How Much Does It Cost to Build the MVP of an App?

November 22, 2022

You have an excellent idea for a killer app for your startup or enterprise. You have also found a reputable iOS and Android mobile app developer and have secured some funds. Going through the list of potential features for your app, you realize that your final app will be quite sophisticated. After completing some calculations and analysis, you note that the cost of developing this final product may be significantly higher than your financial resources.

So, what do you do? Whether you’re interested in Android or iOS app development, or both, you should consider developing an MVP app.

What does MVP stand for?

MVP may sound like a term from sports, but in app development, it stands for Minimum Viable Product. As the title suggests, it’s the minimum viable version of your app. Similarly to the MVPs in sports, a minimum viable product can be incredibly valuable to your company when developed and marketed correctly.

OK, what is an MVP app exactly?

Here is a quick Minimum Viable Product definition: An MVP is an early version of your app that carries enough features to be usable by early users such as customers or potential backers. The features of an MVP app are carefully selected to offer initial functionality and show how the software fills a market need. All final features of your product are only designed, developed and completed once you go through several rounds of feedback from the product’s early users and then validate each one.

The goal of an MVP may be to earn feedback, fuel organic growth, or help you secure more funding from your investors.

  • Feedback from users can help guide development. App developers can use feedback from early adopters to know the viability of features and modify the development roadmap accordingly.
  • A good MVP can help generate buzz, quickly taking your signups from a few thousand to over a hundred thousand.
  • Many entrepreneurs develop MVPs to court backers. In order words, an MVP can help pitch the feasibility of your business plan to your investors.

But how much does it cost to build the MVP of an app?

Like any software, mobile apps can be complicated. It’s impossible to give you the exact cost of building an MVP app without learning more about your idea, features, and timeframe. The nature of the app can also impact the cost. For example, a hybrid or web app is usually cheaper, though also less compelling than a native app.

Generally, the cost of creating the MVP of an app can range from $15,000 to $50,000. But this number can vary. For a more accurate idea, get in touch with us. The answers to these questions will be helpful:

  • What do you want your app to do?
  • What specific features do you have in mind?
  • Which platforms are you interested in?
  • Do you have a deadline?
  • What does your budget look like?

Minimum Viable Product Examples

A significant number of the apps you use every day started as MVPs. Here are a couple of examples of MVP success stories:

  • Dropbox: You probably know Dropbox as a leading cloud file hosting service that helps users share and synchronize files. Dropbox signups jumped from 5,000 to 75,000 in its early days after the release of an MVP demo video on YouTube. Today, Dropbox boasts over 700 million registered users and nearly $2 billion in annual revenue.
  • Airbnb: The beginnings of Airbnb show how a company’s app changes trajectory organically. The Airbnb MVP offered tech conference attendees in San Francisco a room to rent at a reasonable price. But today, the short-term homestays online marketplace connects homeowners and renters in over 100,000 cities worldwide.
  • Uber: The Uber MVP was a basic version of the advanced app we use today. The iPhone app connected cab drivers with users while offering credit card payment solutions. The developers added advanced features such as fare splitting, cost calculation, automated payments systems, and location tracking much later.
  • Instacart: The grocery shopping app, Instacart, is a prime example of the MVP model. The founders of Instacart lacked the resources to implement all the features, so instead created an MVP with a rough backend. The founders manually purchased and delivered groceries to customers because of the unstable infrastructure.

Advantages of Developing an MVP

As mentioned, MVPs can help you generate feedback, buzz, and gain investment. But what are the other advantages of developing an MVP?

  • Focus: An MVP helps you gather information and intelligence and test your hypothesis. It also helps you appreciate the concrete values of your product that you wish to capitalize on. A Minimum Viable Product allows you to determine how to want to execute your product and allocate your resources to its creation.
  • Relationships: Early adopters tend to be the most loyal customers. Such users help drive your revenue and profit margin. You can nurture your relationships with your customers through your MVP, building a strong community early.
  • Evolution: With your MVP building attracting a userbase, you can gain critical user insights and feedback. This priceless information helps you decide what features to pick and how to enhance your marketing and monetization strategy.
  • Cost Efficiency: YourMVP is a barebones version of your product that grows as you gain feedback from users and analytics from your tools. Leveraging this data, you can invest in upgrades that match audience needs and avoid add-ons with potentially low ROIs.

Common MVP Mistakes

A significant benefit of working with an experienced MVP app development company like Guaraná Technologies is that you’ll evade some common MVP errors. Your MVP should avoid the following:

Advanced Features

Your MVP should be a basic version of your final app. Every feature should add value to the software. Advanced features such as add-ons should be held back until after a successful public launch.

Painstaking Perfection

At Guaraná Technologies, we go to great lengths to ensure that your software is highly polished. However, we believe that MVPs can be a little rough around the edges as long as they’re stable. An unfinished MVP helps you gain user feedback to shape the product to your customer’s needs and go on to create the finished product.

An Inexperienced Team

Whether you’re looking for mobile app developers in Toronto and Montreal or Boston, please avoid an inexperienced team for your MVP app. A team that lacks the experience or skills for MVP development will be inefficient and counterproductive. They may miss deadlines, offer inaccurate price quotes, misinterpret feedback or analytics, or make rudimentary mistakes.

Instead, work with an MVP app development company that has an experienced team of designers, project managers, engineers, and developers. Such a team should be ready to modify your product, rebrand your business, or even tear everything down to start with a clean slate.

Shortcuts

While your MVP is a barebones version of your software, developers should avoid taking unnecessary shortcuts, or they may pay for it later. For example, you should avoid skipping the prototype phase. A prototype creates the proper foundation for your MVP. Moreover, an interactive prototype is the most effective way to present your vision to investors.

You should also avoid skipping market research. In-depth market research helps validate your business idea and ensures that your MVP has a competitive advantage. If you don’t complete market research, how will you know that your software satisfies a market requirement?

MVP Best Practices

The MVP may be a basic version of your final product, but it still needs the right technology, skill, and techniques. Here are a few practices, resources, and tools that can ensure the success of your MVP app:

  • Landing pages: A good landing page with signup features will help introduce your product to your customers.
  • Customer Questionnaires: You can gain key insights by asking your users some questions.
  • A/B testing: With this type of testing, you test two different versions of a product to see which works and performs best.
  • AdWords Campaign: Use these market validation surveys to focus on your key demographics and identify the most appealing features in your MVP.
  • Crowdfunding: Not only are fundraising platforms like Kickstarter an excellent space to raise funds, but they can also help you gauge market response and product interest from early adopters.
  • Demo Videos: As mentioned, a short demo video helped DropBox drastically expand its userbase.
  • Blogs: Write blogs optimized for search engines to build momentum, attract followers, and gain valuable feedback.

When an MVP is developed professionally and backed by the right strategies, it can easily turn your business into a well-known success story. Leverage this critical first incarnation of your product today and open doors to an exciting future for your enterprise.

by Asam Afzal

Filed under App Funding

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