You have just completed the first 6 steps to building an MVP (minimum viable product). This means that you and your team should by now have a design prototype. Now, it’s time to take your MVP into the development stage.
You know what you want, you already know how your product should look like. But now it’s time to begin that crossover phase from design to development. This is where all the fun (and hard work) lays: in converting your ideas and design into features of your product.
Start with a feature that solves one problem and move forward into solving additional problems for your customers.
To understand this even better, let’s take a close look at Airbnb:
In late 2007 Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia had one single problem to solve: they needed help paying their rent. Having some extra space in their apartment living room they thought — maybe a few people would be willing to pay to stay with them.
There was a first problem that helped them see and recognize the existence of the second problem: In San Francisco, a city hosting frequent conferences. It was difficult and almost impossible to find a hotel room, and conference attendees needed a place to stay.
They created a website for people looking for a place to stay when attending a conference in San Francisco with one product assumption: strangers will pay to stay in your house.
The AirBed & Breakfast MVP consisted of air mattresses in their living room, free wifi, free breakfast, the promise of unique networking experience with like-minded people and a well-targeted demographic: tech conference attendees at a single sold-out conference.
Moving back, even when choosing the features for your product, it might get hard to determine exactly which features will deliver the best value to your initial users. Remember the goals that you set when building an MVP and only choose those features that align with the end goal.
It’s a good thing to start with as fewer features as possible. At this stage, your development and design team can bring great input and guide you on what features that could help you collect the feedback you need in your testing phase.
It’s not that hard. If you did your homework you know your audience and solving their problems should come naturally.
Let’s start digging into this topic with one simple question:
Are potential customers willing to lose quality just because it is a simple test?
Users are accustomed to a minimum of quality and they expect that of all products. You must be willing to walk the extra mile when developing the features of your product.
We’ll give you a twist of approach!
A while ago, the only thing we had in mind when building an MVP was that the product was functional enough. If the user could run at least 2–3 things perfectly, you had your well working MVP ready to go out in the world.
Things have changed. Your end customer understands more, knows more and expects more even from an MVP. So you have to provide a better experience: features, speed, fluidity, and design. This is the essential starting kit to compete with other products in your industry in the niche.
While building an MVP, keep in mind that a lot of people might like your product (which is awesome). But there is a huge difference between them and the ones that would pay for your product.
When testing your MVP, ask people if they would be willing to sell a certain amount of money in exchange for the features your product offers. If they are not, gather feedback, find what would they pay for and tweak your product. Analyze, fix and deploy again.
This one topic defines the quality of your end minimal viable product in every possible form. So you need to be very careful when choosing your web app development agency.
Here are a few reasons why we think working with an agency is a great idea for your startup:
Think that you’ll need 6 different types of people to develop different parts of your MVP. As a startup, this can become very expensive. An agency’s team will always have all the resources needed to deliver the MVP that you want.
You are not the only founder they have had been working with. They know people, know stories and their hands have touched a considerable number of products. If you select an agency with a track record of building an MVP for startups, they will have a wealth of relevant knowledge and experience to bring to the project that you wouldn’t necessarily get from hiring a developer (or team of developers).
They will care about your success, because building a powerful product is their main interest, so they will make you their main priority.
You don’t have to manage the team, so you can put all your efforts into developing the business and providing constant feedback — it’s important.
One of the hidden gems of working with an agency is the fact that their team is, in most cases a powerful team. Simply because they already know each other, they know their strengths and weaknesses and know how to complete their skills as a team. This is one vital thing you’re going to strive hard to achieve from your team of freelancers. In most cases, they won't even know each other, so it becomes almost impossible to form them as a team, or it’s going to take you a while. The way a team communicates with their own members will directly reflect in the end result of your app.
While building an MVP a lot of people might get excited about your product (which is great). But, keep in mind that there is a huge difference between them and those who are actually paying for it.
One last tip: when testing your MVP, ask people if they would be willing to give a certain amount of money in exchange for the features your product offers. If they are not, gather feedback, find what would they pay for and tweak your product. Analyze, fix and deploy again. There's no shortcut!
If you'd like to read more about building your MVP, here is an article we recommend you start with.
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