16 February 2016

How should I consider my project? As an MVP of course!

When you consider starting your first app, you have tons of ideas, concepts, and most of the time you’ll find them all… legendary. You’re probably right, but you’re probably thinking of 15 different apps mixed into one. That’s never going to work. The key business model, to make an app, lies in the concept of MVP. The Minimal Viable Product. Notice those words were chosen carefully, as they all have a very important meaning.

The idea is simple, you don’t want your dream app to be released as v1. You want a very simplistic version of it, and increment regularly.

Incrementing something that works from day 1 is the way to go
Incrementing something that works from day 1 is the way to go

There are many advantages. Using a simple concept, you reduce initial costs. Less code, less time, less money. Don’t overdo it though, you might have a limousine in mind, and simply building a majestic tire won’t cut it. Think of a skateboard, that’s a simplistic version of a car, right? You have most of the important features of the limo : it get’s you from point A to point B and it has wheels. It’s still a vehicle, yet, it’s quite rudimentary. We’re dealing with the Minimal aspect here.

You must have your core concept(s) in place. They are dependent on your business plan. The skateboard is surely something you can sell/rent, and it simply works. It’s not as fast or efficient as a bike, but it’s definitely Viable.

Make sure everything is where it should be, in a state that works. It has to be usable. The best tire in the world is surely useful, expensive and of high quality, but you won’t get much out of it. You might as well make a sub-version of your idea complete rather than your exact idea incomplete. Your Product will evolve with time, don’t worry.

The key business model, to make an app, lies in the concept of MVP.

The MVP concept will not only let you build your idea through trial and error, it will also help you grow with it, and together, you’ll achieve your goals.

The MVP is a loop, not a one-shot ! After the release, you come back to step 1 with precise feedback.
The MVP is a loop, not a one-shot ! After the release, you come back to step 1 with precise feedback.

The important part though, is the cycle between each iteration.

  1. Your MVP, your product, should include the tools to measure specific data, which helps you learn from the behaviour of your users. You understand how they interact with your product. How long do they use my skateboard? Do they just skate for fun? Or to go to work? 
  2. Now that you know your users, that knowledge will help you scale the app around their needs! Going to work is easier and faster with a bike, the vehicle is not that much different (muscle-powered, has wheels), and most people should like it. That’s a good idea. Let’s build it !
  3. Hey, you now have a new product, it fits all the requirements of your previous MVP, but now has the ability to go faster.
  4. That’s a nice bike you’ve got there, let’s measure some data ! And you’re back to step 1.

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The secret of the MVP really lies in the iterations. Your dream app was a limo, but after some iterations you realize your skateboard became a truck instead, because that’s what your users needed and wanted. It would be unpractical to transport bricks in a limo, wouldn’t it? This is why the MVP works, because it scales with the current needs without going too fast, too slow, or in the wrong direction. It’s just smooth.

Of course, I’ve kept this all very theoretical, but you get the idea. With that in mind, your app will answer whatever the needs your users may have 😉 !

Gil Sand
Published by Gil Sand

“Programming is the art of writing essays in crystal clear prose and making them executable.” ― Brinch Hansen