The idea of a Minimum Viable Product is fundamental to agile development. It refers to a product with basic yet useful features developed for market testing. The less functionality a product has, the more easily your team can split its focus into different aspects of the business and the more quickly you can respond to shifts in the market.

An MVP project is more than just a concept; it's a fully functional product if developed properly. Compared to the final app, an MVP could need more features and be comprehensive in terms of functionality. Therefore, choosing the best collection of features for a Minimum Viable Product isn't something that can be done on the go. It requires investigation and careful planning.

This article will walk you through the concept of Minimum Viable Product, some prominent examples of MVP, and more. Let's get started!

What is a Minimum Viable Product?

The term "Minimum Viable Product," or MVP, refers to a product development method where a new product is launched to the market with minimal functionalities. And final product release can only happen once an adequate customer input has been collected. In simple words, MVP refers to the simplest possible form of a product that a company plans to sell to consumers - be it a physical, or a digital one. 

Businesses seek to evaluate the interest of potential customers by releasing a stripped-down version first. This way, they can not only improve the quality of the final product before the final release, but learn where the product is lacking and where the MVP idea’s potential strengths and shortcomings are.

There are three main characteristics of MVP. The first is that it will have sufficient functionality to entice customers to buy the product, and the second is that it will have a feedback system whereby customers can share their thoughts on the product. Lastly, the product also needs to have enough potential future benefits to entice early adopters among consumers.

Successful MVP Minimum Viable Product Examples

Do you want to see how this approach would work in practice? Let's look at how some well-known companies have introduced their Minimum Viable Products (MVPs):

  • Airbnb

When people think of MVPs, they often think of Airbnb. It was clear to the company's founders that they were onto something terrific, but they wanted absolute certainty before risking their fortune. They tested this theory by leasing out one of their own apartments; after creating a primitive website to advertise the unit, they rapidly found a tenant. They were able to use this information and refine their MVP software into something that’s currently a giant among rental marketplaces.

  • Foursquare

Foursquare, a social network based on users' locations, began as a simple check-in system with ramified badges as its only MVP software feature. Once a growing user base proved the idea, the Foursquare development team began adding recommendations, city tours, and other services.

  • Facebook

Another well-known example of a Minimum Viable Product is Facebook. The MVP software development team started by making a basic product that helped students meet new individuals on campus. Its usefulness to customers was validated, and the company began iterative development to refine the product based on user feedback.

  • Uber

Similarly, Uber is a great example of an invention that started with a Minimal Viable Product. One night, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, who would later begin Uber, could not hail a cab. They decided to create a system that allows personal drivers to be booked through mobile devices. However, their product now is vastly different from the one they began with. Their first prototype just established communication between riders and available limo drivers.

Check out our Uber case study – creating an interactive experience for Don't Drive High campaign.
  • Virgin Atlantic

MVPs aren't something that only applies to app and software development. They also see service in creating a wide variety of other products. Once upon a time, the only foreign route that Virgin Airlines offered was from London Gatwick to Newark in the United States. After establishing a market for the product and improving it based on user feedback, the company decided to roll out the product to more distribution channels.

Benefits of Building a Minimal Viable Product

  • Focusing on Basic Functionalities

With the help of the MVP technique, you can focus on your product's most important features and functions. It's a great way to put your business idea to the test with minimal investment of time and money. Before releasing their product to the public, most product managers include unnecessary features. And when you add a lot of features, it's simple to get distracted from your original goal.

  • Vision with Absolute Clarity

As you begin developing your product, it is important to document the features and benefits that will appeal to your target audience the most. After you have completed a checklist, distribute it to the whole team working on the product. Keeping a big picture in mind will help you stay focused and make better choices over time.

  • Initial Client Relationship Formation

For a successful business, timing is everything. It's useful for getting early input from potential consumers and other stakeholders. Your product's early adopters' feedback and word-of-mouth advertising will be invaluable. What else is better to do than ensure that your product is focused solely on its target audience?

  • Improved Awareness of what the Customers Expect

Collecting data and conducting in-depth research into your intended market cannot be overstated. The insights of early adopters are more useful than the most educated guesses of corporate analytics or seasoned advisors. The more quickly a customer can start testing the product, the better it will turn out to be. Those that use your product will provide you feedback on what they like, don't like, and would like to see in future updates.

  • Clear User Interface

Using the Minimum Viable Product strategy, you may avoid loading your first release with unnecessary bells and whistles. Therefore, the product will be intuitive, facilitating its widespread dissemination. That's a great time to experiment with the various functions. You don't have to keep an eye on everything if you explore them individually.

  • Rapid Release

By focusing on the essential features, we can get the product to market much more quickly. For MVP, you’ll only need to test key hypotheses and collect customer feedback on core and desired features after releasing your initial product version. Pushing back the release date might result in creating unnecessary features and spending more time and money fixing bugs. And, in the meantime, someone else will be able to release a similar app before you do. 

  • Ability to Adapt and Evolve With Time

Consequently, developing a Minimum Viable Product allows you to adapt quickly to the changing demands of today's hyper-competitive market. Using a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) strategy leaves room for iteration and adding features that end users really want. In addition, as better technology and resources emerge, you can incorporate them into your offering. Maintaining the product's currency in a crowded marketplace is made easier with this strategy.

  • Building with Minimal Risks

It's crucial to remember that sophisticated apps take a long time and a lot of resources to develop. And what if your idea won’t bring enough revenue? All the best-known software packages began simple but gradually added more advanced and expensive features as time passed - just to be safe. Websites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Spotify, Airbnb, Uber, Zappos, Dropbox, and others all started as Minimum Viable Products.

MVP’s Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

It has been seen that various business owners make the common mistake that they are much more worried about the product's functioning rather than focusing on learning from customer feedback. Doing this is the wrong as with too many features, you risk overspending and delaying the delivery. 

Another typical error is taking too much time to construct a MVP (Minimum Viable Product). This is inefficient since it again prevents us from getting timely customer feedback. Making something simple that can potentially work is preferable to making something complicated that won’t work at all.

Getting to marketing without spending a fortune is of the utmost importance. As an illustration, suppose you want to build an MVP product for your business idea and employ your in-house team of designers, developers, and project managers. This may be one of the high-pricey ways to determine if consumers desire your goods.

Instead, you could work with a credible digital product studio to develop the bare minimum of a solution to test your hypothesis with paying consumers. Instead of coming up with a flawless product, focus on what you can accomplish to get something into the hands of the test audience right now,  and learn from them.

Final Verdict

When a business wants to test the viability of a new idea, it makes perfect sense to create a Minimum Viable Product. Doing so helps prevent spending resources on developing and perfecting a product in which no one is actually interested. 

Businesses can also use user feedback gleaned through MVP usage to determine the best course of action for further product development. It should be guided more by actual customer feedback than by the company's assumptions about customers' desires.

Here at Apptension, we can assist you in creating your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) by determining the sequence in which your project's features should be implemented, as well as help building the desired feature set. In case you require professional advice, don't hesitate to get in touch with us.

Check out our MVP development case study for healthcare industry.