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How to Build MVP for Startup: From Product Idea to Project Success 

  • 18-19 min read
  • April 13, 2022
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (3 votes)

Starting your own business and launching a new project is an exciting and yet challenging experience. There are so many questions in your head and so many steps ahead. And you probably understand that to have even the most brilliant startup ideas and enough money in your pocket is not enough to achieve success and conquer your target market. 

You need a real guarantee that your actual product will meet market demand. And that’s exactly what MVP development is for. 

Minimum viable product development can become a game changer and help you avoid an incredible startup fail. Since our team is an expert in MVP development, we have decided to share with you our professional insights on how to build an MVP for your startup, what to expect from it, and where to start. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

The essence of minimum viable product 

To begin with, let’s define MVP. Basically, a minimum viable product it’s a basic version of a project that has core features and aims to solve the main pains of end users. Also thanks to MVP you can easily get instant feedback from the project users and consider some future alterations and new features. 

MVP app

The main value of a minimum viable product is that it allows you to enter the market really fast, validate business hypotheses and adjust further strategy and approach. For a startup it is essential to build a project fast without compromising its quality and to gain a target audience early on. 

Product development process usually requires a lot of time and solid investments, and not every startuper is ready to risk it all at once. It is way more reasonable to test out the idea, perform real market analysis and end up having a project that fits your business objectives. Watch the video below to understand the MVP concept better: 

MVP development can be fairly called one of the most cost effective ways to create a solid basic project that can be turned into a feature-rich and highly competitive solution with time. 

Good to know
For more information about MVP specificities and its alternatives, we highly recommend you to check out our expert blog post. It covers main cases when MVP is needed and describes two approaches known as MLP and riskiest assumption test.

Why startups invest in minimum viable products 

We have been observing the rise of startups for over a decade. And while some of them turned into successful businesses, others experienced a painful startup fail. 

Let’s take a project called Singulution, its owner invested $30,000 in its development right from the start and ended up closing the project. Why? Because the target audience was not engaged and their feedback was not collected and analyzed. 

It was supposed to be a popular digital tool for sales teams, and yet it turned out to be outrun by competitors. This is an unfortunate case of what can happen to a great idea if you don’t validate it first. 

To prove our point we explored different reliable sources and discovered that only a couple of years ago many startups (almost 90%) failed. And here is why it kept happening: 

why startups fail

As you can see the main reasons why startups fail is that they forget to complete market research to identify real needs, they run out of resources or choose the wrong timing. All these fail scenarios can be forgotten once and for all if you choose to invest in MVP first. 

MVP development can save you a lot of resources and minimize numerous risks. On top of that, MVP can be of use to huge startups that need to attract new investors and proceed with funding rounds to scale-up and build even more incredible and complex final product. 

Apart from that case, startuppers should seriously consider MVP development services because it will: 

  • help to make sure that the project resolves the problems it is supposed to;
  • attract early adopters and interested investors;
  • let you collect maximum amount of true opinions regarding the project usability, functionality and overall value;
  • save time, nerves and resources that could have been spent on a wrong business idea;
  • let you build the right marketing strategy to promote your future full fledged product;
  • ensure future project success by adapting it to meet the needs of the target audience.  

What makes MVP development so advantageous 

By now you may be wondering if it’s really a good idea to build MVP. And we will tell you with absolute confidence that it is, because a minimum viable product grants numerous advantages. Let’s talk about them right away to dispes all the doubts you may have. 

advantages of MVP


Faster time-to-market
we all know that for startups it is crucial to hit the market early on to create brand awareness, get instant feedback and choose the right vector of upcoming project improvements. Since MVP is built around one key feature that brings real value to users, you get a chance to enter the market incredibly fast and validate all your ideas.
Early testing and feedback
there is nothing better than being sure that your startup idea is a perfect market fit that will be appreciated by many users and help you to convert them into your loyal customers. And in the case of a startup it is possible to find if it is really so only by launching an MVP and collecting user feedback.
Market examination
every project has its unique selling point and to demonstrate it and see if it’s right for your target market you need to release a project with a minimum set of core features. If you have any competitors that are already popular on the market, then MVP can give you a chance to stand out and highlight your value proposition.
Risk mitigation
it’s not a secret that software development is full of all kinds of risks related to budget, deadlines, urgent changes and many more. But when it comes to MVP development, it can be called the safest way of idea validation and product development.
Reasonable investments
while creating minimum viable product you focus on building the core, invest not all your budget, and spend the least effort. On top of that, you get an opportunity to see how the developers of your choice work and then alter your team composition to get the best result at a great price\quality ratio.
Iterative development
before building an MVP you will likely complete market research and spend some time on preparing all technical documentation. Having detailed specifications with all epics and user stories, you will be able to perform agile development that will let developers expand your project feature after feature and let you suggest changes on the go.
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How we do it: MVP development process in a nutshell

Now when you know how many advantages a minimum viable product offers to startups, it is time to delve into the specifics of MVP development process. We have delivered many MVPs therefore we decided to share with you how we do everything in our company and what processes follow each step of MVP creation. And believe us, it is quite an interesting development journey. 

MVP development flow

Step #1 Shaping your ideas 

When the startup founders come to us, they usually have a variety of ideas about their project. And our main task is to shape the general minimum viable product idea and help the client prioritize everything. 

Usually we have several workshops with the client to produce the right business canvas, users canvas and user personas. We discuss what project is going to do, in what way, what users will benefit from it and how. So in the end the MVP idea becomes a well thought-out concept with clear end goals. 

Step #2 Discovery stage

After all ideas are arranged in a concept, it is necessary to complete the discovery stage that implies holistic market research before actual software development. Our team explores all possible competitors, their solutions and success metrics. 

We are also responsible for the creation of all crucial documents such as project estimations, specifications, features roadmap, high level backlog for the development, and risk mitigation strategies. All these documents are useful in the long run since they help to scale up the project in the feature seamlessly. 

Step #3 Design and prototyping 

Once the research and preparations are over, it is time to proceed to the design. During this stage our specialists create wireframes, MVP prototype and several versions of logos and mockups. Once everything is ready, the clients take a look at it and share their opinions – what should be changed, if the user interface and colors are perfect, etc. 

We have award-winning UI/UX specialists who know how to wrap rich functionality into a user-friendly and trendy design. Also our designers can create a landing page to begin early promotion of the future MVP and offer free access to the upcoming beta version of the product. 

Step #4 MVP development 

The development process of MVP includes writing high-quality code, performing all necessary integrations with services, and taking care of all compliances and security measures. 

So before you get your final solution, our software engineers will implement all desired features and perform deployment of the project on servers. The development process is iterative which means that everything will be implemented feature after feature. It is great in terms of changes, since you can suggest them anytime and it will be easier to add or remove something without affecting the whole project code.

Step #5 Quality assurance 

Another crucial stage that goes hand in hand with the development is quality assurance. Our QA engineers perform all kinds of quality, performance, and usability testing after each development milestone. So if the issue is found, it can be quickly fixed. 

We use a combination of manual and automated testing. This helps to address all problems in time, fix them, and prevent missed deadlines. So your MVP will be released exactly when it is supposed to and its quality will be great.

Step #6 MVP release 

When your minimum viable product is all set and ready, it is time to perform its release. Our team helps with submission of mobile MVPs to Play Market and Apple Store. If your project requires integration with other business solutions, we also help with that. With our team you can be sure that your project will make it to the target market easily. 

Step #7 Collecting feedback 

When the final product is released, it is time to monitor user interactions and collect user feedback. You will get reviews in mobile stores, direct emails pointing out strong and weak sides that users notice, and you will also be able to analyze how your user base grows and interacts with the app. 

The collected feedback will help you and your development team understand what features should be added next, what should be changed, and many more. By adapting and improving your project you will finally make it a perfect market fit able to satisfy even the most demanding users.

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Top 5 mistakes of minimum viable product development

So as we’ve already mentioned, MVP development is a complex process that requires serious preparation and dedication from both you and your development team. 

And what helps to prepare better is awareness of possible pitfalls and mistakes that you may face while creating your final product. Let’s speak about the common mistakes many startuppers tend to make right away.

mvp development mistakes

Wrong team selection  

The project success can be achieved only if every process is completed by real professionals. If you select the wrong team that does not have enough experience and skills, your project may turn out not exactly as you’ve expected. So when choosing your team, pay special attention to their domain expertise and examples of works. 

We would highly recommend you to complete the following steps before hiring any team: 

  • check out their portfolio and reviews;
  • request CVs of several suitable developers;
  • create a test task and arrange a technical interview;
  • complete one on one sessions with the candidates. 
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Additional information
We have already written a post that covers top questions you should ask before hiring any development team.Whether you are a person with technical background or not, this article will be very helpful for you. 

Not clear end goal 

Before starting your MVP development, you need to ask yourself several important questions such as: 

  • What problem will my project resolve?
  • How is it going to resolve that problem? 
  • Are there any similar projects on the market and what will make mine stand out from the competitors? 
  • What success metrics I expect to see after my MVP release?  

Those questions will help you to clarify your end goal and focus on developing the right feature set to achieve it. The problem and your MVP solutions should be juxtaposed effectively to satisfy end users. 

Skipped discovery stage

We could not emphasize enough how crucial it is to complete holistic market research before you start your MVP development. The discovery stage will help you shape all of the unknowns of your project into a well defined scope of work. 

Moreover, you will collect all necessary information about your existing or possible competitors, the strong and weak points of their solution, and shape your own ideas into a step-by-step plan. The discovery stage can be delegated to your development team. For example, we at our company complete this kind of research for our clients and in the end provide them with: 

  • Project Vision Document;
  • Mind diagrams (including user flows, business flows, feature lists, etc);
  • Preliminary and then detailed specifications;
  • Wireframes and design concept;
  • Project roadmap;
  • Tech vision with defined risks. 

Skipped discovery stage may lead to any unpleasant consequences such as time and budget loss and unpredicted outcome of your project. On top of that, without all necessary technical documentation your minimum viable product may lack flexibility in the future. 

Testing among wrong audience 

We often observe the situation when startup founders try to test their MVP among friends or family instead of target audience to gather their opinions. However, such an approach is wrong. Your early adopters should be real users of the solution who will test whether it is effective enough or point out what is still missing. Only real users can tell you what they are looking for in a solution. 

Too huge MVP scope 

While building an MVP it is important to implement just enough features to test the project and see how everything goes. But often startup owners are so overwhelmed by the choice of the right mvp functionality that they keep expanding the scope of work. and in the end MVP turns into a huge and expensive project which it is not supposed to be. 

We would recommend you to avoid this mistake and focus on core functionality first. Let your development team help you with the right epics, user stories and project scope to build a high-quality MVP that will let you enter the market successfully.  

Next steps after MVP launch 

There is nothing more exciting than the release of your first MVP app. Every startuper waits for it impatiently. However, successful MVP development and launch does not mean that your mission is completed. There are many crucial steps ahead that will help you turn your MVP into a fully fledged product. 

Here is a short list of the main things you will need to take into consideration and action after your MVP launch: 

  • transition from MVP into MMP;
  • expansion of the feature set;
  • improvements of the app usability; 
  • regular monitoring of users feedbacks; 
  • scale-up of your project; 
  • marketing campaigns to improve brand awareness;
  • project maintenance and various quality and performance checks. 

As you can see, to build an MVP is not the end of a journey. So it is preferable to take care of the further project maintenance in the very beginning. Many teams like ours offer such kinds of services, which is very advantageous. Since the professionals who built your project and know everything about it will keep taking good care of it. 

MVP illustrated

Build your successful MVP with our team 

When it comes to MVP development, our team can be called a real expert with tremendous expertise. For more than 11 years in business we have helped dozens of startups to turn a great product idea into a minimum viable product and launch it within 3 months. Just take a look at the projects in our portfolio that demonstrate what projects we created from scratch. 

With our software development agency you can validate your business hypothesis, identify real market need, and perform MVP development at a great price/quality ratio.   

Our domain expertise and services 

Altamira team offers end-to-end MVP development services. We build web and mobile (native and cross-platform) applications and SaaS solutions for different business niches such as logistics, entertainment, real estate, manufacturing, healthcare, dating, fintech, HR and recruitment and many more. 

We help our clients with market validation, competitor research and writing of all crucial technical documentation. You can be sure that your project will be powered up by the latest technologies which include but nor limited to:

  • Internet of Things;
  • AI and ML;
  • VR and AR;
  • Blockchain;
  • Big Data.

Your innovative MVP will definitely satisfy even the most demanding end users. Speaking about the tech stack we work with, here is the short list demonstrating it: 

our tech stack

Our approach to MVP development

Our main goal is not only to build a high-quality MVP but also to ensure project success. Therefore we provide a full cycle of development that starts from idea elaboration and discovery stage, and ends with design, development, testing and project release. 

We offer transparency, risk mitigation, preservation of all necessary standards and compliances, and help with the integration of the end product. By cooperating with our company, you can be sure that your project will be built on time and within your budget. 

We believe that design is no less important than functionality, so you will definitely get an MVP with visually pleasing and user-friendly design created according to the latest trends. MVP development with our team is fast, top-quality and cost effective. 

As for security, it remains our main priority. So whatever solution we create, we always pay special attention to data protection, authentication, preserving the OWASP set of requirements and SDL, and performing thorough testing and security checks. 

Main benefits you’ll get 

By choosing our team you choose not only a reliable development team, you choose a dedicated tech partner who will guide you through all MVP development steps and make sure that your expectations coincide with reality. Among all benefit that we offer there are: 

  • 100+ skilled developers of different seniority and expertise;
  • 11 years of overall development experience;
  • 30+ successfully released MVPs that enriched our skill base;
  • fast project start and focus on your business goals;
  • innovative approach combined with the best practices;
  • flexible and customizable project that can be easily improved in the future;
  • incredible project management and communication level;
  • preserved deadlines and all kinds of reports to keep you updated. 
Some people still have a strong belief that MVP is necessary only for startups, but in fact businesses and enterprises can also make use of it. Thanks to MVP businesses can test out business automation, introduce new processes, and expand the customer base. As to the enterprises, they can quickly test software ideas and launch new initiatives with minimum investments to keep developing and adding value to them in the future. 
If you take a closer look at the most successful worldwide companies, you’ll realize that almost a half of them started with MVP. Among such companies there are Facebook, Airbnb, Instagram, Uber, Twitter, Dropbox, Groupon and many more. We have a whole article dedicated to this topic, so if you want to find out more – check out this post
We would recommend you to check out Clutch and Goodfirms and select several companies that have suitable domain expertise and offer MVP development services. Then you can take a look at their rates, reviews, website and portfolio. Once you’ve selected a couple of great candidates, get in touch with them and ask them to provide some real examples of MVPs they’ve built. Some companies like ours specialize in MVP development and even have a landing page describing what they can help you with, so you can check it out upfront and decide if that’s the team you are looking for. 

To summarize 

These days new tech startups appear at the speed of light, but unfortunately not all of them achieve their ambitious goals and win the hearts of the target audience. Only those who invest in MVP development first have more chances to succeed. Whatever software idea you have in mind, it would not hurt to validate it first and create a basic minimum viable product. 

Every building begins with a solid fundament, and in a tech world MVP with minimum feature set plays the role of this fundament. It’s the most cost effective way to verify your ideas, business model, and at the same time avoid drastic losses. 

The value of high quality MVP development services is undeniable. And if you already have a great project in mind, it is time to finally act and jumpstart MVP development. 

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Creator

I am mainly focused on enterprise mobility and digital business transformation, and highly curious about all emerging tech trends. Before writing about any topic I try to find answers to a lot of questions and perform serious fact checking.
Alexandra Rostovtseva

Expert

Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.
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