If you’re not all that familiar with software and product development, the acronym ‘MVP’ probably prompts images of game-winning touchdowns and high-flying slam dunks to appear in your mind’s eye. However, when it comes to creating mobile apps, MVP means something much different.
Instead of building an entire product from start to finish, many software and development companies start out with an MVP, or minimum viable product. The MVP is essentially a version of the project that requires very little resources to create, but allows the developer to gauge the target audience’s reaction to the product. This information can then be captured, measured, and used to create following iterations of the product, making sure that it’s as intuitive, valuable, and useful as possible. This is called ‘validated learning,’ and it’s an extremely important part of creating and launching a successful product.
Here are 4 methods that can be used to create and MVP:
This method of MVP creation is fairly simple. The smoke test MVP model involves little more than probing the market to see whether or not they’re interested in the idea of the product itself. It typically consists of a landing page, call to action, adwords campaign, and possibly an email campaign or survey. It takes very little time and resources to set up, but can be invaluable when it comes to gauging the target audience.
Video MVPs are popular on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Essentially, the inventors of a product put together a video that demonstrates their idea, what it would look like, what it would do, and who would benefit. The product itself might never actually be shown, but there are usually mockups, sketches, or diagrams that communicate the general concept. The goal is to generate interest, and in the case of crowdfunding, revenue to fund the project.
Interestingly enough, this is how Dropbox began.
This type of MVP involves using manual labor to simulate the function of a program or app to demonstrate its value and usefulness. For instance, if you wanted to create an app that would email people when a family member or loved one had a birthday, you might get a team of people to manually handle the emails while the actual app that would automate the process is being worked on. This provides your audience with a working, beneficial service while the project is being developed. If your market enjoys the service, it shows that the eventual result of a finished product will have value.
A prototype MVP model is essentially the process of releasing a working version of software to your market and gathering their thoughts and reactions. Because this version of the program or app is merely the bare-bones functionality, a prototype MVP can be quick to set up and gather a great deal of information from your users. Depending on how much work is done on the product before this initial release, it could be considered as an alpha test.
Contact FBombMedia and let us build your MVP
If you have a great idea for a mobile app, give us a shout! We can take care of the development, marketing, and MVP creation to help you gauge the market.