Creating a complex application is not as easy as it seems. It requires time, effort and experience. The worst part about it is that you don't know if it will actually work. It can be very risky, overwhelming and stressful.
Our clients often have concerns and ask the following questions:
- Is this software feature really needed?
- How do I know if it's really worth it?
It is worth noting that they are not the only ones. In IT-solve also gets similar questions if we're trying to build something big. They are natural and justified - you cannot be afraid of them.
Unfortunately, in many cases, the above doubts can make them stop you from realizing and creating your own application.
However, if there was a better way to resolve this problem? What if you could reduce the complexity, reduce the time and effort you have to put in, and make sure that your efforts are not in waste? Well, there is a concept that can help you do that. It's called MVP. So let's dive in and see what MVP really is and how it can be useful for you.
MVP - what is it?
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product.
It is widely used in the software world, especially among startups that are building complex digital products and want to optimize their time and financial resources.
The idea behind it is very simple - you create a simplified version of the product (in our case, software) you have in mind.
This "slimmed down" version should have only the main features of the final product, leaving out the extra ones.
When is it a good idea to use an MVP practice?
Let's take a closer look at the following example to understand the practical side of MVP.
Michal is an internet marketer and decided that he would create a mobile application to share his training courses with his subscribers. In addition, for each completed course Michal wants to assign his students points that they can exchange for discount coupons to buy physical products such as books, as well as certificates with Michal's unique signature.
There are two paths that Michael can take.
The first one is to commission a software house to build the entire web application and then put it online and wait for the first customers.
The second path that Michał can take is to determine with the help of software house the target group and its needs e.g. with the help of Discovery workshops, to create a prototype in cooperation with Product Design team and then to prepare a web application with only basic functions and to check if the idea is worth further development.
Let's assume he doesn't have extensive technical knowledge or coding experience, so what path should he take?
He may take the first route, but surely in business terms this will be a well thought out solution? Exactly. It may turn out that people are willing to buy courses, but not physical products. What then? This reveals a big problem, because basically Michael has wasted a disproportionate amount of his resources to build something that people don't want to pay for.
If he chooses the second path he has a chance by working with an experienced design team to determine the real needs of his clients and choose only those that are really needed to begin with. This will save his the time and money needed to create a web app and features that were not valuable to his clients.
The example I cited is a great lesson for you to learn from.
This is why you should follow an MVP strategy. When you have a complex application idea in your head that you're not sure will work, and you want to optimize your time and monetary resources while reducing the risk of failure, then Minimal Viable Product is for you.
If you have a similar conundrum as Michael, I strongly encourage you to consider this approach, and if you have no idea how you can do it, please email us.
Advantages of Minimal Viable Product - MVP
Now that you know when you should use an MVP strategy, let me walk you through the main advantages of creating an MVP.
Considering that every mobile app or web app is different, the benefits of using an MVP may also differ from one another.
However, there are some rules that are universal for all (or at least the vast majority) of applications.
Validation your idea
The first advantage I would like to mention is the validation of your idea. As you probably know, the brilliant idea you have in your head will not always work. You need to test it to see if your potential customers will find it valuable enough to pay for it.
This is why you don't want to create a complicated web or mobile app that will take a lot of time, because it won't allow you to quickly validate your idea.
On the other hand, you can run the MVP version much faster, sometimes even within a few weeks.
Reducing expenses is a priority for any business, especially if it's in the startup phase.
One of the best ways to save some money is to try to build a smaller equivalent of the official version.
Building an application MVP will be cheaper (and in many cases much cheaper) than building a complex and challenging project. If you're curious how much it might cost to build your MVP, contact us and we'll price the project specifically for you.
Starting with an MVP is a great way to make your web or mobile app more scalable to build new features.
Once you have the main features in place and have gathered feedback from your customers, it will be much easier for you to predict what additions you need to make to your app.
Conversely, if you have built a large "monster" with many pieces of functionality that are useless to your customers, it will be much more difficult and expensive to add new functionality.
And that's because unnecessary features may cause conflicts or will need to be removed altogether.
This will result in more time for your developer and lead to higher costs.
Risk reduction is probably the most important benefit, which includes all the other benefits I listed above.
By building an MVP, you will be able to start "from scratch" and not waste time and money that could end up hurting your business.
You will be able to validate your idea earlier with fewer resources required and modify or even abandon it as needed without much loss.
Already understand why you should create an MVP?
In conclusion, the concept of MVP is not at all as difficult as it might seem. At IT-solve, MVP development of mobile and web applications is a daily occurrence, so if you need help in this aspect, please contact us. We will be more than happy to help you.
This will keep you one step ahead of the competition, as you won't be blindsided during your project, and by using best practices developed by professionals, you will make sure that your project is successful.