How to create a Minimum Viable Product in 2023 + 8 examples of MVPs
Minimum Viable Product (MVP), refers to the absolute minimum features required to test the riskiest assumptions. Apexive is an MVP mobile and web application development company that will help you to build, design, and launch your product for early users.
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Here is a bitter truth: almost 90% of startups fail and do not even reach the breakeven point.
Of course, a brilliant, world-changing idea is a critical part of a start-up, but the right methodology is the key to early success. It’s very important to understand whether you have a chance to succeed at the beginning of the journey. Being a startup founder myself, I faced this challenge in real life.
In this article I will talk about:
- What is MVP and why nowadays it’s not useful anymore?
- MAP is the new normal
- What are the common practices for creating MAP
- Known MVPs case study
Let’s dive into it!
What are MVP, MMP, and MAP, and why do I need them in my startup?
The MVP approach has become an integral part of the startup world. It was popularized by Eric Ries in his book: The Lean Startup (Side note: if you’ve never heard of MVP, this would be a good place to start)
An MVP, as defined by Michael Seibel, Y Combinator CEO, allows one to:
"Hold the problem you're solving tightly, hold the customer tightly, [and] hold the solution you're building loosely.”
Simply put, an MVP is the basic and launchable version of a product that contains a limited but must-have set of features of that product. It allows us to quickly launch and test the product and most important - collect useful insights from the customers.
Sometimes startups tend to approach MVP as a temporary solution. But as known "Nothing more permanent than a temporary solution" quote by Milton Friedman.
But as I mentioned above, MVP is not what nowadays customers want to see. People are used to good design, working apps without bugs, etc. So they are kind of expecting the same level even from new startups.
On the other hand, MAP or Minimum Awesome Product is the final iteration of your lean product. It is another prominent concept of the Lean Development Methodology and can be an excellent choice for testing your product hypothesis.
Since MVP offered only the minimal version of an application, the modern-day tech-savvy users wanted something more - more features, fancy UI, better animations, etc. And this is what leads to the evolution of MAP. A Minimum Awesome Product prevents your MVP from being too “less” or minimal. It provides an appealing application/ website with more images, videos, a better interface, fancy animations and effects. In short, it offers them an “awesome” preview of your final product that they can test and review.
While MAP has more features than an MVP, the latest technologies allow you to develop it without increasing the time of development.
Another concept in the Lean Development methodology is MMP. While MVP helps you test your assumptions, MMP or Minimum Marketable Product enables you to take the process further. An MMP is the first “real” version of your product which is close to the full-fledged version you plan on offering your users. It contains the minimum but all the necessary features that satisfy your users' needs.
Now that we have talked about the basics, the main question arises: How can I actually create a MAP? Keep reading to find out!
How to create a Minimum Viable / Amazing Product?
1. It all starts with assumptions - what exactly would you like to achieve with this app?
The stages for MVP development are more or less the same as for standard software development but have tougher deadlines and goals. The MVP approach speeds up the launch since only key functionalities are required to get target customers’ feedback. We cover main stages below.
1. Understand your users and market trends
First, identify the problem you are going to solve and the assumptions you want to test. Think about potential direct and indirect competitors and how this problem is currently being solved.
Talking to your (future) users is crucial! You have to understand the language they use to speak about their problems. Learn how to conduct market research.
2. Work on the user stories
After initial market research and understanding who your main customer is, you should start with making a list of the features. From the agile perspective, crafting user stories is the best approach. According to the Atlassian blog, “a user story is an informal, general explanation of a software feature written from the perspective of the end-user.”
Usually, they are structured as follows:
“As a [persona], I [want to], [so that].”
Next, take a critical look at the list and identify the most critical features with the highest priorities for testing assumptions. Again, think as a user and consider what the user wants and what is no longer relevant. For example, in many cases, you don’t need automation or push notifications in the very first MVP.
3. UI/UX Design
Once user stories are crafted, the design part can be created. This usually takes up to 7 days for simple MVPs. While the UI/UX design is being created, your technical partner should set up the architecture and infrastructure. The frontend design should be started following the design completion.
4. Test & Pivot
Once the app is ready, internal alpha testing takes place. Later you can start testing with your beta users and collect feedback. Positive feedback will reinforce the need to build the full version of the product and guide you on what features you should focus on. On the other hand, negative feedback will allow you to make a pivot on time and no longer use resources on unneeded features.
At Apexive, we understand how important it is to not miss opportunities and launch quickly. We specialize in fast iterations and can deliver the very first version of MVP in 20 days.
This is confirmed in our customer review:
Apexive worked very well and had a quick turnaround time without compromising the quality of work.
Successful MVP apps list
Many of today's leaders in tech started with MVPs which were significantly redesigned and improved upon through real-time user feedback and market insights.
When the app was launched, it only provided one functionality. It allowed users to check in at various places and gave the users badges. The gamification element had a wow-effect which grew the user base.
2. Product Hunt
The founder of ProductHunt wanted to test his idea of developing a community for people who like to share new products & startups at lower costs. He decided to use for MVP a simple tool called Linkyding that created a group for link sharing amongst its members. Within 2 weeks he attracted more than 150 users which confirmed his assumption
The Tinder team sent Whitney Wolfe all over the country to pitch the idea to the chapters of sorority which enabled her to get many ladies to join the app. Then she headed to the corresponding brother fraternities to do the same. When the men joined Tinder they saw cute girls they already met.
Buffer, a successful app for scheduling social media posts, launched as a series of landing pages. . The first page just requested users to submit their email if they were interested in the pricing of the app. The second landing page asked people if they were interested in a free or paid option. Once they realised that the majority of the users selected paid plans, it was clear that Buffer was going to be successful.
“ It starts with the company’s purpose and values, which serve to attract and inspire the right team members. This leads to innovation and superior customer service, which then leads to improved market share and higher revenues, profits, and eventually shareholder value. ” Joel Gascoigne, Co-founder and CEO of Buffer
The Airbnb team decided to prove their assumptions through the use of an MVP. They did this by offering cheap accommodation during the San Francisco Design conference. This information was posted on a simple landing page. The need for a service like Airbnb was overwhelming so users latched on to the site immediately.
Although it's not commonly known, Amazon started as an online bookstore whereby the founder, Jeff Bezos would receive orders and ship them himself.
Uber’s first draft (then called “UberCab”) started as a mobile app solely used by the founders and their friends. Users needed to request access from the founders to join the app.
When Netflix first started, they were not the Netflix you know and love. Netflix’s MVP operated on a model whereby movies were sent by mail, not online.
Github launched a free private beta for the founder’s friends as a part of the “Just Ship It” philosophy. This concept uncovered hidden potential and gave a better understanding of how people engage with the product.
Minimum Viable Product development is the initial step to understanding the market fit for your startup. It requires a clear scope of the requirements, minimum design iterations and quick development. With lower time costs, you will be able to launch the product and collect customer feedback.
At Apexive we have solid experience in creating MVPs for start-ups in a very short time. Schedule a short call to find out more.