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Building Your First MVP: 4 Things You Need To Know

Building Your First MVP: 4 Things You Need To Know

Every year, about 30,000 new products go on the market- and 95% of them fail. The most common reason is because they don’t solve an important enough problem for their customers.

If you have a dream for a new software tool or mobile application, the last thing you want is to see your product fail to gain traction. Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the risk.

Building a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is an important early step in the development process. It helps you get a sense of how likely success will be later on. Businesses that build an MVP are more likely to understand their customers, know their market, and deliver a winning product.

If you’ve never built an MVP before, here are four things you need to know:

  • Start with market research
  • Identify the problem you want to solve
  • Build and iterate quickly
  • Focus on collecting feedback

The Purpose of an MVP: Validating Your Idea

The Minimum Viable Product is one of the most misunderstood steps in the overall development process. The point of an MVP is not to make money right away or to prove that your idea can be built. The point of an MVP is to validate your idea.

Put another way: you build an MVP so you don’t waste money building something that nobody will buy. By launching a simple MVP, you can determine pretty quickly whether there is any actual market demand for your product. You can also use whatever user feedback you get to iterate and make changes for the next version.

If your MVP does well, that’s great! Now you can build a more fleshed out version of your application with confidence.

If your MVP does poorly, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe you can use whatever info you gained to adjust your idea and try another tactic. And even if it becomes clear that there is simply no demand for your idea at all, it’s better to know that now rather than spending thousands of dollars building it.

Do you have an idea for a new software project or mobile app?

Start With Market Research

Before you even try testing the waters with an MVP, it’s a good idea to get a sense of the market you are in through some basic research. This can take many forms, depending on the nature of your intended product:

Identify competitors to find out what they are doing. Examine their product and marketing strategies, and see if you can spot a gap in the market where they aren’t focused.

Research potential buyers directly, such as by reading discussion forums related to your niche. This may reveal what your target demographic’s core needs are.

Conducting surveys can be a great way to get qualitative information about potential buyers’ attitudes. This can be as simple as contacting relevant people online, or even going to in-person events where you can ask questions directly.

Third-party market research companies offer pre-made industry reports for sale, and can sometimes be hired for custom work. This is a good choice if you want high quality, in-depth reporting.

In any case, use the information you find to determine what problems people have, and how you can solve them.

Identify The Problem You Want To Solve

The #1 reason why products fail is because they fail to reach product-market fit. Put simply: they don’t solve an important enough problem.

Identifying the problem you want to solve is important for two reasons:

  • It helps you focus your product on solving the problem.
  • It helps you focus your marketing and communications on how your product solves the problem.

The “Minimum Viable” part of your MVP is really the solution to the problem. It is the specific thing that you want to sell, and the specific thing that you hope people will buy. While you probably want to add more bells and whistles in the future, it is the core problem-solution relationship that you need to focus on when building an MVP.

Build and Iterate Quickly

Facebook’s motto (before it became Meta) was Move fast and break things. For a long time, this has been the standard approach of the tech world in general.

The point of building and iterating quickly is so that you can rapidly narrow in on precisely the right approach to take. While your initial vision might be great, you will almost always need to correct and refine the exact details to create a winning product.

MVPs are all about building and iterating quickly. Optimally, you build and launch your first MVP in a very short time frame, so that you can quickly learn what the market is actually like, and make changes accordingly. It’s not unusual to iterate and refine several times before going for a finished product.

Focus on Collecting Feedback

The only way to really fail with an MVP is to not collect user feedback about it. Even if nobody likes it, it’s still a win if you learn why nobody likes it.

It can be easy to forget this part when building an MVP, especially if you are highly focused on the technology itself. You want to make sure that there are clear and easy ways for users to give you feedback.

Fortunately, for mobile apps there are built-in systems for reviews and ratings. You can encourage users to provide reviews by using push notifications and in-app surveys.

Indirect information, such as time spent using the app, also gives you valuable insights on user experience.

Building an MVP with Lunarbyte

Embarking on the journey of building your first MVP can be challenging. Our team at Lunarbyte is here to guide you every step of the way.

We understand the intricacies of turning ideas into reality and have a proven track record of working with startups and businesses to bring their MVPs to life. From initial concept ideation to rapid prototyping and iterative development, our experienced team is ready to help you launch.

The journey starts with us learning about your target audience, your business,  the problem you are solving and your product. This will help our team to create a product roadmap and set high level milestones for your project.

The next step is to select a tech stack and design high level architecture. At this stage we aim to manage risk and uncover potential technical challenges. This phase will help us set a strong foundation for your project.

After that, we begin the development phase by following agile development processes. We leverage agile methodologies to deliver small, incremental improvements in your product in a highly collaborative and adaptive manner. This keeps you, the client, engaged throughout the entire development cycle.

We will then work closely with you and your team to collect user feedback by onboarding early adopters or stakeholders to your product. Regular feedback, and collaboration will guide the software development and ultimately helps us ensure that the product meets the user’s needs.

Finally, we launch! But that’s not the end of the story- building and iterating is important to MVPs. Our team is happy to continue to provide development and support services after a successful launch.

Do you have an idea for a new software project or mobile app?

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