What does it take to create an MVP (or a relatively successful MVP)?

We have supported the development of companies like Labster, Airhelp, Magloft, Mailbird and CathVision over the past decade. If we put it into numbers:

Here are some basic steps your team can take to turn your ideas into successful services, products, or software as a service (SAAS). 

Budget requirements for an Exploration phase (next 1-2 quarters)

It’s not easy to estimate, as it will depend on the complexity of the product. 

The average is:

  • Time: 3-6 months to develop/launch 
  • Cost: USD 15,000-30,000k

Remember that it’s only an MVP and may need several development phases and/or pivots based on your learnings.

Marketing and risks

Failure Rate: Around 30 – 49% across most industries. Every second, an idea turns into something usable after some failures. Are you ready for that? Risks are worth taking though, check out these Success Stories

And remember, each delivery phase will bring new learning. Like in the most popular Lean Startup approach story of Zappos, the founder was focused on checking small things initially. When in 1999, he launched his online shoe sales website, it was not common practice. His first goal was to check if people clicked the “purchase” button. When they did, he ran errands himself to find the selected shoes and deliver them. 

As you design your project, keep asking yourself: “What is the minimum amount of work we need to do to learn XYZ?” — Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

The first three critical learnings are:

  • Is there a need for your product?
  • Does it solve a problem?
  • Is it monetizable

Clear product or service requirements

It is common to get stuck on one idea you love. Yet being attached to one idea does not allow you to pivot on time and in the right direction. Like in the example of a video streaming platform you may have heard of, Youtube. During its first launch, it was a video content platform for dating. Nobody used it, and one learning was that it didn’t work for that purpose. But the more significant learning was that it was something very new, and there was no other topic agnostic platform for video content. So Youtube was relaunched as a video publishing platform. The rest is history. 

Timeline for exploration

Surprisingly, on this topic, companies with minimal resources are winning the race by approaching development efficiently. Having funding from the start may lead to endless attempts to make it perfect.

Required “hires”

  • Tech Co-founder—entrepreneur in-house, BUT there has to be a great value/passion match to make it work
  • Tech Provider/Partner—white labeling and amending technology you are already using for the particular use/case
  • Tech Contractor—trusted and preferably physically accessible team/developer, who will take over the product owner role.

Experts, who have shared their stories:

Venture Builder owner of the Hub Hugo Messer

Hugo Messer

“I have a software hub and have an intention to build startups. Yet it feels like we are missing co-founders, people who would bleed, who would have their skin in the game, who would go the extra mile and put their time and their brains into the product. Which is extremely important in the early stages.”

CEO and Founder of tech company Nigel Hembrow

Nigel Hembrow

“I have a software hub and have an intention to build startups. Yet it feels like we are “It took almost a year to develop our MVP with seven in-house developers and took another year to launch. We had no idea what we would have in the end, so it’s been a path of many pivots. We are open to shared revenue models, powering other platforms or doing things even white-label.”

Solopreneur Non tech Founder Mark Kneer

Mark Kneer

“I would call my MVP an adventurous one. We launched an Android app—there is an interest in it. There is a minor glitch (lack of synchronization between sound and video), which is critical for us. Users started giving us bad ratings and stopped using the app instead of getting more hooked on it, so we had to obtain a bigger partner immediately to work it out.”

Marketing Livit

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