How to (and why) build an MVP

The problem with MVPs is that many people want them to be perfect. Which is not what MVPs are all about. This might become clearer if you really think about what MVP stands for. You know. Minimum. Viable. Product. So let’s talk about where the line is – and how to build one.

Let’s say it again – it’s called minimum viable product for a reason

That reason is testing out your ideas and hypotheses BEFORE you’re launching a full-blown product to your audience. And not creating a product you’re ready to start selling. Let’s take a minute to understand that difference.

So what is an MVP?

Let’s start with what it isn’t.

Okay, so what is it then?

It’s an experiment. In which you’re learning and validating your ideas. With just enough features to help you do that. And then take these learnings to improve and change until you actually land with a ready-made product. That’s now far more functional and tailored to what your audience actually needs than it would’ve been if you’d just started with building your actual product.

It’s a means to an end. The end being what your final product will look like.

You can find some cool MVP examples here from brands like Dropbox or Airbnb.

How do you do an MVP right?

Now that we have the basics out of the way, here are a few tips from a seasoned team who’s built a ton of MVPs for the past almost 20 years.

  • Define your requirements and assumptions – as clearly as possible <link do tekstu z serii>. The more precise you get, the more useful things you’ll find out and the fewer misunderstandings you’ll have later on.
  • You can test out all the risky assumptions you might have at this stage – that’s the whole point, actually.
  • Set a goal you want to achieve with your MVP – and a metric you’re going to measure it by.
  • Then create a hypothesis you’re going to be testing. It’essential for an MVP.
  • Then build your MVP and test it. It really doesn’t have to (or actually shouldn’t) be a full-blown, complicated product.
  • Eliminate bugs, though (the fact that it isn’t your final product doesn’t mean it should be buggy), but don’t spend too much time perfecting the whole thing. You’ll essentially be burning your budget.

The whole point of an MVP is to get as much learning with as little effort as possible. (Hence the name.)

Or, you could call us

And we could do it together. At DeSmart, we run client workshops where we define the requirements and goal for your MVP, and then build it to test our hypotheses. It’s like a lab version of MVP building, leading us to what we’re after – user insights and feedback we can take to build the final product. Here’s what it might look like:

  • Discovery. We’re clearly defining your business assumptions and your customers’ needs and pain points.
  • Sketching. We put all the ideas down and outline the features that will help your product answer your target audience’s needs.
  • Ideation. We brainstorm. Come up with more ideas and evaluate them as we go. 
  • Prototyping. We’re bringing the ideas and features to life and build a prototype we can test.
  • Testing. And getting feedback from end-users, which is the whole point of an MVP.

Why even build an MVP?

The above should pretty much answer that question. But for the record, let’s list the benefits again:

  • You save time. You don’t have to go through a lengthy (and costly) development project to see if what you assumed was correct.
  • You save money. Your MVP will be much cheaper than a complete product – and you’re not burning your budget building something that might fail in the end.
  • You’re marketing right from the start. This is something many businesses forget at the early stages. Testing your MVP with your target users will give you invaluable insights while you’re actually acquiring early adopters for your product and not launching with a clean slate (meaning a non-existing customer base.)
  • The latter also means it’ll be easier to get stakeholder or investor buy-in. You can actually show a working product with validated hypotheses and market demand – and not just what you think will happen. 
  • You’re learning in the process – and when it comes to the market-ready product, you’re way ahead than you would be without the MVP stage.

Ready to build your MVP?

Drop us a line here, and let’s talk about how we can go about it.

Contact Us

Let's talk about how we can bring your ideas to life together!