Why should you spend time and money on a mobile MVP?

5 mins read

Should you build an MVP?

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the best way for a founder or a business to validate their hypothesis by getting in front of their customers through digital marketplaces and test it with a real audience.

The process of developing an MVP is costly from both a time perspective as well as financially, to get good results, an MVP should focus on a bare minimum set of features that would allow testing the idea of the product.

The psychologist Gerald Weinberg has shown that people are more productive and achieve better tasks when they are focusing on only one task, switching context, and doing more than one thing, heavily affects productivity and the overall performance.

When doing 2 tasks, you lose 20% of your productive time when switching contexts, for 3 tasks this number goes up to 40%. This is also true for mobile products, by focusing on a limited set of features, a founder or a business that develops an MVP has a much better chance at success and achieves much better results as he focuses on solving one problem only.

What to include in an MVP?

Deciding on the roadmap and the feature set of an MVP is a difficult task, especially for a first-time founder, or a business that tries to solve a new problem that is different from what they are used to doing. Before going in and developing an MVP full of useless features that will not provide any usefulness for your user, it's important to plan accordingly and focus on the problem and the right audience.

As its names say it, an MVP should be a MINIMUM VIABLE product, which means you'll need to cut and reduce the feature set of the product until you'll reach the core of your main idea. Besides the benefit of having the founders concentrating on solving a problem and doing it innovatively, restricting the feature set also allows faster implementation, hence a faster idea-to-market time and most importantly, lower costs.

A good example of that would be Shazam, when they first launched, their app did only one thing, recognizing the name of the song from an audio recording, and they've done it exceptionally. All the other features like tops of the most searched music, the ability to listen to the full song, or adding it to your library came much later, and only after they've achieved their product-market fit and people start using and loving the product.

On the other hand, Quibi, a streaming service born in the pandemic was a mobile streaming service that allowed users to watch bite-sized content on their devices, is at the exact opposite pole. After spending over $1 billion in developing the full product, without any market validation and iterations on the idea, they had to shut it down, 6 months after the lunch as they did not get market traction.

The ideal way of starting an MVP is by doing a product workshop, in which you'll work with a team of mobile product experts, designers, and developers for defining your product (tech and design), and roadmap for implementation. Based on the outcome of the product workshop, you'll be able to collect feedback from a group of users in your target audience, adjust the product, and have a clear vision of the action plan, the costs involved, and timelines.

Why should you build an MVP?

An MVP is the first iteration of your product, is the watered-down, slim version of your grand vision. It should provide a solution to the core problem you're trying to solve, in a manner that's good enough for the users to use and engage with for you to test the hypothesis of the product.

Attract investors and stakeholders - An MVP helps you sell your idea to investors or stakeholders (if you're building an MVP for a corporation). It shows them the technical feasibility of your solution, they get a better grasp on what you're trying to achieve, by being able to play around with the app, and most importantly, based on the feedback from your early users, you can show the positive sides as well as the negative one and how that aligns with your growth and future development plans.

Better understand your target audience - The feedback, reviews, and app analytics for the MVP provide insightful information on how are they using your product, what are they struggling with, and how can you adjust and modify the product to better fit their needs. Only by incorporating the users' feedback and by paying attention to their needs and how they use your MVP, you'll be able to scale it and make a successful product that users love.

Test the market - There are many examples (like Quibi) that did not probably test the market before spending money on a fully-fledged product. An MVP helps alleviate this problem as it will help founders to test the demand for their solution and decide whether or not to further invest time and resources in this endeavor.

Perfect your business model - An MVP we'll get you your first customers, based on their behavior, you'll be able to make more informed decisions about your business model, as you'll have a quantitative measure of how many of them become paying customers and what are your operational costs. Mobile MVP usually implements a freemium model, where they make their services free for attracting more users and getting more feedback but will also include extra purchasable content or subscriptions for the customers who want more and are willing to pay.

Every successful mobile product has started as an MVP.

We know that the start of a new mobile product is one of the most important steps in its lifecycle. There are a lot of resources and books that teach you how to run a successful business but there are limited sources for those who just started or want to start building a mobile product. At appssemble, we are here to help you and guide you through the whole process of building an MVP, picking out the right feature set and the right technologies so that you can get the best setup to test your assumptions and to be able to pivot on the feedback of your early users.

If you want to build a mobile MVP, get in touch and learn more about our process for building successful mobile apps MVPs, and how can we help you reach your first customers.


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