MVP Development for Startups


What is MVP

What is an MVP in business? You might have heard this before, but MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. It is the most basic version of a product you can launch in the market with the fewest features. Your MVP is the core of a website that you plan to expand in the future. Think of it as an essential idea executed with base functionality. The main goal of MVP for startups is to address the main problem of the users in the most efficient way.

Eric Ries popularized the concept of MVP in his book "The Lean Startup." According to him, MVP is a tool to confirm the assumptions about the market, user behavior, and product-market fit. This helps to reduce the time and cost of developing a product. With MVP, you can suddenly test the market hypothesis before investing all your money into one buck and committing to a full-fledged product. How so?

Why it matters

The MVP in startups approach involves creating a product with just enough features to attract early adopters and gather real feedback. This feedback is then used to improve the product and develop more features that meet the needs of a wider audience.

Startup MVP development is essential for several reasons. First, as we already mentioned, it helps reduce the time and cost of developing a product. It allows the team to focus on developing the product's core functionality. Not getting sidetracked by unnecessary features that the users might not need.

Second, MVP enables companies to confirm their product ideas and assumptions about the market. By launching an MVP, they can get feedback from early adopters. Such reviews allow us to improve the product and tailor it to the current needs of real users.

And last but not least, MVP development for startups helps minimize the risk of failure. Yes, you've got that right. By testing the market hypothesis early on, companies can cut their losses drastically in the long run. This practice allows for avoiding investing significant resources in a product that might fail down the line. And why risk is that calamity happening when you can test the waters and gather feedback before committing to a full-fledged product?

Startup MVP helps new companies reduce time and cost. Confirm their product ideas. Cut the risk of failure. It is an iterative approach: launching a basic version, gathering feedback, and using it to improve the product. With MVP, you can plan successful outcomes.

So, what does the actual process of creating MVP involve in more detail? What steps must you take, and what information to think through? Let’s go in chronological order. 

Define your target audience

Before building an MVP, it is crucial to understand your target audience and their needs. This involves:

  • Conducting thorough market research;
  • Perform user surveys;
  • Gather information about the target audience's pain points, preferences, and behaviors.

Market research helps understand the industry trends and the competition. You will gain insights into the target audience's demographic and psychographic characteristics. You can learn what has worked and has yet to work in the market, helping inform the MVP development process.

User surveys help gather feedback from potential users about their needs, preferences, and pain points. This feedback can inform the MVP's features and functionality, ensuring it meets the target audience's needs.

Market research and user surveys help you build a relevant product. With the collected information, you will meet the real needs of the target audience. This information will inform the product's positioning, messaging, and marketing strategies. Ensure it resonates with your target audience and stands out in the market.

Conducting market research and user surveys is essential in MVP development. It helps gather insights into the target audience's needs and pain points. Use this data to inform the product's features and functionality. You will be able to ensure that the product meets the actual needs.

To pin down the product hypothesis, you need to figure out a few things. Determine the product's positioning, messaging, and marketing strategies. On-point marketing will help you to ensure the product's success in the market.

How to conduct target audience research:

  • Identify the demographic characteristics of your target audience. This can be age, gender, income, and education level.
  • Determine the psychographic characteristics. For example, your target audience's values, interests, and lifestyle.
  • Conduct market research. You will understand industry trends, competition, and the market size and potential.
  • Use tools. This includes Google Analytics, social media instruments, and keyword research apps. Learn how your target audience searches for and interacts with services like yours.
  • Conduct user surveys. Gather feedback from potential customers about their needs, preferences, and pain points.
  • Create user personas. Analyzing the fictional representations will help you focus. You can dissect your target audience's motivations, behaviors, and goals. Understanding what drives your clients will help you create a relevant service.
  • Map out the customer journey. Understand how your future customers interact with your product or service. Their journey from start to finish will provide invaluable data for your project.
  • Analyze customer feedback. Reviews and comments can help you to understand your prospects' needs and expectations.
  • Conduct A/B testing. Analyze which features and messaging resonate most with your target audience.
  • Check and analyze customer data. Identify trends and make data-driven decisions about your product or service.

Target audience research is crucial in building a successful product. Your service needs to meet your customers' needs, after all. By gathering insights into clients' preferences, behaviors, and pain points, you can create a product that resonates with real people. Make it stand out in the market by providing value and filling the gap in the market.

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Identify the core features

Identifying the core features of your MVP is a critical step in the product development process. The core features should be the last set of functionalities required. Think about the basics you need to validate your business idea and meet the needs of your target audience.

To identify the core features of your MVP, start by reviewing the research you conducted on your target audience. Look for common pain points, needs, and preferences among your target audience that your product can address. Identify the features that will solve the core problem that your target audience faces.

It's essential to remember that core features should be simple. Focus on achieving your development goals within a reasonable timeframe. Adding too many features can lead to scope creep, delays, and increased costs. Create a product that solves the most critical problem and adds value for your prospects.

Once you have identified the core features of your MVP, it's essential to rank them. List them based on the importance and the resources available to you. Consider the trade-offs between different components and how they impact the user experience. Think about the value proposition of your product. What is the most important thing you need to deliver? Make it an absolute priority.

Identifying the core features is a critical step in the product development process. The list of functionalities should include only absolute necessities. Choose the core components required to validate your business idea. Obviously, make sure to meet the needs of your target audience. By keeping the features simple, you can create a product that adds value to your target audience.

Create a prototype

If you want to build an MVP that is successful, creating a prototype first is not a step to skip. The prototype helps you to visualize your product's functionality, design, and user experience. It also allows you to identify potential issues and make improvements before investing significant resources in developing a functional product.

Here are some steps to follow when creating a prototype of your MVP:

  • Define your user flow. Identify how users will interact with your product. Map out the user flow from the beginning to the end of the experience, including all touchpoints with your product. This will help you to understand the steps involved in using your product and to design a prototype that meets your users' needs.
  • Sketch your design. Once you have defined your user flow, start sketching your plan. Use pen and paper or a digital tool to create rough sketches of your product's layout, including its various screens and features. Focus on the critical elements of your product and avoid getting bogged down in details at this stage.
  • Create a wireframe. A wireframe is a simplified version of your product's interface that shows the basic layout and functionality. Use a digital tool like Figma or Sketch to create a wireframe representing your product's screens and features. A wireframe should include all the essential elements of your product. These are navigation, buttons, text, and images.
  • Build a mockup. A mockup is a more detailed version of your wireframe with colors, typography, and other visual elements. Use a design tool like Adobe XD or InVision to create a mockup that reflects your product's branding and style. Your mockup should be interactive. Allow users to click through the various screens and features.
  • Test your prototype. Once you have created a prototype, testing it with real users is essential. Gather feedback from your target audience. Identify areas of improvement and make any necessary adjustments to your design. Testing your prototype will help you confirm the product's core features and ensure it meets your users' needs.

Creating a prototype of your MVP is necessary. You can easily find an MVP software development company to do the job for you, but it is certainly something worth investing in. It will help you to visualize the future product's functionality, design, and user experience. In this way, you can identify potential issues early on. Follow the steps listed above to get the most out of your MVP prototype.

Get feedback

Once you have created a prototype of your minimum viable product (MVP), the next step is to test it with your target audience and gather feedback. This feedback will help you to identify any issues or areas of improvement before you start building your MVP startup.

Here are some steps to follow when gathering feedback on your prototype:

  • Identify your target audience. Start by identifying the target audience for your product. You can base it on age, gender, location, interests, and behavior. Determine your target audience. Recruit participants who fit these criteria to test your prototype.
  • Conduct user testing. Have the participants use your prototype and provide feedback on their experience. You can conduct user testing in person or using a tool like Zoom. During testing, observe how users interact with your product. Ask them questions about their experience, and gather feedback.
  • Use feedback to improve your design. Analyze the gathered reviews to identify areas of improvement. Look for patterns in the comments. Focus on changes that will impact your product's usability and user experience. Use this feedback to iterate on your design and make any necessary changes.
  • Repeat the process. After making changes to your design, go for another round. Conduct the user testing again to gather extra feedback. Iterate your design based on user feedback. Continue until you are confident about identifying and addressing all significant issues.

Gathering feedback on your prototype is an essential step in the product development process. You will identify potential issues and make improvements before investing in all resources. After all, developing a full-fledged product is a complex task. It involves significant investments: time and money. MVP helps you make sure it's well-placed. Testing the prototype with real users and gathering feedback based on actual experience is vital. Ensure that your MVP meets the actual needs of your users. Making a product from people for people is an actual key to success.

Build your MVP

So you have gathered feedback on your prototype. You have identified areas for improvement. What's next? The most exciting part! The next step is to use that feedback to build your Minimum Viable Product. Remember to keep in mind that MVP startups should have only the core features you identified earlier. Make it functional first, and you can polish it once you make sure it's actually worth it.

Here are some steps to follow when building your MVP:

  • Focus on your core features. Analyze the feedback you received. Prioritize the core features of your product that are essential to its functionality. Ensure that your MVP includes these features and works as intended.
  • Build a functional product. When building your MVP, focus on creating an available product that meets the needs of your users. Your MVP should be able to perform the core functions that your target audience expects. You can polish it to perfection later.
  • Use simple design and development. When building your MVP, be straightforward. Use methods that allow you to create a functional product quickly and efficiently. Avoid complex features or design elements that can slow down your development process.
  • Test your MVP. Once you have built your MVP, test it with your target audience. Gather feedback and identify any issues or areas for improvement. Use this feedback to make necessary changes and iterate on your product.
  • Launch your MVP: After you have tested and refined your MVP, it's time to launch it to the market. Launch your product in a controlled environment. Gather user feedback to identify any more issues or areas for improvement.

Development is the main dish of this course. It's what the whole preparation process was leading to. You will be able to create a functional digital product!

Remember that the main thing about your MVP is that it should be available. You can worry about perfecting it after you get the first field test results. Use simple design and development methods to create it.

Test and iterate

After building your MVP, it's time to launch it to the market and test it with your target audience. This is essential. No product development will be successful without tests and improvements. There is no better way. Gather feedback, analyze data, and iterate based on your findings and conclusions.

Here are some steps to follow when testing and iterating on your MVP:

  • Before launching your MVP, define your testing goals. What do you want to achieve from testing? Do you want to gather feedback on the user experience, identify bugs, and test your product's scalability? By defining your testing goals, you can focus your testing efforts and gather the data you need to make informed decisions.
  • Collect feedback. Once you have launched your MVP, start collecting user feedback. You can conduct surveys, perform user interviews, or watch user behavior with analytics tools. Collect both qualitative and quantitative data. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of how users interact with your product.
  • Analyze data. After collecting feedback, analyze the data to identify patterns and trends. Look for areas where users are experiencing difficulties or your product needs to meet them. Use this data to inform your product development and iterate on your MVP.
  • Iterate and improve. Based on your collected feedback and data, iterate to enhance the functionality. Make sure to keep a goal of enhancing user experience and value proposition. Focus on the changes that will have the most significant impact on your product. Make iterative improvements until you have a product that meets the needs of your users.
  • Test again. After making changes to your MVP, test it with your target audience to gather feedback on your improvements. Continue to iterate and improve your product until you are confident that it is meeting the needs of your users and delivering value.

Testing and iterating are critical. By introducing improvements based on what you learn, you can create a product that meets the needs of your users. You will be able to deliver actual value to your business. Remember to define your testing goals. Collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Focus on making relevant changes, and test again until a product is ready to scale.

Real-life Minimal Viable Product examples

We know you need something tangible after reading so much material on the topic. How about a spark of motivation and inspiration? Here are some of the digital giants that started off as humble startups. Check out this list of MVP examples

  • Dropbox. Dropbox's MVP was a simple video demonstrating how the service worked without coding. The founders created the video to test whether people wanted a cloud storage solution that synced files across devices.
  • Airbnb. Airbnb is a great example of MVP. It was a simple website allowing people to rent air mattresses during a conference in San Francisco when all the hotels were booked. The founders realized there was a demand for this type of service, and the rest is history.
  • Instagram. Instagram's MVP was a simple photo-sharing app that allowed users to apply filters to their photos and share them on social media. The company developed the app in eight weeks, and it was an immediate hit with users.
  • Buffer. Buffer is another excellent MVP example. The simple landing page described the service and allowed people to sign up for early access. The founders used this landing page to gauge interest in the service. And then, they invested more time and resources in building the product.
  • Zappos. Zappos' minimal viable product example was a simple website aggregating shoe inventory from various retailers. The founders used this website to test people's interest in buying shoes online. They were able to increase the demand for their business model. Look where they are today.

MVP can take many forms. Any example of a minimum viable product of the list above gave you that idea. The base remains in place from a simple landing page to a functioning app with limited features. The key is creating a product that allows you to test your assumptions. You launch a product, you collect valuable feedback. And then scale! Improve, iterate, and up-size based on what you have learned. The long road to success starts with baby steps. And in web development, MVP will carry them out for you.


When building an MVP, keep a clear vision in mind. Determine your primary goals and stick to them. Focus is a key characteristic you need to create a successful MVP. 

And what have we learned about the process? First and foremost, you need to validate your business idea. The best way to test the market is by making your research quick and cost-effective. That's where MVP comes into the picture. Focus only on the core features necessary to test assumptions and gather feedback. Emphasize speed, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness to increase your chances of success. The data you will collect will help you make informed decisions and pivot your business model if necessary.

The goal of your MVP is not to create a perfect product. The priority is testing the market, learning, and improving. MVP is an excellent tool to increase your certainty in the future of your business venture. Make the best use of it. 


What is MVP in business?

MVP is short for Minimum Viable Product. It's a lean approach to product development that focuses on creating a functional version. MVP includes only essential features necessary to test business ideas and gather feedback. In this way, businesses can reduce development time and cost while increasing their chances of success.

How would you MVP your startup?

To MVP your startup, first identify the essential features of your product. Then, create a prototype demonstrating your product's appearance and function. Build your MVP with only the core features you identified earlier, and test it with your target audience. Keep iterating and improving your product based on the feedback. Eventually, you will have a fully-featured product that delivers value to your customers.

What is an excellent example of MVP?

Dropbox is an excellent example of MVP. Its MVP included a simple video demonstration of how users could store and share files in the cloud. The success of Dropbox highlights the importance of focusing on essentials. They tested assumptions and made changes based on the feedback they received. And look at what heights this approach landed them!

What is an excellent example of MVP?
What is an excellent example of MVP?
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Dropbox is an excellent example of MVP. Its MVP included a simple video demonstration of how users could store and share files in the cloud. The success of Dropbox highlights the importance of focusing on essentials. They tested assumptions and made changes based on the feedback they received. And look at what heights this approach landed them!

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