development options. In essence, all three paths that we want to talk about have similar features, but the development of a minimum viable product is still not inferior to its counterparts.

There are three main approaches to mobile app development: proof of concept (POC), prototype, and minimum viable product (MVP).

✔️ Proof of concept. POC is a method of testing assumptions with target users and testing the technical feasibility of your idea. The main goal of this approach is to test the technical content of the idea. The user experience here fades into the background. If you need to prove to investors that your technology will definitely work, this development method is right for you. The complexity of the approach is that if the application includes a wide range of functionality, you will spend a lot of time writing proofs of concept for each feature.

✔️ Prototype. A mobile app prototype evaluates the overall ‘shape’ of your idea (e.g. look, flow, user experience). If in the previous approach the emphasis was on the technical side of the future product, here the design comes to the fore. Prototypes help you figure out what UI elements should be included and how the user will interact with them. Prototypes can take many forms — from simple paper-based wireframes to interactive ‘clickable’ versions designed in Figma.

✔️ Minimum viable product. An MVP is a fully working version of your product, but with only basic features that allow you to collect initial user feedback. 

The development of the MVP favorably stands out among all approaches. When you create an MVP, you pay equal attention to both the technical and visual parts of the application. You think over the logic of work and choose the technologies on which the app will work. Along with that, you are working on the first version of the UI/UX design and taking care of the user experience. One more benefit of MVP is that you have first money from the target audience, which is attractive to investors. It’s a fact that investors like the projects that bring funds at the beginning stages.  

The MVP of the application looks more attractive to investors because it can be used right on the pitch. Moreover, your target audience is more likely to appreciate a working application than a naked technology or design concept.

The reasons an MVP fails & how to avoid them?

We have already said that 90% of startups fail within five years of launch. However, problems can begin even earlier, already at the MVP stage. Some teams make common mistakes that reduce the MVP’s chances of success. Let’s see what are the pitfalls in the development of MVP and how to avoid them.  
  • Lack of processes
In addition to the application development plan, it is necessary to think over other stages of work: communication with the audience, meetings with the team, brainstorms, and much more. Without constant communication, you will lose a common understanding of the product. And you will not be able to identify problems in time and quickly solve them. In this case, by the end of development, it will turn out that the product does not meet expectations.  
  • Lack of feedback
The more reviews you get on the MVP, the better. Feedback helps to improve the application, while its absence, on the contrary, creates problems in further development. Do not forget that the reaction of users is one of the main markers of success.  
  • Too many features
A minimum viable product should include only core features. At the planning stage, it is important to determine which options will help users or investors better understand your idea, and which will only take time and money. Don’t be afraid to discard ideas during development. It is better to abandon a seemingly cool feature than to waste resources.  
  • Idea testing
MVP development solves another important problem: idea testing. If you have received negative feedback from users or investors but decided not to change anything in the application, most likely you won’t launch successfully. We advise you to turn criticism into areas of growth. When the issues you were told about in the feedback are resolved, the app will become more attractive to customers and business angels.  

Estimating the cost of MVP

The cost of developing a minimum viable product ranges from $25,000 to $50,000. Of course, the amount varies depending on the scope of the application. The more complex the idea, the more expensive the development will be. And vice versa. 

The cost also depends on the technology stack you choose to develop your mobile application. Native development requires two teams that will write the code in different programming languages ​​separately for Android and iOS. In turn, for cross-platform development, you will need one team with expertise in React Native.

While we do not know about your idea, we suggest looking at the approximate cost of developing an MVP in the table:
MVP Development Stage Approximate Time Approximate Cost
Market Research 2-3 weeks $7,000-10,000
Prototyping about 2 weeks $7,000-10,000
MVP Development about 2 weeks $10,000-30,000

To get a detailed assessment of your project, text us here. Our account managers will contact you and help you estimate the cost of developing an MVP for your idea.

Brivian experience in MVP development

Our team will help you develop a minimum viable product, taking into account the specifics of your industry and with all the wishes for the application. What can we do for you?  
  • Business analysis and study of the target audience before the start. Together, we will understand how valid the idea is and how it can be improved.
  • List of main features that will be in the application.
  • Profit center development taking into account your budget and deadlines.
  • Quality control at every stage of product creation.
And we are always in touch! Together, we will choose a convenient time for online meetings, where we will talk about the progress of work and answer all questions.

Feel free to write to us for all questions that relate to the development of the minimum viable product. We will make a high-quality application that will help you get investments and collect feedback from the target audience — that is, to complete the main tasks of the MVP!

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