Statistics show that only one of ten startups becomes successful. Launching a new product onto the market is always risky. Numerous approaches exist to reduce the risks associated with software development, and MVP is the most widely used one. Despite its aim to optimize the process and validate the idea, many startups collapse at this stage. Let’s find out more about the common mistakes of MVP development and how to avoid them.
What is a Minimum Viable Product?
First, let’s clarify what an MVP is because this concept can be interpreted differently. An MVP is an early product version that encompasses only the core functionality and aims to draw attention to the target audience and validate the software idea. It plays a significant role in developing successful and profitable solutions that perfectly fit the market and user needs.
Why is it important to create an MVP?
If you build a product from scratch, it is hard to understand why it hasn’t succeeded in the market. In brief, here are the advantages of an MVP approach:
- validate the idea in the early stages and modify it according to the received user feedback;
- find target users and build a portrait of the intended audience
- optimize time and other resources by making more informed decisions
However, creating an MVP is not a piece of cake. If you are weighing your options between MVP vs PoC vs prototype, this article will help you make the right choice (for more details on the difference between minimum viable product, proof of concept and prototype, read the article on the keyua.org).
Common mistakes when developing MVP to be avoided
It is essential to pay attention to the following points to create a successful MVP.
#1 It is not a complete product
This is one of the most frequent mistakes when building an MVP. The essence of the MVP approach is to include only the must-have functionality. If you overload it with features, the development process will take too much time and effort. The optimal timeframe for MVP delivery is 2-3 months, depending on your project size. If your product exceeds it, it’s time to think about changing your approach. Ensure your MVP doesn’t include any huge tasks, and your team’s workload isn’t overwhelmed. The features should not require more than 5 days to complete.
#2 Don’t overdo reducing it
The opposite extreme is to strive for minimalism and reduce the features. It often results in choosing the wrong features that aren’t meaningful to the users, so they can’t understand the whole ideal and give relevant feedback. Developing such an MVP is pointless.
#3 Conduct market analysis first
One of the key reasons why startups fail is that there is no market demand. Dedicate your resources to thorough market research before you start the development itself. Creating a portrait of your target audience is essential to validate your idea. Also, research the similar products that already exist and find out how yours can outweigh them with benefits. Being too confident that your idea will pass this test might lead to wasting your resources.
#4 Select a reliable developer team
Choosing an inexperienced and unskilled developer team is a waste of your resources. Make sure the development company has enough expertise in startup software development. Check out their portfolio to know what to expect. Pay attention to how your team can cope with deadlines as the MVP development should be a fast-paced process. Make sure the team analyzes the received feedback in detail and offers the optimal technical solutions.
#5 Don’t neglect user feedback
Focusing on analytics is an integral part of effective MVP development. Improving the final product depends on the opinion of target users. If you ignore the user feedback, there is no point in developing a minimum viable product. The more feedback you receive, the more value it has for analysis. MVP is about tailoring the startup software product to seamlessly integrate with the industry and user needs.
#6 Launching to a big audience
This mistake is not so obvious, but still, many companies make it when they build a minimum viable product targeted at a wide audience. The users may be disappointed with this version because it isn’t enough for them. Keep in mind that they take an MVP as a final product and don’t understand its specifics. They will just think that your startup software isn’t good enough. An MVP needs to be a balance between user satisfaction and fast time-to-market. You need to find a middle ground between these two critical factors.
Building and launching a successful MVP is not an easy process. Although it is meant to simplify and streamline the whole development lifecycle, it becomes a challenge for most startups. We hope that our article gave you more insight into how to avoid pitfalls when creating an MVP. We wish you good luck in creating your successful startup.