How MVPs Fail
Want to see where minimum viable products fall apart? See which pitfalls to avoid when making an MVP.
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So… you have a brilliant idea for a web or mobile application. You have created a roadmap with all plans charted out and have a team, ready. The minimal version of your product is ready to be launched.
You are super excited with your idea as it is going to completely change the way consumers or businesses do or access a particular service.
All that is great!
But gone are those days when investors were cutting checks for ideas with zero or little validation. If you are a startup or small business owner, then the budget is an important aspect that cannot be neglected.
Today, investors are mostly investing more money to scale companies, rather than initial market and customer testing.
Therefore, I would strongly suggest that you start with a minimum viable product for your mobile app.
According to CB Insights, the number one reason why startups fail isn’t lack of cash. Of course, I am not suggesting that you don’t need a proper financial backup, but due to lack of research on market demand, many startups fail.
Let’s find out what you can do or don’t in order to reduce the chances of failure of your MVP.
1. Assembling an Incomplete Team
When it comes to launching a product, forget the term “jack of all trades.” No one is equally good at marketing, design, development, writing, sales, and so on. You need to have different departments to address a particular goal.
Not to mention that a single person multitasking is likely to lose focus.
In case you are looking for a partner or co-founder, make sure that the skill set of your partner does not exactly match yours. To break it down for you even further, if you are good at marketing, partner with someone who comes from a technical background. Similarly, if technology happens to be your cup of tea, marketing should be your partner’s.
The importance of a complete team cannot be stressed enough. It is crucial for your project’s success, and just having a designer and developer or marketer and a system administrator is not adequate.
2. Aiming for Perfection
While perfection is desired by most startup owners, there must be a line between overdoing something and addressing a basic requirement.
If you are a startup owner, this holds especially true for you. With a limited budget, it is close to impossible to create a flawless product. At this point, your goal should not be perfection. Your goal should be testing your product in real-market conditions.
The whole idea behind creating an MVP for a mobile app is to test user response and get feedback to work toward improvement. Therefore, the focus should be on eliminating bugs and glitches to reduce the uninstallation of the app. Being picky about the design and layout should be avoided.
After allocating a huge budget, months of work, and high expectations, you would not want to end up getting disappointed if the response is poor.
3. Skipping the Prototype Phase
This is an extremely crucial phase. You cannot miss out on this part while creating a mobile app MVP, as this is where your idea becomes a reality. A fully functioning model helps your project from a UX perspective. No matter how much time and effort it takes, make sure you get this part right before proceeding further.
Why all the emphasis on this stage, you ask? The following steps will help you understand.
The basic foundation for your application, it is vital to get the right framework for your app as per the requirements. In order to ensure engaging interactions, scalability, and reliability, you must begin with interface architecture.
Low Fidelity Interactive Prototype
A sketchy rough work helps your app’s data architecture and should ideally be simple. You can use it to test the broader concepts. It has the characteristics of the product you have in mind.
High Fidelity Interactive Prototype
The final step, this stage would include the interactions and graphics, which, in terms of resemblance, is closest to the final product. You can navigate through the application through this prototype, so don’t mess this stage up while creating an MVP.
4. Choosing the Right Methodology for Your MVP
Though each comes with its own list of pros and cons, a survey conducted by Aambysoft suggests that the success rate for the Agile method is 64%, while that of Waterfall is 49%.
While the Waterfall method comes with fixed pricing, the Agile method includes hourly rates. It is suggested that you follow the Agile method for creating MVPs, not just because of the favorable statistics, but for the following reasons:
- It is faster due to the fact that developers spend less time planning.
- With better flexibility, you can change whatever needs to be changed as per your needs.
- Better transparency provides space for you to see how much time has been spent on each step.
5. Do Not Ignore User Feedback And Suggestions
Ignoring suggestions and feedback from users defeats the whole purpose of creating an MVP. Make a list of the common complaints and ensure that you address those issues.
Working on feedback not just shows that you care for your customers, but it helps in retaining them as well. There is nothing worse than a disappointed, unsatisfied customer. Once your app gets a negative review, gaining users’ trust and circumventing could be difficult, if not impossible.
Published at DZone with permission of Swarnendu De, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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