Design

Why Does Your Startup Need MVP

Business owners frequently have many hypotheses. However, they do not test them. They choose the one and spend the whole budget on developing it. Every hypothesis must be tested, and MVP helps to collect real data for that. Any startup should aim at scalability. Thus, innovative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking are necessary. But what these outstanding approaches might be? In fact, it can be anything available on the market: a product, a service, a feature, or even a business model. However, when it comes to generating innovative solutions, the question arises: how to introduce innovations quickly? In this case, a company should use MVP building.

"Every hypothesis must be tested, and MVP helps to collect real data for that."

Currently, the global startup economy has about $3 trillion in value. However, Covid-19 affected this area as well. The consumer demand is lower, which has a huge effect on most businesses. Just imagine: 4 out of 10 startups are on the capital runway. They are about to close if they do not raise additional money. 

However, the MVP practice could prevent this situation. If these startups started their activity by launching an MVP, they would understand what’s wrong with their products. According to CB Insights, there are almost 400 reasons for a startup to fail. The most popular of them are:

  • The market does not need your product

  • It doesn’t have enough budget

  • Its team does not suit the situation

  • The competition is too high

  • The set price for a product or service is low

This article explains how to avoid such problems and create a successful startup with the help of an MVP. Additionally, you will get useful tips and recommendations on how and when to create an MVP, use the results of an MPV, and understand that the idea is scalable.

We will exemplify the importance of a minimum viable product with our examples, and you will see how an MVP can change the lifespan of any startup.

What is MVP, and how does it help startups test their idea?

An MVP, or a minimum viable product, is a product with a limited number of functions. These functions must solve at least one problem of the customer.

"Important note: while creating an MVP, focus on your target audience. Otherwise, the results will not apply to your startup."

The MVP startup technique has been used by successful companies and businesses that want to save money, time and create products that are in high demand.

The primary meaning of a minimum viable product is that the product has only key functions. However, it is still interesting, fast, and useful for the customers. It can be used with the existing functions and satisfy clients with the delivered services. 

MVP helps to test the idea in the early stage and get feedback from the users. For example, if you have decided to launch a new social network where users can share music, you don’t need to work on the whole spectrum of functions. It will be enough to integrate with Apple Music or Spotify and start testing the idea. If it works, you can create your own libraries, work on purchasing albums, or creating mutual collections.

An MVP allows launching the product quickly, as you don’t need to spend time on development. Minimum viable product development is cost-effective: in fact, it aligns with the philosophy of a lean startup.

"In 2021, 71% of startups have reduced their expenses, for an average cost-cutting of 22%. With an MVP, cutting costs gets easier."

How exactly can you use MVP benefits for a startup? Here are three basic points:

  • It helps to understand your target audience

Are you sure you understand the demands of your TA? With an MVP, this will no longer be a question. You will get a perfect understanding of your target audience, what they need and expect from your product.

  • Results of MVP can help you improve existing features

During the process of development, the concept of your startup may change. It affects the features that you create as well. MVP is used to assess the features you already developed to understand what must be fixed.

  • You get ideas on what to do next

Even if you have the list of features to implement first, the results of MVP may change your plan. In many cases, you will need to brainstorm your team or use client feedback to develop new features that attract customers.

Why is it mandatory for the startup to start from MVP?

There’s no chance for a business to spend two years on product development in a world that changes so fast. The results are typically required here and now, and only an MVP can help with that.

These basic reasons to build a minimum viable product will help you understand whether you are ready to start app development now or still need to research.

Testing hypotheses with an MVP

Business owners frequently have many hypotheses. However, they do not test them. They choose the one and spend the whole budget on developing it. Every hypothesis must be tested, and MVP helps to collect real data for that.

Following market needs

According to CB Insights, 42% of startups fail because they do not pay attention to the market needs. They create low-demand products and expect prominent results.

"42% of startups fail because they do not pay attention to the market needs. They create low-demand products and expect prominent results."

An MVP helps to define the market demand, and in this way, to add or remove some features. It will help to reduce the chances for financial loss and cut the costs for development.

Attracting investments

There is one more thing that makes an MVP so important for startups. When you have a tested MVP, the investors and angels are more likely to pay attention to your product or service. The matter is that investors are not ready to pay for the idea. In many cases, they want to see the product before they invest money. With an MVP, you get more chances to attract investments.

"When you have a tested MVP, the investors and angels are more likely to pay attention to your product or service."

You’d better start with MVP if you have any hesitations regarding your product. In case your MVP fails, you will be able to re-focus your team’s efforts and use the money to create another MVP or fix this one.

How to build a Minimum Viable Product?

When you decide to build a minimum viable product, you have to know the processes behind it. Of course, the flow may change for projects, as the demands of the product and requirements of different businesses may be different.

Still, some steps are crucial for any process of MVP development for startups. Here’s how we see at Arounda.

Briefing

At this stage, we collect the requirements of the client. The brief contains all information that we can use further, for example, the vision of the product, its main goals and features. The most important message of a brief is business goals and key target segments of users.

UX research

During UX research, we define the target audience and conduct competitive analysis. It helps us to get a 360-degree view of the market. Later on, it will help us make decisions about the features, UI elements, interfaces, and other project elements.

We analyze the strong and weak sides of our direct and indirect competitors. This information serves as a background for further investigation: what features or functions users prefer, how to use them for our product, and other ways to use these features or functions.

Also, we use a competitive matrix to understand what makes their products different from others. We define their selling features that will help us with startup idea validation.

Forming user-journey map

To create an MVP that will work for your product, we create user-journey maps with certain goals, tasks, and steps. This information helps us to develop user and app flow. Additionally, we create user stories and scenarios. They guide us in making correct decisions about the features to add to the product.

In general, a user-journey map helps to revise all features that were planned to be created. We sort them, set priorities, delete or add features, and update sprints for the development.

Development of wireframes

The next step is the development of low fidelity and high fidelity wireframes. They help to set the hierarchy of information for the design. 

During this step, we may create clickable prototypes of the product. They allow checking the map of all screens, as well as transitions between screens. A clickable prototype helps to test the interface before the development process. Therefore it helps to save time and money in case the product requires some fixes. 

Usability testing

Any product must be tested before it is launched. We start the process of testing with Guerilla testing. We ask our respondents to provide us with feedback on a clickable prototype so we could fix possible issues.

UI and designing

When we have all information about user experience and business goals, we move to the UI stage. We create mood boards, design concepts, designs on screens. Also, we prepare style guides, adaptive versions of the product (if needed), and animation of interfaces.

Development

No matter what kind of product we are working on, Saas or mobile app, the development step helps bring all information together and prepare for a launch.

In some cases, the project may require several additional steps or vice versa: some may be omitted (like animating interfaces or creating clickable prototypes). We at Arounda prefer to discuss flow beforehand to make sure that both parties are satisfied with the process.

What's next after building an MVP and checking its scalability?

MVP is built, but it does not mean we can launch it. First, we need to test it. The testing process starts with inner texting performed by the team. Only after all fixes are deployed, beta testing starts.

For beta testing, we invite customers who use the product for 1-2 weeks. When beta testing is over, we collect feedback, statistics, and analytics. However, it is not over a year. As a rule, we conduct several iterations of A/B testing to get the product’s first version ready to be launched for users. When this version is ready, the product can be scaled.

Company experience: Habitlog case study

Design for Habitlog mobile app created by Arounda.

Startups and small businesses frequently plan an MVP as the starting point for their development. We support every client who wants to start with a minimum viable product and help them with the development.

Habitlog is one of the companies that used MVP for a launch and now uses it for scaling the business. This startup helps people to manage their time and habits. Therefore, users get focused on their primary goals and achieve better results.

Design for Habitlog mobile app created by Arounda.

To launch with success, we decided to start the project with MPV.

We followed all the steps and stages to create the product that customers can use and enjoy:

  • understanding product, its value, and business goals to formulate the result we want to achieve

  • conducting UX research. We conducted competitor analysis to define direct and indirect competitors’ strengths and weak points during this process. After all, we created user scenarios, user flow, app flow, wireframes, clickable prototypes, UI concept, style guide, animation of the interface, and other materials.

  • development itself – with the good preparation, engineering run smoothly.

  • we tested MVP before launch to make sure that everything is great with the product

  • after launching an app, we collected feedback to improve the app. As the additional features and functions were developed beforehand, the Habitlog is scaling rapidly.

Are you ready to create an MVP for your next project?

Any case study would prove: an MVP has a great effect on further scaling of the product. It helps prevent extra expenses on development, cut costs, and save energy for other projects if the market does not need this idea. For a business owner, it is vital to understand that launching a product requires analysis, research, and investigation. The market defines the demand, and if your product is in demand, it is successful.

"An MVP has a great effect on further scaling of the product."

We at will gladly help you test any idea and create an MVP that works. We will collect all necessary information about your market and competitors, discover the best features for your project, and and development costs. We will help you with a digital design strategy that will support the idea of your product.

Book a call with us or leave a message: we’re always here to help you with idea validation!

Vladislav Gavriluk
WRITTEN BY
Vladislav Gavriluk
CEO & Founder at Arounda
I make sure our clients get the high-quality result from the beginning stage of the idea discovery & strategy to the final digital product.
Vladislav Gavriluk
WRITTEN BY
Vladislav Gavriluk
CEO & Founder at Arounda
I make sure our clients get the high-quality result from the beginning stage of the idea discovery & strategy to the final digital product.
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