How Long Does It Take to Create an MVP?

Up until the mid-2000s, when Nokia ruled the mobile phone industry, there were no “apps.” At that time, innovation meant creating desktop and web-based solutions.

However, with the rise of iOS and Android-based systems, businesses realized that they could use apps to improve their existing products and services. More importantly, this paradigm shift facilitated the rise of startups that specialized in app development. These mobile applications opened new avenues to address a wide range of issues.

Why Was MVP Necessary?

Interestingly, there were many failures among these success stories. Several companies allocated plenty of resources and time to design full-fledged apps. However, only a few of these apps went on to become successful.

Moreover, there was an investor dilemma involved. Startups founders needed to secure capital, but investors were reluctant to support them. It was due to the lack of a working solution. To counter this issue, app developers began relying on MVPs (minimum viable products) for their apps. An MVP is an initial working model of an app with basic features. It is meant to attract users by offering a unique proposition.

How a Food Company Used MVP to Their Advantage?

A few years back, a food delivery company decided to jump on the bandwagon of mobile apps. They began by first testing the waters to get feedback on their idea without writing any code. The idea was to create an app in which a household could update their weekly menu. In response, the company was supposed to deliver the required ingredients for that specific menu. So, they built an MVP and interviewed prospective customers regarding their preferences. This feedback was communicated to the chef, who would then procure the required ingredients. This entire process was both slow and expensive. However, it gave extremely important insights to the company. They learned critical details about their target audience and updated their solution accordingly.

How Much Time Does an MVP Take?

Kinvey surveyed 100 mobile developers to learn how much time it took to create an iOS and Android app. It revealed that, on average, an MVP took around 18 weeks or 4.5 months. Back-end development took most of the time, where developers worked tirelessly to build back-end systems. That being said, it is important to understand that all of these developers were working on different types of app. For instance, a startup that was making a global social media app required a lot of time to build an MVP. In contrast, a simple dictionary app did not need too much time for an MVP.

Ultimately, the duration of your MVP depends on the type of your app. You must divide your requirements into logical units and evaluate them accordingly. Interdependent tasks form units. For instance, if your app has a login screen, then you can measure each action on it separately. Consider the following example. There are three primary user activities on the login screen.

  • Login with email – it requires a total completion time of 12 hours.
  • Forgot Password – it requires a total completion time of 7 hours.
  • Registration – it requires a total completion time of 11 hours.


Add up all these completion times. and your login screen will take 30 hours. Moreover, if you add Facebook or Gmail integrations, then your MVP time will increase. In the end, you can add the MVP times of all screens to get an expected idea of how much time your MVP takes.

Is It Necessary to Create MVP in a Short Period?

Although companies have realized the importance of MVP, they are not doing it right. Many managers force their developers to create their MVP within a short timeframe. They believe that quality is not essential in a “minimal” product. As a result, the output is negatively impacted, where software developers cannot follow the right software engineering design and practices.

A better strategy is to put your best into your MVP, even if it costs more time. To do this, you need to contact an experienced MVP consultant. Such a consultant will analyze your app requirements and suggest an accurate timeframe for the MVP of your app.

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