Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016
Are you jumping in head first or biting off more than you can chew? At Devshop, we work with all levels of business, from startup to enterprise level, and everything in between. Sometimes we are tasked with building an application for an existing business, but often the application is the business. In these cases, where the platform is so heavily intertwined with the business itself, the importance of a successful, streamlined application with the cleanest functionality out of the gate becomes even more relevant.
When we are approached by businesses in the idea formulation phase of development, we find that many platforms stand to benefit from building a MVP up front. We often recommend the MVP, or minimum viable product, route because it helps in determining the practicality of an idea is at its core. Creating an initial MVP does not mean releasing an unfinished product. Your MVP should still accomplish your main goals, but save the bells and whistles for V2. Coming from a non-tech background, one of the first things I learned working at a development shop was that a website or application is never really done. It's constantly evolving, developing, and pivoting based on the needs of the user and the goals of the business. Focusing on the main functions of your application as a starting point comes with a long list of benefits.
- Getting To Market Sooner
Competition is constantly present, so a business stands to benefit from any advantages possible. Being the first to market provides a leg up on the competition, gaining valuable recognition before similar apps are on the scene.
- Avoiding Overwhelming Users
A major hurdle in acquiring or converting users lies in their ability to grasp the concept of an app. Beyond designing UX with the user in mind, building an initial product that is simple enough for a user to easily understand can aid in overcoming this barrier.
- Getting Real User Feedback Before Adding Features
User feedback gets watered down when too many features are introduced, making it harder to draw conclusions about the core functionality of the application. Streamlining what components users are interacting with allows them to provide deeper insight into the overall concept, rather than being bogged down insignificant details.
- Avoids Wasted Time And Resources
A client who approaches us with an extensive list of features for their initial product will often be met with a longer timeline and a higher estimate to build it. Whether you're a startup or an enterprise level client, no one benefits by wasting time and money. Creating an initial MVP accomplishes the ultimate goal while saving man hours and cutting down on costs.
- No Product Is Ever Finished
We know you don't want to release an unfinished product to market, and neither do we. We would never recommend that. What we would advise is that no product is ever really complete, so if you are waiting until your application is finished you will never launch. Leaving room to grow once your application is in the hands of users ensures that you're are growing in the right direction.
- Lessens Chances For Bugs
Have you ever opened an application that unexpectedly quit on you in the middle of an action? Frustrating. We want to avoid that. Throwing everything but the kitchen sink in means less time devoted to core functions and a greater likelihood of having bugs within the application.
- Makes Implementing Changes As Simply As Possible
Venmo didn't start out seeking to be Venmo, and Uber offered a fraction of the benefits it does today. Features can always be added on, but changes can occur more quickly when you begin with a less complex product. You may be one easy pivot away from the next best thing, but going too far down a specific path with your initial product can deter any simple adjustments.
Building an MVP allows for easier analysis and adjustments, which will ultimately result in the best possible product. A MVP is a way to test a platforms business model with the least amount of complex features. While this is not a one size fits all method, considering creating an MVP initially has clear benefits that could ultimately mean the success of an application in the long run.
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