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What is MVP and How Much Does it Cost

What is MVP and How Much Does it Cost


Everyone knows that the first release version should include small functionality to enter the market faster and to see the reaction to his product. But what is meant by “small”? How small it should be? What should include the 1.0 version and what shouldn’t? Do I need to develop a minimum viable product?

First things first, let's answer the question “What is MVP mobile app?”

What is MVP mobile app

What is MVP

MVP stands for Minimum viable product. Originally, this term was coined by Frank Robinson, CEO at SyncDev and it was popularized by Eric Ries and Steve Blank. Generally, this is the product or prototype that includes only the core features, without the usage of advanced tools.

MVP has become one of the common practices for startups, and there are several reasons for this:

  • Consumes less money and time
  • Helps to enter the market
  • Provides certain feedback from target audience
  • Reduces risks

Let’s keep going. Does MVP have to be small and cheap? No, but sometimes it is possible. There is a small group of people that are called bootstrappers. They can hype up the business literally out of thin air. A great example would be the story of Greg Gianforte, founder of $30-million RightNow Technologies Inc. In his understanding MVP is a sort of feature list of the future project. But he had enough insistence and energy to call hundreds of companies, held negotiations, and he managed to sign a contract before the product was developed.

You should understand that MVP is not necessarily a:

  • Product that requires money
  • Product that is available for users
  • Product that functions at all

However, in a particular situation when there are strict requirements for your startup they can be a must.

We believe that MVP functionality is based on:

  • The actual solution to the problem. If you solve an issue with your product, the clients will understand where you are going without going into details of your product or even a prototype. It’s like you were selling the first anti-virus. However, if your solution has competitors, then you can only interest customers with a reasonable explanation or a demo of why your solution is better. For example, why precisely your messenger or delivery is better, faster and more reliable.
  • Clients perception. There are several target audiences. For instance, there are two extremes: top managers that appreciate only strong and clear argumentation and make decisions only based on facts and logics. They can be comfortable with just a feature list and a business plan. But when we are talking about B2C approach, as there you most likely will have to show complete look & feel to make a good prepossess on the wide audience.
  • Startupper talent. What Gianforte and other sales guru are capable of, like dial a top manager and sell him the nonexistent product, can be beyond the scope of regular people's skills and capabilities.

To sum up, MVP can be:

  • Feature list
  • Mockups
  • Prototype
  • Landing page
  • Beta version
What is MVP

Examples of successful minimum viable products to inspire you.

  • Virgin Airlines. One of the largest British airlines used to be just one route and one plane flying between Gatwick and Newark. The number of plains and routs grew together with business.
  • Dropbox. Very famous cloud storage has started from 3 min promotional video that increased subscription base from 5000 up to 75000 within one night. And they even didn’t have a real product.
  • Foursquare. Founders of this network started from gathering feedbacks in Google Docs.
  • Groupon. The early version of worldwide service of coupons search was a Blog build on WordPress.

Do you have a question?

MVP for Startup

How much time should MVP consume in development? What is the average cost to develop a minimum viable product?

Specialists in our company can assure you that timeframe for version 1.0 shouldn’t exceed 4 months. The development process starts from UX / UI designing and ends with the release of functioning app. Generally, it takes 2-4 months and the MVP development costs depend on man-hours and hourly rate of the company. Let’s count possible prices by lowest and highest rates for illustration purposes.

approximate mvp cost

However, the more challenging task might be to set the right goals before you start counting budget and estimating timeframe.

MVP can be considered successful if it allows testing the demand for the idea. Limiting the project's size before the whole project is done gives you a room for mistake and can save from losing all resources.

We would describe MVP as “Maximum result with minimum effort”.

MVP for a startup doesn’t imply raw product developed in a rush, it just contains core features that require testing with a live audience and therefore time for development is narrowed. Surveys show that 60% of the features and services are not used at all and are unpopular among users. MVP conception helps to mark the necessary features, reduces time of launch and speeds up the feedback receiving.

And don’t think that it all ends on feedback receiving. The cornerstone of lean startup methodology is the cycle: development - key indicators measurement - feedback analysis.

Reasons to make an MVP for startup

Reasons to make an MVP for startup

A brilliant idea is just an idea, not the eventual result.

Do you have a question?

Having created light live product you can:

  • Save you from devoting money into failure work
  • Check if your mobile app is interesting to potential users
  • Find the best development direction through several iterations
  • Gather a base of the target audience and find early adopters for your product

Are you thinking to hire developers that can create a minimum viable product for mobile app?

We can become your MVP development company, just contact us, and we will make an MVP for startup according to your idea ;)