Everyone gets an idea for an app at one point or another, but not every idea is destined to make it. That doesn’t mean they shouldn't at least be tested or see the light of day. Even huge corporations get ideas for apps for their services but building an app and the accompanying service needs some real investment. One of the best ways to tempt potential investors and sell the concept of an app is with a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Building an MVP app will help you sell your idea without sinking all of your resources into an untested product.
An MVP can be defined as a product that provides the most important feature and core functionality of the app, without building out a full or final product. This helps showcase the idea behind the app and gives a taste of the execution without devoting a ton of resources towards the full implementation. This article will go over the different benefits of going with an MVP and the different options for creating one.
Benefits of building an MVP app
1. Validating and testing the app’s concept
As it’s clear from the definition of an MVP, the main and most important purpose of creating one is to test out an app idea. By building the core functionality of the app using the minimum required that is needed to run it, you can validate the concept.
2. Faster development
When you go for building an MVP app instead of a fully-fledged product, you save on two valuable resources: time and money. For the time aspect, since you're only building the core functionality, you are able to rush the app to market. This is extremely important for many apps and services that live and die by who reaches the market first. And even if the MVP isn’t designed for public release, saving time and being able to show it off to investors in the fastest time possible can go a long way towards impressing them.
3. Reduced development cost
The second major resource you’re saving is money. Going with building an MVP app reduces what is needed to be completed and helps you save significantly on developer costs. This can appeal to everyone, but especially to startups that are still running on little to no funding and trying to attract interest in the app.
4. Using an MVP as a building block
Depending on what you use to build your MVP, it can be easily used as a foundation and added to when transitioning into a fully-fledged product. This helps save future resources and time when updating the app into the final product and can be done in a very natural fashion.
5. Generating buzz and attracting investors
Depending on your reasons behind wanting to build an MVP app, there are plenty of benefits when it comes to the potential audience. If the main goal is impressing or attracting investors, having an MVP provides them with proof of concept and something that is ready to work. This makes it easier to invest in something tangible rather than just a concept.
If the goal is to generate consumer interest in the product, building an MVP also makes that more feasible. Getting to market as quickly as possible gives your app a great chance to be at the forefront of consumer’s attention. Builder be aware, speed is important when building an MVP app, but so are quality and functionality. If your MVP works well, building on the promise of developing it into a full product also helps you retain users and their interest in your product.
How to develop an MVP app
Native app development (iOS, Android)
- Your MVP can be continued to work on without starting from scratch for the full product.
- Native performance and features for both operating systems
- Large initial investment
- Needs expertise for both operating systems
- Takes more time
- Differences between both apps
- Doesn’t require as much technical expertise
- Quick results
- Cheap option
- Lower quality and functionality when compared with native/cross-platform development
- A good option for an MVP but won’t translate to a full product and would need starting from scratch if approved for production
- Needs a good app builder solution and has its own cost and issues associated with it
Cross-platform app development
- Faster development
- Needs one team instead of two different teams for native apps
- Uniformity of UI, design, and functionality across platforms
- Can be iterated on for a full product later on
- Has various options for cross-platform development
- Requires a dedicated team and the cost associated with it
- Different cons depending on which cross-platform solution
- React Native
What to choose?
Big decisions come with every new app endeavor whether you are an indie developer, startup, or established company. Mobile apps require investment and giving investors or decision-makers a proof of concept goes a long way. MVP apps serve the exact purpose of testing the waters before a full investment is ready to be made. And whichever reason is behind opting for one will help you determine what method you should use to create it.
All different options present different benefits and drawbacks, and they all come down to every app being different. To recap, developing an MVP app natively gives you a solid base to build on for a full app in the future while utilizing the best of native features and performances. But the initial cost and expertise needed are higher than the other options. Going with a cross-platform solution has similar benefits but helps cut down on the time, cost, and expertise needed to develop native apps. However, depending on which cross-platform solution you choose it could affect the quality of the resulting app. For a very simple prototype that just showcases the potential app, an app builder or prototyping tool might be your best bet.
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