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.