FAQ on MVP Development for Startups
What MVP Is All About?
MVP stands for minimum viable product, the very basic version of the new product with the optimal set of features enough to test the hypothesis whether the core startup idea will find its demand among clients. Building such a product is all about getting the initial feedback from users or, in the case of startups, early adopters. First introduced by Eric Ries in 2008, the approach of developing a minimum, yet enough for validated learning, version of the product is now widely applied not only by startups, but by large corporations launching new product lines as well. The main benefit of this methodology lies in receiving the first feedback as early as possible and tuning the business concept according to it further. One of the most common examples in IT world is going for hybrid mobile development for the new app instead of coding native Android and iOS products.
Outsourcing product development is an optimal solution for startups
Is the MVP Method Suitable for All Technological Startups?
There are two types of innovations startups may be based at:
- sustaining (satisfying existing market with predicted needs)
- disruptive (offering products to the new markets with assumed needs).
MVP will work great for testing disruptive innovation, but will fail in applying it to the product based on sustaining innovation. MVP is reasonable to launch when startup doesn’t have defined audience yet, when it suggests solution to the new problem or new emerging needs. In this case the innovation lying behind the prototype would be enough reason for early adopters to purchase or sign up for the product.
What Challenges Are Facing Startups Starting out Their Product Development?
New startups are usually struggling with the problem of finding the best technologies for building a basic version of product enough for testing their hypothesis for a very limited budget. Despite of having great innovative ideas in mind and clearly seeing the target audience, not all startup companies have enough resources to properly plan, prototype, implement and test the product. Another problem is limiting the scope of possible product functions. Since MVP methodology assumes leaving out all fancy product features leaving only those, which would actually let the prototype work, it’s not always easy to define which scope of possible features is really essential for design and product development.
What Are the Signs That Can Indicate You Should Turn to Outsourcing Product Development?
There are several signs, which may point at the need of outsourcing MVP development, they include:
- absence of MVP project management experience. Success of the prototype depends much on how thoroughly it was planned and project management experience is the key to detailed and correct planning. Many startup owners come from non-IT fields and have never managed building a technological product from scratch. In this case turning to a full-service agency is highly recommended to have successful MVP development.
- lack of resources. Sometimes startups simply have no reasons to keep the whole team of developers and designers in their office, since the business itself operates in a different industry. In this case hiring and educating in-house team sounds unreasonable, and outsourcing product development to IT company would be the most affordable and effective solution.
- lack of technological expertise. One of the key advantages of cooperating with large outsourcing companies is their ability to advise the best technological solution and possible frameworks suitable for minimum viable product development. So if a startup has an idea of “what” they would want to do, but not “how” to do it, outsourcing product development will be the optimal solution, which solves design and product development issues at once.
Does Turning to Outsourced Product Development Can Be Dangerous?
Working with third-party vendors always assumes the risks from different business aspects: from confidentiality to simply not having the product done. But there are the measures, which could minimize such risks during minimum viable product development, they include:
- always request signing NDA prior to sharing any product concepts and project plans to avoid issues with sharing confidential data,
- request basic mockup of the UI before signing up to ensure you are on the same page with the company,
- inquire about the past company experience in relevant markets to test their qualification,
- get the precise estimate and agreed milestones to avoid overcharging,
- request references to prove company credibility.
What Are the Stages of Working with an Outsourcing Company?
Working with an outsourcing company is quite straightforward: a client submits the project requirements and receives an estimate split into milestones from the Project Manager. Additional details and questions from the development team are discussed with the client during the phone call. Client and Account Manager agree to the delivery dates and payment schedule and client signs the contract meaning the start of the project which usually is native or hybrid mobile development. Within the agreed time frames a designer prepares the wireframes and UI/UX mockups, the client reviews and comments on them. Once the design is approved, developers start coding the product and deliver it within the agreed deadline. Before the product goes for review to the client, it passes QA testing and possible bugfix. After completing the adjustments requested by the client, the company delivers the final product.
Can a Company with the Ready Product Request Improvements of It from the Outsourcing Company?
There are no limitations of the types of companies, which could benefit from outsourcing product development to dedicated IT companies. Even if the company already has existing products and would like them improved or fixed, it may still turn to the outsourcing company. Such companies as Mobilunity provide full-cycle development services from basic prototyping to custom systems development in addition to website maintenance, marketing and client support services. So whatever request online company may have in mind, the task could be outsourced and effectively done.