Feb 2, 2021

about 3 min read

Minimum Viable Products - What does MVP mean for your startup?

All startups begin with an idea and will grow through phases until it becomes an SME, and then, an MNC. In fact, all MNCs were once an SME or Startup! There are many milestones that a startup will reach on its growth journey, one major step being “owning an MVP”. A minimum viable product - MVP - is the simplest form of the main basic product/service that is for the least functional and capable of attracting users. The MVP is so important that it is a determining factor for a startup to start getting its funding from the investors.  

How to define MVP?

MVP - Minimum Viable Product is the first version of a product generated from the product idea, that has enough bare minimum features for customers to use and provide feedback.

The purpose of MVP is to have a goal for the early startup to focus on. Instead of too many pointless discussions and meetings with the team, building various unnecessary prototypes, new-born startups should focus on producing their MVP. This saves time, effort and maximizes the opportunity to get early customers, feedbacks, establish branding quickly and create a base for future updates.


Key elements of MVP includes

_ Functionality: The features must serve a final purpose and have clear value to the users.

_ Design: Although it’s just the first model, MVP requires a sleek design that tops the industry.

_ Reliability: Enough testing is needed to make an MVP free of bugs, providing smooth UI.

_ Usability: MVPs should be intuitive - easy to use.

The best roadmap from ideas to the first MVP

Don’t think of building parts of complex products as your MVP. This takes too much time and in return, you have nothing ready for the short-term, and a really blank future. Instead, focus on producing a complete but basic MVP first, and then gradually upgrading it to produce more complex versions with full functions.

Follow these steps when building your first Minimum Viable Product:

1. Decide on the problems & solutions

2. Compare your MVP ideas to current competitors

3. List down 10 MVP features and then make it 5

4. Building, Alpha & Beta testing

Inspirational MVP stories


Case study #1 Airbnb

Airbnb was once an idea without much money behind it! In the founders’ apartment, Airbnb was first formed as a basic website with photos of properties and their descriptions. They found a bunch of paying customers almost immediately and made their short-term, C2C online rental housing idea a reality. 


Case study #2 Facebook

The Facebook was the MVP’s name. Its main function was to connect students from within Harvard - they were able to upload messages to shared boards. After the profound success of the MVP, many other functions and updates followed to make the Facebook App we use today.

Case study #3 Amazon

In 1990, the founder Jeff Bezos jot down his first list of 20 product categories to sell online. And then shorten it down to only 5: CDs, videos, hardware, software, and books. When launched, it was just a website that has an inventory of books. When he got an order, he would buy it from a wholesaler and then ship it. The website grows after many years into what we know as Amazon today, one of the worlds’ biggest retailers. 

The essence of MVP

Without MVP - Assuming you are skipping the MVP and head straight to building the final products. This will normally take 7-10 months with a budget of $100,000 for a fully functional product with a detailed structure. Then, you launch it to the market, there is a 50-50% chance it will be accepted by customers. If it failed or you wanted to redesign some functions to adapt to users’ feedbacks, it would overwhelm the team and cost a lot more.


With MVP - If you go with the Minimum Viable Product method, you get to have your first product ready for branding, testing in the market, and receiving feedbacks at $7,000 to $10,000 in just 1 to 2 months. You can upgrade it gradually afterward with the budget you will have earned and plenty of feedback from the market. And that’s a huge difference.

To have your first MVP built by professional developers, UI designers, and project managers, contact Golden Owl Consulting today. We will offer the best deal you can find on the market!


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