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Top Successful Businesses That Started With MVP Development

  • 17-18 min read
  • September 28, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (3 votes)

The last year was tough because of the pandemics and economic recession. And while some businesses keep prospering, others face some challenges on their way to growth. These days nobody wants to take major risks, and yet a crisis can become a starting point for new business opportunities. Although it seems too risky to start something new now, enter the market or push business growth, there are companies that did it a while ago and turned into business giants. 

By now you may be wondering what companies we are referring to and how they become successful. And does it have anything to do with the development services (in which we are experts). Well, the secret of the success of many companies is in MVP development. And the companies that made it to the market and succeeded thanks to MVP are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Airbnb and even world-known giant, Uber. 

So in this post, we would like to share with you some success stories of companies that started their business path with MVP. We’ll point out what benefits this approach offers and pitfalls you may face. And, without further ado, let’s delve into this topic together. 

The role of MVP in starting a business and powering it up

It is hard to underestimate the importance of MVP development. Some people tend to think that it is only suitable for startups. However, we state that MVP development can be of use to businesses of all sizes, prominent startups with significant funding and even huge enterprises that already use a lot of technologies. Why is that so? Thanks to MVP, you can test your idea and concept before putting significant investments into the full cycle development. 

To begin with, let’s define what MVP is and what it can help you with. MVP is a minimum viable product: it is a basic software version that contains only key features that are enough to meet major user requirements. MVP is perfect for those companies that need to check if their software idea will work for their business, see how the employees can interact with the software and whether it is practical enough. 

goals of MVP development

What advantages you’ll get 

Building MVP first is a great approach because it helps to save you a lot of time, money, and nerves. It allows you to get feedback from real users so you can consider some changes, improvements, and additional features. And all these will be done fast and within a reasonable budget. Apart from speed and cost efficiency, the MVP development offers a number of advantages: 

advantages of MVP development


Faster time-to-market
all startups will appreciate this advantage because the faster you turn your idea into a reality, the more chances you will have to succeed. Thanks to MVP, you can release a solution faster, start building your solid user base, and gain a competitive advantage on the market. Faster time-to-market is great for businesses as they can spend less time developing and integrating new digital tools, and start testing them on real users early on.
Real users feedback
you may think that your solution is perfect and exactly what the users need. But is that really so? Or maybe you are missing something that only the end users can point out? The only way to discover this and add what’s missing is by releasing an MVP version of your product. Once you’ve received feedback from the users, you can decide what path to take and what to change in your solution. And only after that can you invest your time and money in building the full version of your solution and be sure that it solves necessary matters and meets all your goals, needs, and expectations.
Significant costs reduction
 it’s not a secret that the development of any solution is costly, and often the initial budget is exceeded during the development process. So, as a result, a startupper or a company spends all resources on a project that may require further improvements and additional costs. To avoid this situation, you can consider MVP development, see how it goes and what investment you’ll need in the future. High-quality MVP can help startups attract more investors. And businesses can prioritize their future development investments and required functionality accordingly.
Great risk mitigation
development and risks come hand in hand. Of course, we will not tell you that it is possible to eliminate all the risks completely, however, with the help of MVP most of them can be eliminated. First of all, you will get a chance to test your development team and see if they are professional and suitable for your project building. Secondly, you will either prove or dissolve your hypothesis and assumptions about the end-users of your project (and get a chance to change the whole project concept without significant budget or time loss).

In any case, MVP is definitely a win-win option. Just check out the video below to understand all its advantages. 

 

Apart from the benefits mentioned above, a minimum viable product is a good option if you need to: 

  • Make sure that the technology stack is suitable for your project;
  • Select the correct architecture pattern;
  • Define your competitive advantage and unique proposition; 
  • Eliminate disruptions to your business;
  • Focus on solution quality and security;
  • Get a solution corresponding to all fresh market trends and standards;
  • Grow your solution step by step and make it more attractive to users. 

Here at GBKSOFT, we had dozens of clients who reached out to us with an idea to build a vast and complex solution for their business. And yet, those clients understood that the best way to achieve a great result is to take step-by-step actions and start with something basic. 

MVP became an incredible starting point for numerous businesses, and lots of MVP projects that we’ve developed turned into full feature-rich solutions with time. MVP is not a “demo” version of a project but rather its backbone. So if you still have any doubts, you are welcome to consult with us and discuss your perspectives and how MVP can be of use to your business. 

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Top 3 worldwide companies that started with MVP

Now when you know what benefits MVP can offer, you may be interested in companies that actually took advantage of those benefits. We completed one interesting research and created a list of top companies that invested in MVP before developing a full version of their product. And now they own giant corporations worth millions. Let’s take a look at those success examples right away! 

Facebook

Facebook is the service that we use on a daily basis. It’s a giant in the world of social media, and few people know that its history began with an MVP. Yes, Facebook started as a minimum viable product in 2004 and, by 2021, became one of the most profitable companies in the world. The first MVP name of Facebook was “Thefacebook,” and here is how the main page looked like: 

Facebook MVP

Of course, the idea of such social networks was not new and had many competitors. And yet Facebook had enough innovativeness and simplicity that helped it win the hearts of millions of users worldwide. The MVP helped introduce Facebook to people and see how they interact with it and what it actually lacks. Thanks to the high level of the audience engagement, Facebook became the most convenient social website ever and achieved a huge success. 

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Interesting fact
Now Facebook owns almost a dozen other solutions and projects that are very costly. Wondering what they are? Then check out the list we’ve prepared for you on our blog. We bet you will be surprised.

Airbnb

Who hasn’t booked an apartment while traveling using a well-known service called Airbnb? It’s the most user-friendly solution that was launched in 2008. The idea behind this solution was to help both property owners and travelers. The first ones should get a chance to earn additional income, and the second ones should be able to find a place to stay effortlessly. 

The Airbnb founders are Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, and their massive project started with an MVP! And this was not the greatest MVP you could imagine. The website was pretty simple, minimalistic, and with few options. So basically, users can post pictures of the apartments, and wait for someone with a renting proposal. 

Airbnb MVP

The Airbnb founders had several volunteers who tested the website and gave their feedback. So this was a classic MVP scenario – basic project, testing users and then everything turned into a huge business that we know today. 

Uber 

The story of Uber began when Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick were unable to find a ride and decided that their country needed better services. They shaped their idea of a new transportation company, developed an MVP and released it in 2009. 

It took a long time to get the first order in that solution, and yet now Uber is one of the most popular services for finding a ride. The first MVP version of Uber was a simple iOS application. Just take a look at it: 

Uber MVP

Several drivers offered their services, and then the founders of Uber collected reviews and feedback on the Uber page in the App Store and decided on what to add next. That’s exactly how they came up with the idea to add an in-app payment option and made it Uber’s competitive advantage. And that happened thanks to MVP and user suggestions. So we guess it is not really necessary to emphasize the importance of MVP once again, as the examples make it pretty obvious. 

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Good to know
Uber became a big deal in the business world and now there is even a phenomenon called the Uber economy. Uber-like applications invade the market. Wondering what Uber model can be good for? Then read or set of blog posts.

Apart from Facebook, Uber, and Airbnb, there are several other companies that benefited from MVP, and you definitely heard about them or used their services very often: 

  • Twitter;
  • Instagram; 
  • Dropbox;
  • Groupon;
  • Zappos;
  • Spotify and many more.

As you can see, MVP can become a great option for different businesses. And the examples we’ve mentioned are not the only ones. There are way more companies that succeeded because they’ve invested in MVP first. 

But are there any cases of failure? What can happen if you skip the MVP development stage? Well, we have an example of an MVP-less failure as well. Have you ever heard of a platform called Singulution? It was meant to be a huge success as its goal was to become a top-notch digital helper for sales and business management. 

The owner of this startup invested $30,000 in the development of Singulution from scratch…but unfortunately all money was wasted. Why? Because as the startup owner claimed, he failed to engage customers and ask for their honest opinion. And once the solution was released, it was too late to change it. And if the startup owner resorted to MVP, the destiny of Singulution could have been different. So, unfortunately, the project was outrun by competitors and then purchased by another company. 

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Want to repeat the success of the companies mentioned above?

Then it is time to think about the MVP development and get a consultation with GBKSOFT experts.

Where should you start with MVP development? 

Perhaps you got inspired by the great examples we’ve provided and now you are seriously considering the MVP development for your project. So chances are, you feel a little bit lost and have too many questions in your head. Where should I start? What features should I select? Are there any MVP models I need to explore? What is the MVP development cycle? Keep calm, and do not storm your web browser, as the answers are coming up. 

Let’s start with the main point, which is selecting the right MVP model. Why are we starting with it? Because the model is connected to the selection of your development team. So basically there are three main models you can consider: 


In-house MVP development
when you gather a team of developers that develop, test, release and maintain your MVP. This option is quite costly and time-consuming because you need to pay for office space, salaries to your developers, and of course, before that even happens, you need to complete numerous job interviews and go through the hiring process.
Partial MVP outsourcing
you may already have an in-house team of developers who lack certain expertise or skills to complete MVP development. So your option may be to expand your team and outsource the development of certain project features to your tech partner (another team). This option is less costly and still guarantees great performance and predictable outcome.
Full MVP development outsourcing
this option can be the best for numerous businesses because you can stay involved in your working processes while the outsourcing team will do all of the technical work for you. You fully delegate the MVP development to the team of your choice and get results faster without compromising quality. Outsourcing teams like GBKSOFT offer great communication level and deep involvement in the necessary business niches. The delivery concerns will not bother you, and the risk management is also on us.

Select the key features wisely 

Once you’ve selected a suitable MVP development model, it is time to think about features prioritization. Before you actually proceed with the development, you need to understand what the first release of your MVP should offer to end users to keep them hooked and interested in using that solution further. 

Speaking about feature prioritization, it is necessary to mention that there are four main feature combinations you need to consider. Here they are: 

  1. Study your competition and select for your MVP the best features that are present in other similar solutions. Of course, you can spice them up with something innovative that only your solution will have. 
  2. After you finish your research, select only several interesting existing features for your MVP and add something innovative from your side. 
  3. Add only your unique features to the MVP and don’t use any of the options popular in other similar products. 
  4. Add only selectively the most popular features of existing similar solutions to your MVP and try to stand out by making the quality of those features outstanding. 

Here at GBKSOFT, we worked on developing MVP, including different combinations of features. And we can say for sure that while a feature set itself means a lot, what defines its destiny is a good UX/UI design and  high-quality code. And that’s exactly what we always provide. 

Explore the MVP development lifecycle 

Like any other solution, MVP development has its lifecycle that you should follow strictly to achieve the best possible outcome. Here at GBKSOFT, the MVP development includes the following key stages: 


Idea research
 the main thing that our team offers is Discovery phase, or so-called market research that helps to discover all of the unknowns of your project, define the most suitable tech stack and feature set, and then proceed further. The discovery stage is necessary for both startups and businesses as it helps to shape the idea of MVP, mitigate risks, and put right expectations on the future project and the problem it is going to solve.
Features prioritization
the stage we’ve described in the abstract above. So basically, you and our Business Analyst explore the solutions of your competitors and decide what options are a must-have for your MVP.
MVP development and testing
during this stage, our specialists write high-quality code and perform all kinds of quality checks (including manual and automated testing of your MVP solution). In the end, you get ready to use solutions that can be integrated into the working environment or submitted to mobile stores.
MVP release
that’s when your solution is integrated with other business systems or uploaded to necessary stores so that the users can get easy access to it and leave honest feedback about your MVP.
MVP improvements
our team can help you incorporate new features, design elements, or technologies into your MVP. We are also great at post-release maintenance that is crucial for big serious projects.
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Moe information
If you are interested in more details about MVP and its possible alternatives, we’d recommend you read this blog post dedicated to this topic.

Choose the right development partner

Before you hire any development company, make sure that the company is experienced enough in MVP development and can guide you through all processes seamlessly. Domain expertise also means a lot as well as a wide variety of technologies that the company can incorporate. Let’s take GBKSOFT as an example. 

Having been 10 years in business, GBKSOFT proved itself a perfect MVP development company for businesses and large startups. We develop and deliver solutions for the following business niches – automotive, healthcare, HR and recruitment, entertainment, finance and banking, logistics, construction, manufacture. Our solid experience and numerous projects we’ve completed allow us to build an MVP without exceeding your budget. We also faced enough development difficulties in our professional way that helps us now to avoid numerous development pitfalls and save your time and nerves. 

Our software development company offers established companies and startups the following: 

  • Broad domain and technology expertise;
  • Expert consultation and holistic market research;
  • Handling and writing of all technical documentation;
  • Development and QA services at great price/quality ratio;
  • Advanced project management and high communication level;
  • Timely deliveries, help with software integration, and post-delivery maintenance. 

As you can see, we can not only build your MVP but also make sure that it develops further and gets better and even more competitive with each new release. With our team, your MVP development will be a truly positive experience. 

You can explore such platforms as Goodfirms and Clutch, then select several candidates and go through their websites. Try to discover what their expertise is, how many years the team has been on the market, what solutions they deliver and for what industries. Pay special attention to the company awards and portfolio. And don’t forget about the real client reviews.
We recommend all our clients complete the Discovery stage and collect as much information about the project as possible. It is very important to know what problem you are attempting to solve with the project, in what way, how the end-users will interact with your MVP, and so on. And the Discovery stage helps to find out all those details. On top of that, you will explore the solutions of your competitors and find out the best practices that can be of use to you as well.
Everything depends on the project and its complexity. On average, the development of the full project takes 4-6 months so MVP may take a half of this time. Also, making MVP for business management apps may take a bit longer because an integration with other working solutions may be required.

To wrap it up

In a fast-moving world, time equals money and new business opportunities. That is why for many businesses, it is important to spend their time and costs wisely. And that is exactly what MVP development is for. Whatever solution you have in mind, your idea definitely requires validation. Digital transformation and software development are full of uncertainties and risks, and they all can be easily mitigated if you choose to invest in MVP first. 

Minimum viable product is perfect not only for startups that are rushing to enter the market, but also for big businesses and enterprises that consider integration of new solutions and technologies. When a great deal of money and your smart business environment are at stake, there is no need to take additional risks. 

Building an MVP is a great way to check how the new solution will complement your existing ecosystem, what practical use it will offer and what can be changed to make it a perfect fit for your employees and company. By choosing MVP, you reduce the development costs, speed up the development process, and get a predicted outcome. 

MVP can become a game-changer for your business, so don’t wait up and consider starting development today. And if you’ve already made up your mind, drop us a line, and let’s turn your idea into a great MVP together!

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Creator

I am mainly focused on enterprise mobility (Apple, Android), and digital transformation, highly curious about all emerging tech trends, always pay close attention to crucial details and try to find answers to a lot of questions before writing about something.
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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