Mastering and Understanding the MVP

Mastering the MVP: Elevating Development Strategy

In every industry and marketplace, there are historically proven and tested tactics and tools. Looking to these proven tactics and tools, then, is helpful in painting a pathway to success in the future for new players in the industry. In the context of app development, one such proven tool, is the MVP. MVP, in app development, stands for minimum viable product. In other words, this is the smallest version of the product your team can produce while accurately representing the functionality of the concept. This sounds relatively simple, but understanding the full breadth of the MVPs role in app-development is vital to creating a strong reputation.

While it may not seem incredibly intuitive at first, the MVP is often what makes or breaks an application. This is because MVPs often act as an introduction to the application concept for any interested parties external to the development team. Therefore, the MVP is extremely weighty in forming opinions about your application prior to its launch. Furthermore, though, MVPs also leave a mark on your reputation as a developer; doubling down on the important role that they serve.

Defining The MVP

As was mentioned above, MVP stands for minimum viable product. This serves an important purpose as providing a universally accepted term for essentially small-scale versions of applications. Having said that, though, there is value to further defining what constitutes an MVP for your specific firm or development team. By further expanding what an MVP looks like for your specific team, everyone should be on the same page.

This type of team and vision alignment builds value into your firm, and will help you in producing more consistently high-quality MVPs that attract, and retain, attention. Further still, with your team aligned to the vision of the project; and everyone on board with what a finished MVP looks like, there will be a reduction in miscommunications.

Develop A Process

Like with any business practice in your organization; once done a few times successfully – it’s time to replicate the process, and the resulting success. This is the same principle behind developing a process for your MVP development. Once your firm or team defines their standards for a finished MVP, then you and your team can reverse engineer the process from there. Standardizing the MVP development process weaves consistency and quality assurance into your application development lifecycle.

A standard MVP development lifecycle is multi-faceted and contains more than a few steps. Commonly, the process begins with the birth of the concept. From there, the driving concept for the application gets nurturing and brainstorming between colleagues until a value-proposition is born. Now, with a driving concept and a value proposition, the real design work begins. This is where designers, developers and programmers start working on the general framework of the application.

These first lines of code, that will eventually compose the MVP, act as the foundation for the application and its entire future. Investing in a strong team of programmers, developers, and designers will ensure that your MVP comes out high-quality, with the important features on display and some level of user-experience design included as well.

The Importance

As should be obvious, the role of the MVP in app development is a robust one. Since the minimum viable product often acts as the introduction to the application-to-be, prioritizing its development leads to higher-quality results. Well, you may be thinking, if the end-user doesn’t ever interact with the MVP; does it really matter how strong it is? The answer is a resounding yes.

While users and players may never interact or even see the MVP, potential investors, advertisers, and partners will all want to see your MVP; before making any sort of decision toward partnering with you or your application. Therefore, its vital to present a strong minimum viable product that accurately showcases the value proposition and core functionalities of your application.

Not only this, but MVPs should also contain a thought-out design and user-experience element. These don’t need to be nearly as thought out as the value proposition or the core-concepts need to be; but their presence will elevate your MVP greatly, and indicate that you’ve thought about these various important features and factors.

Who To Go To For MVP Development

Some appreneurs, however, come to the game without the technical savvy or coding know-how. This though; should never act as a deterrent from entering the application-development industry. Especially with the explosion of the mobile and web application markets over the past year. the opportunity is as bountiful as ever. For the appreneurs who fall into this category; there are plenty of options for you to pursue and launch your application.

There are, of course, freelance options who will come with relatively cheap development rates, and promises of quick turn-arounds. However, working with freelancers, especially on application development projects, always comes with a relatively high-risk. From missed deadlines, to projects that completely fall-through, or finished products that are low-quality or bug-ridden. Before signing on a freelancer, be sure you know the risks involved.

On the other side of the development wall are agencies. Agency developers usually come with a slightly higher price-tag, but their quality and deliverable guarantees are much stronger. Plus, with an agencies support, you will usually have additional support-options that assist you in taking your application all the way from MVP through app-store launch, and even updates and reiterations.

The Benefits of Strong MVPs and Presentations

MVPs are clearly a huge part of the application development world. Their role is expansive and they serve a myriad of purposes. So let’s explore a few more of the benefits that yield from prioritizing a strong MVP presentation. Having a well-developed and well-designed minimum viable product is half the battle; presentation is the other half.

Making sure that your MVP presentation does the value-proposition justice, emphasizes the core-concepts of the application, and brings its main features into the limelight is just as important as having an MVP in the first place. By prioritizing the MVP development, your application will start its journey with a leg-up on competitors. This advantage stems from the interest that strong MVPs garner from external parties, prior to app-launch.

Financing, Investors, and Interest

Financial support, investors, ad partners, and a generally bolstered level of consumer interest in your application all start with a well-developed and thoroughly thought-through MVP. The MVP is arguably one of the most important aspects in application development because of it’s direct correlation with building, generating, and maintaining financial interest from partners, sponsors, and investors.

Therefore, by prioritizing the MVP development in your firm by defining the standards of an MVP for your team, building an MVP development process, and properly packaging your MVP proposals, your firm will be well on its way to long term success with a strong reputation and a formulaic process.

Wrapping Up

There are many tactics and strategies that app developers use to garner support for their projects. The minimum viable product is by far one of the most powerful and impactful tools that developers and designers can produce. This is especially the case as a proper MVP showcases the value proposition and the main features of the application.

For more information on how to begin your app-development journey, or the importance of a strong MVP, keep browsing NS804’s content library. NS804 is the proud mobile app developer of the everyday person, more than happy to help.

How Much Does It Cost To Build A MVP

Ever wondered how much it costs to build a MVP? We answer that question in more detail below and demystify the process of developing a compelling app MVP. Furthermore, we provide a few tips on some of the pitfalls you should avoid.

1. Why The DIY Option Costs More

You’ve decided to build an app MVP but still pondering whether to do it yourself. You may think it will cost you nothing or very little if you forego freelancers or professional development companies. But have you thought about how much your own time is worth? Do you have the technical skills to build a MVP efficiently and complete it on time? And have you considered all the costs associated with designing, developing, releasing, testing, and analyzing data of your MVP?

A competent freelance developer will likely charge you between $ 4,000 to $ 6,000, while a development company will charge you between $ 5,000 to $ 35,000, depending on the complexity of your project. It’s unlikely that you’ll finish your project at a lower price, especially if you don’t have any prior experience.

2. Why Build A MVP Using Professionals

Even if you’ve built an MVP before, you benefit immensely by working with a professional development team. Not only will you have peace of mind that your project will be completed on time, but your MVP will comply with best practices. However, you’ll need to be vigilant about your user testing and quality assurance (QA) processes.

Ensure that your development team is fully collaborating with you throughout the entire development process. And ensure that they’re regularly testing your MVP and that they’re consistently collecting and analyzing data. The last thing you want is the unfortunate scenario where users lose trust in a technology that seemed promising.

3. How To Scale Back An App MVP

You’re likely targeting a niche market with your app MVP. And users in niche markets tend to be early adopters looking for solutions that solve specific problems. Thus, you won’t need all the bells and whistles to attract these users. Instead, focus on the bare minimum of features that your users will find beneficial to save on development costs.

4. How Long Does It Take To Build A MVP

It usually takes between two to four months to develop an MVP. But it can take longer if you’re creating a more complex application. And in most cases, you’ll spend the bulk of your development time building all your back-end systems. Therefore, ensure that your development team has the necessary skills to handle such tasks to avoid unforeseen delays.

5. Why An App MVP Saves You Money Overall

Developing and marketing a mobile application costs a substantial amount of money. But it’s always a huge risk releasing such an application, especially if you haven’t ascertained if it will be successful. That’s why building an MVP makes sense since it allows you to test out your ideas and gather user feedback at a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged application. If your MVP gains traction and receives positive feedback from users, you can entice investors to help you scale your app.

Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you build a MVP that engages users and impresses investors.

Perfecting Your MVP Pitch

Crafting The Perfect Pitch For Your MVP

Businesses do not start from nothing. No, rather, a business forms from a thought. Sometimes, a single thought that undergoes nurturing and care until it’s a full-blown business operation. Think about Steve Jobs starting the behemoth that is Apple out of his garage. That’s some all-star thought-nourishment. As with any venture, a vital step is taking that thought, and turning it into a tangible prototype. This is the epicenter of an MVP when it comes to app development.

Designing a prototype that exemplifies the core concepts and values that your idea offers is integral to gaining traction; not only with investors and potential partners but with users as well.

The Ins and Outs of an MVP

MVP stands for minimum viable product. However, an easy way to think about MVPs is like they are the prototype of the application market. In that way, they share many of the same responsibilities and functions that a prototype serves in other industries. For example, MVPs often contain core components of the ultimate design, function, and user experience so that investors and potential partners can get an idea of how your app will deliver its value to the end-user. Now, that’s an extremely important word when it comes to MVPs – ‘value’.

The value-proposition is what should really drive the development of your MVP. When asking yourself or your team which elements need to be included in the MVP, consider which components you would regard as a core aspect of the value proposition. Asking and answering this question acts as a guide that yields a well-crafted MVP that contains the core aspects of your application and demonstrates the value that it will bring to users.

Building Value With Investors and Partners

Investors and potential partners are often akin to NFL coaches in a sense when it comes to “seeing it on the field”. In other words, ideas and potential are just that until they’re proven and tangible. This is what an MVP offers to your investors – the proof they need to sign on the dotted line and hand over the rest of those start-up funds. Plus, by having an MVP to show to interested parties and partners your team will be generating more buzz around the exciting new project that’s being developed.

Doubling down on this point, an MVP should also contain aspects of the user experience and design intentions. This will give investors a more immersive sense of what to expect from the final product, which keeps everyone aligned to the same value proposition and expectations.

Pitch Tips and Tricks

There are many pitching techniques and sales strategies that developers and programmers use. However, the most potent strategy in delivering an impactful MVP pitch is the integrity of the MVP and the value-proposition themselves. A strong MVP speaks for itself.

Wrapping Up on MVPs

The minimum viable product, or MVP, is an extremely important aspect of the application development world to grasp and master. For more information on MVPs or anything else related to app development; continue browsing NS804. NS804 is the proud app developer of the everyday person.

How A Minimum Viable Product Helps You Identify Opportunities

Building a minimum viable product (MVP) is a smart move. Not only will it help you identify opportunities, but provide valuable insight into what your users truly want. And if you plan your MVP carefully, you’ll complete it successfully while keeping your development costs low.

1. The Minimum Viable Product Is A Powerful Tool In Your Arsenal

Every smart appreneur or enterprise takes advantage of the most effective tools available to them. Such a tool is the minimum viable product, which helps determine whether or not an app will be successful. Since an MVP is far cheaper and quicker to develop than a full-featured app, it’s a less risky option. The developer only focuses on the bare minimum features and tries to solve a problem that app users face.

But even with this reduced cost and risk, it’s vital to treat MVP development seriously. Don’t be self-indulgent with your ideas or implement trendy concepts that don’t align with what’s best for your business. An MVP is supposed to reveal whether users find your app appealing while you gather analytical data and feedback. Moreover, this MVP should diminish fears and concerns from investors and stakeholders about the prospects of your upcoming project.

2. Carefully Plan Your MVP To Reduce Development Costs

Before commencing with your minimum viable product, you’ll need to assess various factors. Firstly, understand what’s best for your business and what your long-term goals are for the app. Secondly, map out how app users will find your app and what pain points they may experience. Thirdly, decide on which features to prioritize based on the pain points and opportunities your target users present.

Use a prioritization matrix to help you determine which features to implement and which to leave out. Implement high impact and high urgency features while leaving out or revisiting low impact and low urgency features. By doing this, you’ll reduce development costs by building an MVP that strictly delivers the bare essentials.

3. Understand The Project Management Methodologies

From the most successful mobile app developers to elite business schools, the MVP has become indispensable. Undoubtedly, it can yield phenomenal results, provided it’s used for the right reasons and not as a panacea. That’s why it’s vital to understand project management methodologies, especially when running a lean startup enterprise. As an appreneur, mobile app developer, or even a business releasing its first app, you should have a handle on Agile practices.

Nowadays, many developers utilize the Agile methodology for delivering their products to app users quickly. But quick doesn’t mean bad, as Agile requires that each developer’s code is tested and passes code review before it’s added to the main branch. Furthermore, the development team will regularly engage the community and deliver updates continuously.

4. Your MVP Will Let You Know What App Users Want

Once you’ve released your minimum viable product, your users will start using it and give their feedback. Of course, you should be encouraging reviews and be engaging with users on as many channels as possible. You should also set up an analytics pipeline to effectively collect and analyze user data. All this information will let you know if you’ve created an MVP that’s worth scaling into a full-featured app.

And while developing an MVP may be less risky, this doesn’t mean that you should attempt it alone. For the best results, partner with an experienced development company that will help release your app within budget. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can assist you in creating MVPs that will appeal to new users.

Build An MVP: 8 Mistakes To Avoid For Success

If you’re about to build an MVP, then you’re going to face several challenges. You’ll want to implement a ton of cool ideas, but you’ll probably pare these down for project feasibility. Then, you’ll have to consider Waterfall methodology vs Agile and choose the right model. And, budgetary concerns may make you spend too much or too little on your upcoming project. The wrong decisions could potentially derail the success of your MVP. Therefore, we’ve compiled this handy list of 8 mistakes to avoid to keep your project on track.

1. Build An MVP Too Complete Or Slimmed Down

Everything in life is about balance, and the same applies to building an MVP. Quite often, developers get excited about making a mind-blowing MVP and go overboard by adding unnecessary features. They waste company resources by spending time on these extra bells and whistles, hoping that they’ll wow clients. But the result is an unfocused product that confuses clients or doesn’t deliver basic functionality as it should. Small or inexperienced teams usually have trouble implementing complex systems with robust functionality.

However, it’s not a good idea to build an MVP that’s too slimmed down either. While it makes sense to keep things simple, this doesn’t mean that it should be too basic unless that’s what’s specified by the client. Ideally, you want to create an MVP that delivers all core functionality in a near-flawless manner. But you also want to implement the user interface (UI) & user experience (UX) to make your MVP feel complete. Ultimately, you want the MVP to give the client a clear picture of how the final product will look.

2. Choosing The Wrong Methodology

Developers are a passionate lot, especially when it comes to their favorite programming languages, tools, and methodologies. You’ll catch them feverishly debating the Waterfall methodology vs Agile on Stack Overflow, Quora, or around the water cooler. You may even have a hotshot developer on the team that’s eager to dive into an MVP agile project. Thus, it’s easy to be swayed by popular opinion of which methodology to adopt in your upcoming MVP.

The best course of action here is to consider all benefits of the Waterfall methodology vs Agile. Moreover, you’ll have to decide on which model suits your MVP the most. If you need to get deliverables out to clients quickly, then we recommend the MVP agile approach. But if you’re working on a larger or very defined project, then it’s better to apply the Waterfall methodology. Keep in mind that it’s difficult going back and making changes after commencing or testing a project with Waterfall.

3. Build An MVP That Costs Too Much

We don’t recommend that you skimp on costs to build your MVP. After all, you want an MVP that’s of reasonably good quality. But don’t burn through your entire budget, as your project may prove unfeasible in the long run. By working with an experienced developer, such as NS804, it’s possible to determine costs beforehand and avoid nasty surprises along the way. Moreover, a competent developer will deliver the MVP on time, implement best practices, and meet expectations.

4. Spending Too Much Time On Research

It makes sense to do your homework before building your MVP, but don’t overdo it. One of the reasons you’re making an MVP is to determine its validity in the marketplace. Ultimately, it’s your target audience that will decide if your project is worth scaling into a full-fledged product. Researching too much will also give you plenty of ideas, which may tempt you to apply all these in your MVP. Overloading your app with too many features will make it harder to develop, maintain, and scale.

5. Building An MVP Without Understanding Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is building an MVP without understanding your audience. If you’ve never released an app before, you may think that all users will find your MVP appealing. But when you eventually launch it, you’ll come to the harsh realization that few users bother to download it.

Now, why does this happen to so many developers?

In most cases, they’ve failed to do market research to understand who their audience is and what they want. They’ve cast their net wide, hoping that they’ll attract a large mainstream audience. But that’s now how the app marketplace works! Users invest their time in highly-popular apps such as Evernote, Facebook Messenger, and Signal since these provide the features and functionality that people find valuable. Thus, only incredibly talented development teams with massive marketing budgets can compete with the above offerings.

Before embarking on MVP development, it’s critical to think about target market segmentation. Moreover, it’s necessary to ask several questions such as: Where does your user live? What’s their demographic group? What’s their general attitude or outlook on life? What hobbies and interests do they spend their money and time on? And what life stage are they currently in?

Also, it’s vital to understand the differences between a target market and a target audience. It’s’ easy to confuse the two terms since they often have overlapping meanings. Succinctly, a target market affects every aspect of an enterprise’s decisions relating to its product, pricing, and sales processes. But the target audience will only influence the enterprise’s marketing and messaging endeavors.

6. Using The Cheapest Option Possible

You’ve decided to forge ahead with your MVP agile project but noticed that your input costs are mounting. With months still to go before your MVP is out the door, you decide to cut costs. You let go of several key developers in your team and hire cheaper contractors from abroad. Furthermore, you forego unit testing in the hopes of reducing your time to market (TTM) and overall costs. And, when you finally release your MVP, you discover that it’s a buggy mess plagued with problems.

Choosing the cheapest option almost always leads to unsatisfactory results. That’s why we can’t stress enough how important it’s to work with an experienced developer when building an MVP. Not only will a team of professionals help you craft a professional MVP, but they’ll also ensure that it’s budget-friendly.

7. Striving For Perfection

You should complete your MVP within a reasonable amount of time. But don’t rush it out the door, as its quality will likely suffer. Instead, focus on building an MVP that showcases its core functionality and avoid adding any unnecessary features. And don’t waste resources on too much spit and polish, which is better suited for your final product. You’ll meet your deadlines and goals if you keep your app as simple as possible and not try to make it perfect.

8. Promising Something Impossible To Deliver

You may be working with a phenomenal marketing team that’s ready to set all your social media channels on fire. You’ve handed over marketing materials and screenshots of your MVP, hoping the marketing team to build an enormous amount of hype. But have you thought things through about how you’ll be conveying your message to your target audience? Are you sure that your MVP will meet expectations, or are you overpromising? If your app doesn’t live up to the hype, then you risk damaging your reputation.

In Conclusion

Building an MVP is a rewarding but often challenging process. However, it’s possible to make the process a lot easier by avoiding the 8 mistakes we’ve covered above. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can make your next MVP a roaring success!

The Toolbox of The Appreneur

The Tricks Of The Appreneur Trade Start With The Tools

Every trade has masters to look to for exemplary work. However, an important aspect to keep in mind when admiring these great achievements, is where those masters began. They certainly didn’t start their journeys creating masterpieces. In most cases, the greatest successes have modest and humble beginnings. Simply learning any trade takes years, and mastering a trade is a whole different story. There is hope, though. For instance, Malcolm Gladwell theorized that it only takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to master any skill. In other words, practice does make perfect, even for an appreneur.

Before anyone masters anything, however, the fundamentals need to be conquered; and this is true regardless of industry, practice, or trade. In the context of appreneurs, though, it means reaching a deep understanding of the tools and resources available that will guide your application development process. From data to the complexity of the app stores, pitching investors, and much more, let’s start filling your appreneur toolbox so you’re prepared for your first day on the job site, so to speak.

The Importance of Learning The Appreneur Tools

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning that there is real value in developing a deep and meaningful understanding of the tools used by appreneurs. By taking the time to learn and understand these various tools you’ll have the wherewithal to set out on meaningful app-development projects. Learning these tools will also help prevent you from making the same mistakes as others before you. The app market is a relatively tricky one, and starting with a comprehensive knowledge base gives you an immediate advantage.

One of the most valuable aspects of having this knowledge is the mistakes it helps developers avoid. For instance, creating a relationship with and utilizing these tools helps developers and programmers from creating clunky apps; it provides insight into red flags for which to watch out on the development journey; and it will help you tune into the needs of your consumers and users more easily.

The MVP: Minimum Viable Product

Most app-journeys begin with the ‘aha’ moment. The moment that the great idea was born. However, this is far from the point at which investors are taking a stake, or there’s any sort of buzz about your app. No, at this stage; it’s almost always just you and your good idea.

Enter: the MVP. While this may sound like a deus ex machina, in fact, it is not a most valuable player to save the day – but rather, the minimum viable product. The minimum viable product is an early form of an application that displays its basic functionality, core concept, and some design elements.

Much like a prototype in more traditional markets, the MVP is absolutely vital. One of the main reasons it’s such an important aspect of an application’s journey and development is that it often generates funding. MVPs are commonly the first introduction that investors and other potential partners are going to have to your application. Therefore, developing strong MVPs that garner and accelerate interest is vital to success in app development. The MVP sort of acts as both a teaser and a proof of concept; and it’s no secret that first impressions last.

App Store Data

The next tool to add to the box is data. Specifically, app store data. The app stores are important for appreneurs for a variety of reasons. Obviously, they represent the main marketplaces in which users can actually purchase, download, and discover applications. However, there’s much more to its value for an appreneur than that. For appreneurs, the app stores are rich mines full of data that covers a whole spectrum of categories.

Following the app store from week to week, for instance, sheds light on multiple factors. Firstly, it gives insight into the app store’s algorithm that rolls through and ranks apps. Secondly, and arguably, more importantly, it paints a portrait of user behavior and consumer trends. No matter which market you find yourself in, consumer behavior is one of the most telling elements that helps identify the next big success.

There are plenty of places to look within the app stores to find pertinent and valuable data. One of those places being direct competition.

Learning From Competitors

No one wants to reinvent the wheel. And for good reason. The same principle is why crafty appreneurs take the time to look at their direct competition before jumping into app development, or even MVP development. Since applications are designed to basically be as accessible as possible, appreneurs can use this to their advantage. By downloading and learning the ins and outs of a competitor’s application, you’re able to take notes on what you would improve as a designer or developer in your own version. The learning doesn’t stop there though.

Going a level deeper, examining user feedback, both positive and negative, will provide an elevated level of insight into the elements for which users in your specific niche market are looking. These elements include but are not limited to, functionality, design, the look and feel, the overall usability, and much more.

Taking lessons from the competition will give you and your team insight into features to be sure to include, as well as features that certainly should not be included. This sets your application on the right path, as you’re already taking consumer demands and needs into consideration before you’ve even released your first iteration.

The App Launch

Once you’ve built your all-star MVP that’s garnered enough interest and investment to take your app idea from concept to reality, it’s time for one of the most exciting stages in any app’s life. The app launch. The app launch is exciting for a myriad of reasons, but most notably, because it’s the first time that your application will actually be live on the app stores. Users will start seeing it in their feeds, and with the right marketing plan, downloads will begin in no time.

The app launch isn’t all fun and cocktails, though, as it’s another opportunity for your team to promote the app. After all, you’ve worked this hard to bring it here, there’s nothing wrong with getting a bit hyped up. Taking the time to plan an app launch, even a virtual one in this remote economy, helps push the word out about your app, drives early downloads, and theoretically builds an initial userbase that has a slightly higher sense of loyalty.

Leveraging and Implementing User Feedback

The app launch is in the past, the initial user base is cemented; you’re starting to wonder about what to develop next. Before you jump on that train, though, remember that applications are all about the user experience. User feedback, therefore, is one of the most valuable tools that any appreneur can access once their app is launched. By listening to the reviews that users leave, and giving strong consideration to the feedback provided by users, your team will have the knowledge they need to create valuable updates that don’t nuisance the users and continue to improve the user experience.

A Quick Wrap Up On Appreneur Tools

Learning any trade takes time, commitment, and practice. It’s no different with appreneurship. After reading this article though, you should at least have an understanding of which tools are important to learn, and why they offer so much value. For more information on mobile app development, appreneurship, or anything else app development-related; keep browsing the NS804 content library.