So you have an idea for an amazing product. You know your target client and are prepared to start the development. Then you realize, you do not have a technical partner - someone who will build your MVP. You can do it yourself, but what if you have no clue about coding?
In software development, the notion of MVP often appears in the context of risk reduction, the highest investment returns and in general, faster time-to-market.
Many companies decide to outsource the development of the minimum viable product in order to focus on more business development-related operations like marketing etc.
Are you wondering if outsourcing MVP is a good solution? What are the benefits of having MVP and its development stages? You are in the right place, keep on reading.
What is an MVP?
As usual, let’s start with explaining the key concept of this article - MVP. Minimum viable product is a version of a product that has a limited set of features. It allows us to get a general understanding of the final product and learning how to use it. The minimalistic functionalities of an MVP allow to test the product and thanks to the immediate customer feedback can be later expanded to create the fully capable product.
Where did MVP come from?
Frank Robinson, the CEO of SyncDev once questioned the process of “design, build, sell”. He came up with a model that made the end users share their desires before developers started the development process.
Eric Ries in his book ‘Lean startup’ presented the advantages of such an MVP approach to development. Now, the notion of a minimal viable product refers to the whole mindset “Think big for the long term and small for the short term”, which means you should concentrate on the core idea before further enhancing the product.
Which successful startups outsourced MVP?
There are many examples of successful startups that decided to outsource MVP development. Among the most popular ones are:
- Alibaba - this popular multi-vendor website decided to fully outsource the development in order to create an effective eCommerce structure around China’s internet restrictions. Today, the company has many platforms that are among world’s largest and most popular online marketplaces
- Slack - one of the most popular communication tools was developed by an outsourcing company that handled the design of the website. The MVP was distributed to beta testers, gaining over 8k users on the launch day
- Google - even Google with 90k in-house employees decided to hire outside vendors to gain the expertise they are lacking. Google’s most famously outsourced services are phone and email support for AdWords
- AppSumo - the founder of AppSumo hired a freelance developer to build a PayPal button while he was building the initial website himself
Benefits of MVP
Having an MVP introduces a lot of benefits at the early stages of development like:
- focus on the core value proposition - when developing an MVP it is important to determine what are the key features of the product and focus solely on delivering them
- lower costs - because of the fewer features the development process is shorter and requires less money
- finding drawbacks - thanks to the users’ feedback you are able to quickly define the critical issues and address them in the next version
- building a relationship with customers - believe it or not, an MVP helps to build a stronger connection with customers as you rely on their initial feedback to implement more features into the solution. This shows you value their opinions
- reduce remakes - with an MVP there is a lower possibility of needing to redesign and rebuild the entire product as the core is tested
Funding the MVP development
Although many founders want to start founding after the MVP development it is still possible to fund the MVP development.
If you have an amazing and talented team you do not need an MVP to get founded. Have an idea that fits the investors’ needs and sparks their interest. You need to have a ready business model, marketing strategy and the right management team - this will give you a better chance to get funded.
Remember that every investor is different and a lot depends on your confidence and your relationship. An MVP significantly influences the chances to get funded, but with a quality idea and the ability to execute that idea will determine how easy it is to find a partner.
The best funding option is to acquire it from a VC firm, like NVCA in the US. Venture capital is a form of private financing for startups, early-stage and emerging companies with high growth potential. Usually, a typical venture capital investment occurs after an initial ‘seed funding’ until the business can support itself.
MVP development stages
The process of MVP development can be divided into four stages:
- Validation - the first step is to validate your idea through extensive market research, win-loss analysis and understanding the problem of potential customers. You should always keep in mind you want to address only the core problems
- Find the MVP - determine what are the ‘must-haves’ of your product and which features can be added later on. Find the least complicated way to solve your customers’ problems. This basic idea will attract potential clients.
- Development - the development should include only the necessary features. The additional ones will be added in the later iterations
- Launch and scale - present your product to the early adopters, collect feedback and make changes accordingly
As mentioned in the first step, solid market research is probably one of the most important steps of MVP development. It will help you identify the target customers. On the other hand, a win-loss analysis will help you understand the position of your product on the market.
Why Outsourcing MVP Development is a Good Idea?
A lot of startups are sceptical about outsourcing. They have concerns like security, worry about time frames and costs. But there are lots of reason why you should outsource MVP development like:
- Access to specialists - outsourcing gives you the ability to work with world-class specialists of any domain. They will quickly and efficiently deliver an amazing product. Worth mentioning is that many outsourcing companies, like Selleo, have entire teams assembled under one roof which saves you time and money
- Cost reduction - by outsourcing, you save a lot of money. For the costs of hiring an in-house developer, you can outsource the entire development of a feature-rich MVP
- Technical consultation - development agencies come with experience developers and year of work experience. They will perfectly understand your vision and help turn the idea into reality. An experienced team will help you see your product from multiple perspectives while providing constant support
- Faster turnaround - a dedicated team of developers means faster time-to-market. The work gets divided efficiently in order to provide the highest quality product in the shortest time possible
- Business focus - when you have an agency working for you, your focus can be directed on other business processes like marketing and business operations. You do not need to worry about recruitment, training or resource integration
- Long-term partnership - after the initial development is over, you can continue to work with the outsourcing agency to grow your product even further
For any startup, creating an MVP is a journey. It is something you do only once, so it should be done right. A skilled outsourcing agency will help you shorten the development time and spare you some worries.
Outsourcing MVP development can lead you to better results as you gain access to experts from all around the world. It will also save you a lot of time and money that would otherwise be spent on recruitment and training.
You should not be afraid to entrust your product to a development agency. Think about them as a technical business partner. A committed and talented partner will lead you to success. We even prepared a list of 10 questions you should ask a software outsourcing company.
If you are currently looking for an experienced partner to help you develop an MVP, check out Selleo teams. Our skilled developers will be more than happy to discuss your product.