What is MVP? Understanding the Essence of MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
An MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is always the first version of a product with only the “core and most useful features” meant for early adaptors. MVP Development is low cost, low risk, quick and it works!The term MVP (Minimum Viable Product) was first coined by Frank Robinson (Founder of SyncDev) back in 2001, however it was popularized into the masses through the works of Eric Ries through his works especially the book Lean Startup which is a go-to book for all modern day Entrepreneurs, and also by Steve Blank.
Common Myths around Minimum Viable Products: An MVP is often confused with a Prototype, Proof of Concept, Test Product, and even with wireframes or Blueprint, and that is a wrong understanding. An MVP is a commercial product that users can actually use (and often pay for) and is not at all an “Prototype or Proof of concept” for internal testing.
What makes a product an MVP?
It is important to understand that an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is a relative term and not absolute. An MVP of a bigger product (Say MVP of Dropbox) can be a full product in itself of a smaller product vision.
1. An MVP is a smaller and quickly developed version of a potentially bigger software product idea.
2. An MVP is the version of your software product that should be created and launched within 3 to 6 months.
3. An MVP is not a “Proof of Concept” for testing, it’s a working product that is launched in the market in front of real users.
4. An MVP can be both paid or free product. In the current world, it is often times Freemium i.e you use it for free for a limited time and limited features and then pay for the full features.
MVP (Minimum Viable Product) Examples from the Real World?
Both theoretically and practically almost all big software products and Apps you use today were once MVPs (Except a few examples of good old office tools from giant software publishers, lol). But let’s take up some recent and well known examples:
Whatsapp Messenger was a pretty lean MVP when it was first launched and it only had a mechanism to send messages and invite others and few more essential features. And now, it lets you do group calls, put status, create groups, communities, exchange money and what not.
Your beloved Facebook was an MVP made inside a college campus that just had a good UI, user’s database, ability to send connections and write on the wall. It was a “bigger size” MVP though but compare that with the features that you see on a “Grown Up” Facebook, you’ll call the earlier version as the MVP.
Airbnb was an MVP not on the software side but also on the operations side as the founders used their own apartment to test the concept. As per my understanding, Airbnb is the most excellent example of an MVP in recent times.
Big apps like Instagram, Youtube, Dropbox were all very-very lean versions of their current selves when they were just an MVP.
The lesson here: Be very thoughtful, pragmatic, visionary and research oriented when identifying your MVP Minimum Viable product, for it is what is going to stay for a long time when you see the success!
MVP Development Cost: How much does it cost to build an MVP?
A really important and most commonly asked question is How much does it cost to build an MVP App? The normal answer to MVP Development cost would be- it depends! However, after working on plenty of MVP products over the last decade, we’ve found some kind of range for the MVP development and we are happy to share that with you as follows:
An MVP should be build inside 3 months (using 1 developer team) to 6 months (with 2 developer team). As per our costing standards, this means between $ 9000 to $ 18000. Time * Engineer skills are the major MVP Development cost factors here.
A complex MVP where you are creating a unique tech feature (which may not have been done before) will cost more as you’ll do that as follows –
You create the Proof of concept at first, and that can cost from $ 5000 to anything. Just to give you an example – we recently started working on a PoC project where we needed to capture and study the “speech pattern” of a particular user group and then to achieve the capabilities to identify different speech patterns technologically.
Difference between MVP and MLP?
An MLP stands for Minimum Loveable Product and there is no set definition for this. However, an MLP is little more than an MVP where the approach is: The customer not only accepts the MVP but also falls in love with that. Pretty much the same thing, however, the additional love makes it what? Well, a more loveable product! 🙂