What Is a Minimum Viable Product in Mobile App Development?

March 7, 2016 - 2 minutes read

Minimum Viable Product mobile app development

One of the defining characteristics of startups is that they seek to capitalize on new market needs rather than replicate old ones. In other words, the goal is to innovate. If all goes well, your idea disrupts the less-than-perfect solutions that exist for daily problems we all face in banking, health, transportation, entertainment, and every other major service economy. If all doesn’t go well, your iPhone app joins the hundreds of thousands of other iPhone app developers that failed to gain traction in the Apple App Store.

So, the key to success for iPhone app developers is to create a pitch-perfect minimum viable product (MVP). But what exactly is an MVP?

Put simply, a minimum viable product is the simplest, most bare-bones version of your app that can still solve your users’ core problem.

Tech entrepreneurs face two big problems:

  1. Market risk: not knowing if anyone will actually pay for your idea.
  2. Operation costs: depending on the complexity of your idea, development costs and staff can cost in the millions until the app begins to turn a profit.

How pursuing an MVP solves these problems

MVPs solve the issue of market risk for San Francisco iPhone app developers by making pivoting in reaction to user research and data more realistic. Figuring out an entirely new market is incredibly time-consuming, requiring most startups to pivot dramatically before landing on the perfect iPhone app for their users’ needs. First-time iPhone app developers generally have a strong vision for their final product, but ultimately fewer features translate to easier pivots.

MVPs also offer compelling benefits to cost control. Rather than build out features and then ditch the ones that don’t work, launching an MVP allows a startup to save the cost of developing those features in the first place. Once the “core” feature has been proven on the market, additional features are slowly built out in response to real-world data rather than pre-launch research.

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