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Natalya Brinza Project Manager
artjoker blog your guide for reaching success
in the online-business

Developing an MVP for Successful Startup

A really important moment stands at the Seed stage of startup lifecycle - creating an MVP or minimum viable product. You won’t be able progress without this moment. You won’t even be able to move on. In this article, I’ll guide you through making your startup successful with the help of MVP.

What is an MVP?

Minimum viable product, prototype, MVP, or even sample - it makes no difference: "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

For better understanding of the sense of MVP, you should imagine human evolution. Look carefully at that simian Australopithecus; it is an MVP in the process of man’s creation. It does not have a lot of functions, but it allows you to take primitive actions and demonstrates the full potential of the future product.

Also, an MVP helps you gather information about a client: what are his likes and dislikes, what he uses and what he wants.

What do we need an MVP for?

It is obvious that for you, as per the mastermind of the startup, you have a genius idea a that could be successful in the market. It is natural, but it is also an Utopia. You can have the same opinion and build castles in the air about the future popularity of your product or you can take cue from me. Here they are: you have no warranties that your startup will blossom, except one - an MVP. Nobody wants to believe in just an idea; people need that look-and-feel thing. They might want to grab your product or to poke it, or just to see it. Then they may like it. An MVP guarantees you a placid conscience. Because you realised your idea, people have something to look-and-feel and most importantly you have the result with almost no money wasted.

So, how can I develop an MVP to make my startup successful?

For better understanding, here are some pieces of advice in groups:

1 Market research

You need to solve clients’ pain points. Your app (or whatever your product is) needs to solve at least one problem of your target audience. Let’s remember the example of Uber that solves not one but actually two problems: drivers do not have regular orders and salary and clients do not have reliable taxi service. It is the secret of Uber’s success - finding pain points and solving them. Of course, your startup shouldn’t be as global as this app has now become, but Uber started just in San-Francisco area, and has gone so far.

You need to stand out in the market. Find some features that no one has. Your competitors sell pizza 5 days per week, so you can work the whole week. Look for something special that will make people prefer you to somebody else.

Developing an MVP

To accomplish these tasks you need to have permanent communication with your target audience. Interviews, polls, quizzes, etc., are different ways to interact with people (by the way, it is better to collect data from strangers than from friends or family).

While communicating you should be very attentive because men lie not only to each other but to themselves.

And do not forget that any ideas, even the weirdest ones, have the right to exist because they can turn out into something great!

2 Careful planning

By the scheme of Startup lifecycle that I explained in this article, at the stage of MVP, create a team and expand the developers. Usually, the team consist of 3-5 members, depending on the size and complexity of the project. Among them should be a high-skilled team leader that, with your help, can answer these questions:

  • which features of the product certainly need to be included in an MVP, and which ones would be better to save till the release of the product?
  • which features guarantee orientation to the target audience?
  • what can help not just highlight among competitors but top them all?

Remember that the main aim of your product at any stage is to solve pain points. Only then will you have a demand and success.

3 “Agile” development

The creation of MVP usually doesn’t take so much time as the full product does, but this process has its issues.

  • cycle and analysis

Because of the fact that an MVP is created for better understanding of the product demand, its process is circular: idea - prototype - market data - analysis - improvement and again from the beginning.

That’s why, if there is a demand at the market, an MVP will exist till the moment of its total improvement so it can be called maximum viable product and clients are satisfied.

  • Agile methodology

Developing an MVP using traditional methodologies like Waterfall is to knowingly destine it for failure because their main principles are linearity and completing tasks one after another without the possibility of rollback. An MVP demands constant return to the beginning for bug fixing.

develop an MVP

The best way here is to use Agile methodologies like Scrum or Kanban. We created the Artjoker Method, which is perfect for MVP development.

First stage of Artjoker method is circular work by Scrum. And that is exactly what you need. After each sprint, you have a working functionality that is ready to enter the market. Each time the product improves and adapts to the customer or consumer preferences. And when you manage to finally create it with the maximum value and the minimum functions, we can say that you have successfully completed the MVP creation process.

And the last but not the least. I’ll give you a few more pieces of advice.

Never underestimate the power of a good MVP. A lot of startups succeeded just because they made the right use of an MVP. Let’s remember Dropbox, for example. Those guys made only one video that visualised their idea. People saw where their money would go if they buy the product, and they thought Dropbox is worth the money.

Remember the cupcake method - you cannot release incomplete or low-quality product. Let your MVP not be the whole cake (and obviously not a layer), but a small and really delicious cupcake.

Don’t be afraid of talking about your idea. Nobody will bring it to life better than you, the creator. Otherwise, you can miss a great opportunity of creating an MVP and lose a lot of money.

Artjoker team can help turn your ideas into excellent results!

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