The core idea of this concept is to not overspend resources on the creation of a product without really knowing what the outcome will be. But, too often this approach pushes companies and startups to craft a really ugly and low quality product.

In reality, Minimum Valuable Products work and can sometimes do marvels. So, rather than assuming it doesn’t work, it’s better to ask yourself “Why Is It Not Working?”.

MVP has been a great way for companies to and startups to test a new product before officially launching it to the market. Although popularity has decreased and there’s a lot of noise around the subject, many of its core ideas are still valid.

The idea is to build something small, inexpensive and predictable that can still serve its purpose, hence, the name “Minimum Viable Product”.

By doing this, you can launch a product and test how real people use it and adopt it, while keeping the budget relatively low. It’s an excellent way of knowing your market and product’s potential without spending your resources.

What are the problems with Minimum Viable Product?

The concept itself is more beneficial than problematic. If it works, the company can move forward and use the collected data to improve it, if it doesn’t work, the company can stop investing any more time or effort on it.

More often than not, the problem is in the approach.

Even if your budget is low, launching an app with a complex user interface and incomplete functionality is a bad idea. People are interested in finding an easy solution for their problems and needs.

Even if your customers are aware that the app is still in development they expect you to at least provide them with an enjoyable experience and potentially address the issues they’re facing. It doesn’t matter if the product is still far from having complete functionality, it needs to have some (and you have to limit your claims to that functionality).

Most times functionality can be placed second to “customer satisfaction”. Your first launch could be only providing 5% of its full functionality but if people are satisfied, there are greater chances that the app will be a success.

In fact, some good examples of successful MVPs are Whatsapp, Twitter, and Google Docs. Originally they didn’t offer half of the functionality and features that they have today, however, they did a great job at correctly doing what they were supposed to do since the beginning.

Multi design of light bulb for creative innovation invention ide

The Real MVP Meaning

Simple and Incomplete are not the same. 

The key for success is to keep it simple, lovable and complete. Focus your efforts on the single problem that your product is supposed to solve and don’t waste time or effort adding unnecessary features if that means that it will be incomplete.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that you’ll get the best results when you focus on the outcome rather than the features. 

This is something that a lot of startups tend to forget when launching an app, but it is extremely important because It doesn’t matter how well the app looks and feels, if it doesn’t really make a positive impact on people’s lives it’s probably not worth the time. 

Or better seen from the customer’s perspective “Why would I use this app if instead of the one I already use?”.

Two fundamental requirements To Take It MVP

The MVP needs to fully address a need

No matter what’s your minimum, if your app solves a problem for its users and feels “complete” you will see much better results. Whatever functionality you include it must fully address that need, and even if you plan on adding more features in the future you should not make such claims to avoid conflicts.

It’s not about choosing two or three of the hundred features you want to include in your product and ship that. You just have to make sure that it’s main area does deliver the promised functionality.

Using an instant messaging app, for example. What you would want your MVP to be is a fully functional messaging app that looks and feels as good as if it was the final version (even if you are not able to add the video chat feature yet).

So instead of giving them just a half functioning app, they will have a fully functional app that will eventually grow and get more features.

Users Must Be Delighted With The MVP

Minimum Viable Product does not mean that you’re giving your customers trash. In fact, that thinking is what has driven so many companies to fail time after time. If you fail to delight your customer with a good product that offers value to their lives then you will fail at succeeding with that product. 

The pressure of releasing  a new product before someone else does or with the lowest possible budget can lead companies to make huge mistakes. Whether releasing a product with substandard quality that doesn’t come close to meeting people’s expectations or a functional product that is not intuitive and has a hard-to-use interface.

A bad experience for the customer means poor performance of your product’s release.

How To Make It Work?

This concept of making a fully functional MVP that is easy to use and has a great UI is sometimes referred to as EVP (Exceptional Viable Product). EVP might be seen as just impossible for some companies, and sometimes that is true. 

However, using the right tools and making the right choices make it more achievable than you might think. With the myriad of available tools and services you can actually make a beautifully designed and fully functional app with less time, effort and money.

Hybrid Mobile Apps (React Native or Ionic Framework) make it possible to do this with less resources and still get much better results. Instead of developing everything from scratch you can also use plugins and third party services to work on different features.

At the end, the resulting product is a mirror of one’s ability to manage the project.