MVP is the start of your startup journey
MVP or Minimum Viable Product is the first goal for any startup. You must judge your idea based on your MVP.
You might have many ideas that have a chance of success. But the only way you can know for sure is by implementing your idea.
Developing and delivering your MVP is the only test you need to validate your idea.
It is difficult to leave everything and give a hundred percent to a new idea. You might be unsure whether to pursue your idea. That’s why an MVP is so important. Shipping out your MVP should be your primary focus.
Many startups have started advertising and gaining investors without an MVP. This leads to a bad experience for the investors and the startup. Your first task to prove your ability to take the startup forward is to deliver a resilient MVP.
In a product-led approach, the product trumps everything else. Companies that follow this approach gain exponential traction using MVPs with freemium models.
Your MVP is your ticket to an investor meeting.
Sizing up your MVP
Once you decide what your MVP will look like, you must focus on getting an overview of the features you want to have during the finalized project.
Keep in mind adding features have a runaway effect. You may want to keep adding features just to make it ever so slightly better, and in no time, you have 100s of useless features while the core-business idea takes a backseat.
Though this tendency may sound trivial, it will be difficult not to fall into this trap once you start developing.
Always have a clear picture of what your MVP will look like. Of course, your MVP expectations and realities will change over time, but ensure it does not interfere with everyday development.
Get Live as Soon as Possible
The next biggest obstacle is getting your MVP live. While the development server is very helpful, it is inconsistent with the deployed version.
You should strive to stop using the development server, as it is just a simulation of your app’s appearance once deployed.
To start development, you will need to work on the dev server but make sure you push every feature you add directly to the deployed server.
Make it a practice to create a complete deployable staging server on day one. This way, you can see and test any feature you add in a real-world scenario. It also helps you boost your morale, allowing you to see your hard work at a glance.
You can easily share your staging link/app with friends, family, and even potential investors. You will be prepared when the opportunity appears and can easily show your work.
You should use the staging server to test features and eliminate bugs. The goal is to make your app a working product.
In the initial phases, your staging server is your lifeline; treat it as such.
Use as many tools as possible.
During the MVP phase, your priority is to ship out workable features as fast as possible. There are many community packages for trivial and common features. You should find good packages and integrate them into your app.
But the speed of implementation should never come at the cost of quality. You will have to write new and custom hooks and code for many features.
But don’t worry too much as you can always swap out code from the app in later stages.
If your MVP is a hit, you will have enough development power to build an app with all your specifications.
But remember, you will know if your MVP is a hit only once it is live.
Increasing productivity is essential when building your MVP. Like most founders, you probably will not be able to develop full-time. You must be able to document and share your progress and manage all your responsibilities.
Use Notion when you want to discuss or add any feature. You can share/store relevant information in a structured manner using Tables. It has integrations with Figma, Slack, Github, etc.
Use DevRev to get feedback from users in your MVP. You can use the DevRev PLuG SDK. Your users can tell you any problems they face and help developers make relevant changes.
Use Google Analytics to get information about button clicks, link clicks, user engagement, and page views.
You can use GitHub actions to make your development and deployment pipeline smooth and effortless.
When your MVP is ready, it must be viable. Viable, in the sense that you must be able to launch it to the open market. Users should be able to use your MVP to solve a pain point.
Once you launch your MVP, you can start marketing in full swing. You can see real customers and organic growth with your MVP. Marketing is a big part of any startup.
Your app will start molding as it goes through the marketing steps. This is a major step to making your app market-friendly and building a significant customer base.
It is best to share your live product than any amount of ppts to potential investors. You could even launch your MVP on Product hunt for more reach.
You can also track metrics and analytics to see what is working. 20% of your features will drive 80% of the traffic. Double down on what works. Remove unnecessary features.
Building your MVP is the first and most important step in your startup journey. Your MVP also works as your resume in investor meetings. Here are the key takeaways —
- Have a formal idea of what your MVP will look like
- Use as much community code for simple features
- Deploy to live servers immediately
- Start your marketing as soon as MVP launches