How to Create a Mobile App MVP without breaking a bank
Meet Tom, a software developer who works for company XYZ. Tom has this great idea for an application that could change the world and add some cash to his bank account. He fears his application will receive negative feedback from the consumers. He shares his big idea and concerns with Fred, one of his colleagues working with him in company XYZ.
Having listened to Tom’s ideas and thoughts, Fred introduces Tom to the minimum viable product (MVP) concept. He shows him how developers use MVP as a guinea pig in the early stages of the product development cycle to gauge how the market will receive the product.
Tom also learns that the MVP process is the reason behind the success of big applications such as Uber, Airbnb, and Dropbox. These applications all had a massively successful startup.
Apart from testing the feasibility and scope of your app, there are countless other reasons you need to build a minimum viable product for your startup, which we will talk about in this post.
Most importantly, we will look at how you can create a mobile app MVP without breaking a bank.
So, without any further ado, let’s begin.
What is Mobile App Monetization?
According to Eric Ries, the guy who introduced this concept, the minimum viable product (MVP) MVP is a version of a new product that allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated information about customers with the least effort. The MVP product developed early in the product development cycle doesn’t have all the features of the final app but has its key features. These features allow you to observe the actual behavior of the customers with the product or service.
The ability to see the behavior of people using your product is much better than asking them what they would do with your product or service. The analysis received from the customer’s first interaction with your product helps you know if people will actually buy it.
Purpose of MVP
1.Understanding Customer Needs
Imagine spending all your energy to create a product or service that nobody wanted? Well, this can be a nightmare for creators, entrepreneurs, and company owners. This is why a company building a new app needs to use the minimum viable product approach. MVP helps you understand the market by recognizing the needs of the customers.
On top of that, MVP encourages app developers to establish a balance between company offerings and customer needs, which helps them develop an improved product or introduce an entirely different one.
Instagram is an excellent example of an app built after the developers understood what their customers wanted. You see, before Instagram came to the limelight, Kevin Systrom & Mike Krieger—founders of Instagram — created an app known as Burbn. Burbn was a check-in application with a photo-sharing feature that let users visit places like bars and restaurants and check in.
When they launched the app, it didn’t get a positive response from the market. It only got around 100 users, and that was it. Instead of accepting defeat, Kevin and Mike via Burbn asked their customers why they used Burbn in the first place.
Almost all users told them that they didn’t care for the check-in aspect, but they liked and enjoyed using the photo-sharing feature. From this feedback, Kevin and Mike realized that Burbn was never going to work, and they needed to change the app and create something new that focused mainly on photo-sharing among friends. And this is how Instagram was born.
As you can see, by understanding their customer’s needs, they created a successful app that has over a billion users as of today.
2.Elimination of Errors
MVP does an excellent job in identifying and eliminating errors during app development. The approach tests a product’s hypothesis, which removes any errors in the early stages of product development. It eliminates the risk of failure of the app development in any situation.
3.Getting Customer Feedback
Getting feedback, both positive and negative, for your application is among the most critical aspects of any business, especially if it’s a new startup. Feedback collected from customers who have used your products helps you understand the consumer’s mind and their true needs for your app.
Gaining genuine customer feedback can be a challenge; however, by using the minimum viable product approach, you target a specific group of users and get quality feedback and response for your app.
Remember how Tom feared spending his money creating an application that may fail on the market? One advantage of using an MVP is that it helps you avoid spending all your budget right away on an application if you’re not sure about its performance. Using an MVP, you get to save on your budget and verify your product’s economic viability.
Factors to Consider when Building an MVP that won’t break a Bank
Different factors determine the cost of building an MVP. Even though an MVP helps you save costs before making the final product, you also don’t want to spend a lot of money developing an MVP. That’s why several factors come into play here.
So, let’s take a look at some of the things you need to consider when building an MVP that won’t break a bank.
1. Choice of the Developer
When developing a mobile app MVP, programming skills are required. Choosing the right person or team to build your product is one of the main factors determining your MVP development cost. You can hire a freelance developer or outsource your MVP project to a renowned IT company or hire an in-house team of developers.
If you decide to hire a freelancer, then the average cost per hour can be around $10/hour to $200/hour. For instance, freelancers on Upwork charge $50/hour on average, but the cost ultimately depends on their experience:
The rates may differ depending on the country you are in, so study the average rates of hiring freelancers in your country beforehand.
Hiring a renowned IT company is an excellent idea as you don’t have to develop the project by yourself. The company takes over all processes concerning the project’s development. However, IT companies are more expensive than freelancers. IT companies charge around $5000 to $50000 per project; as you can see, this price is higher than that of a freelancer.
2. Choice of the Developer
The technology you choose for your project can determine the overall cost of your MVP project. Using native codes to your project can lead to higher development costs. The use of new technologies in your MVP app development may also increase your expenses considerably.
So, what’s the solution?
It’s common sense to use an old technology that will give you the same results as using newer technology as long as it saves your time and cost. However, app development tech doesn’t stand still, so always compare the benefit to cost ratio when choosing the right solution for you.
Besides, an older technology can often lead to unstable performance and make your app crash. That’s why it’s better not to pinch pennies if you want your users to be satisfied.
3. Product Design
The design of the product is another factor that impacts the cost of the MVP project. Naturally, a more complex design will increase the cost of MVP development. Besides, you don’t need an overly complex design for your MVP, so creating a less expensive design will help you save up for app monetization and marketing in the future.
Thus, for the first version of your MVP mobile app, go with a simple User Interface (UI) that will lower the development costs but will still deliver the performance you expect.
The features you decide to add to your MVP mobile app can tell you how much your project will cost. An application with more features is expensive because you need more time and resources to develop those features.
Before you begin your project, make sure that you are clear on what you want for your MVP to help save on cost. An MVP focuses mainly on the key and basic features of the final product; therefore, the development team should work only on these features when building the MVP to save costs.
Starting your project from the minimum viable product stage should be the first step in building an application for anybody who wants to create a mobile app startup. The MVP will help you understand the market and give you feedback on improving your project
Determining the cost of an MVP is not a challenging task. The core idea is to understand all the different features of your app that are crucial to your application. Doing so helps you quickly determine the cost and get what you are looking for.