How to Plan and Build Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? Step by Step Guide for 2022

New product launches can be very challenging. To reduce the risk, you can start by creating a minimum viable product. In 2008 the founders of Airbnb were unable to pay their rent. The couple decided to convert the living room into a bedroom with king-size beds. Once their house was sold, they started a simple website which offered their service via email.

How to build an MVP

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

How do you define an MVP?

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a product in the early stages that aims to align product visions & strategy with market demands. Most MVPs are designed to provide just enough functionality to attract first adopters and other innovative users.

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

That reason is to test out your ideas and hypotheses before launching a full-blown product to your audience. And not to createproduct 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.

  • It’s not your final product you’re launching to your customers (that should already be clear)
  • It’s not a beta version of your final product. (That’s, you know, a beta version.)
  • And it’s not exactly a prototype (though it may serve as one).

Okay, so what is it then?

It’s an experiment. An experiment in which you’re learning and validating your ideas. With just enough features to help you do that. And then use this knowledge to improve and change until you end up with a ready-made product. That’s now far more functional and tailored to your audience’s needs than it would’ve been if you’d just started building your actual product.

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

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

Purpose of an MVP

MVPs are intended for rapid and easy development based upon existing concepts, with a minimal budget. This method lets businesses collect user feedback on their product and use it in later iterations. Building an MVP requires finding a proper balance between what businesses can offer users and what they want. MVPs have a clear purpose: test the hypothesis that this particular software can solve a customer problem. MVPs help companies reduce errors in development processes.

What does an MVP mean in business?

An MVP refers to your initial step in developing the first viable version of your business. The concept is derived from Eric Reis’ book “The Lean Startup”, and the basic principle is relatively straightforward.

How do you do an MVP right?

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

  • Define your requirements and assumptions – as clearly as possible. The more specific you get, the more valuable things you’ll find out and the fewer misunderstandings later on.
  • You can test out all the risky assumptions you might have at this stage – that’s the whole point.
  • Set a goal you want to achieve with your MVP – and a metric you will measure it by.
  • Then create a hypothesis you’re going to be testing. It’s essential for an MVP.
  • Then build an MVP and test it. It doesn’t have to (or actually shouldn’t) be a full-blown, complicated product.
  • Eliminate bugs (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.

What is the MVP process?

An MVP is an experience that you rerun repeatedly: find the simplest possible experiment to test these hypotheses then use the test results in course correction. Creating a new product involves a lot of assumptions that need proving and verifying.

What is a good example of an MVP?

Amazon is an outstanding example of a minimal viable product. Jeff Bezos began launching a marketplace in the early 1990s as a bookshop. The site was the MVP for One Pager, and Bezos got a brainwave to sell on the Internet.

What does an MVP mean in design?

MVPs are a way of developing functional products to meet users’ needs on the market. Prototypes cannot fully function or become available for production.

Benefits of Minimum Viable Products

We can examine the benefits of the least possible development of an innovative product. User feedback can be a key factor in the development of a product. According to failure statistics, almost 123,300 companies close their doors a month. Experts say the problem is often because of the lack of market research and poor feedback from developers when creating MVPs. The major MVP advantages include the ability to monitor the user responses to their product. This will help determine whether the project is relevant to the market. Negative responses can be helpful in the prevention of subsequent errors.

Mistakes when building an MVP

Even with an MVP-based approach, it might fail to deliver desired results. How does the product development process work? How do I prevent the failures? Which are the most common? The MVP is limited in functionality but helps determine the necessary abilities to perform a task. Avoid trying to make the system perfect. Keep in mind that the excessive detail is only slowing the production of the test versions of the product. What do you think it costs to make a website and what it actually costs.

Or, you could call us

And we could do it together. At DeSmart, we run client workshops where we define the requirements and goals 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 use 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  main 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 building 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.

MVP goals

Building / Creating an MVP helps with important objectives: to demonstrate your product’s viability. Achieving success is learning to solve customer problems.For successful software development, a product should first and foremost involve users and help them resolve a prioritized question. A minimum viable product helps in finding the best fit between a product and its needs. This helps you to validate a hypothesis before launching a fully developed site. Using an MVP you can determine how many users desire to find the right solution and share positive feedback on the software and the results. Cut Development Time & Cost.

How much does it cost to build an MVP?

A startup MVP is usually around $20k. Of course, the costs associated with MVPs can vary depending upon the scope of work, team and contract types.

How much time does it take to build an MVP?

MVP building usually takes between threeand four months. It all depends on the features and complexity of the designs and the personnel involved in the process as well.

Successful examples of Minimum Viable Products

Most startups have at least one product. We’ll look at some famous examples. Uber One, a successful MVP example, has become Uber taxis. In 2010 it was created by UberCab which is an iPhone application allowing consumers to communicate with drivers. The beta version was in high demand and a year after the launch, a lot of money was spent on it. Wayback Machine, Youtube and Instagram show how quickly introduced changes were helpful to product ideas. And the changes resulted in well-regarded brands.

Common mistakes of MVP development

The process behind a successful MVP is very difficult. The most common mistakes entrepreneurs make are those resulting from the transformation of their brilliant business plans into successful applications. Each of these MVP mistakes can be addressed by suggesting a way to solve the problem.

Ready to build your MVP?

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

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