How Non-Tech Founders Create MVP’s for Startups
You don’t need to be a developer or a coder to succeed in creating a successful app and business idea. There are plenty of firms and agencies out there who can partner with you, to fill in those technological gaps.
But, before you dive in, there are some things you want to know. Your MVP is going to be the most important piece here, so you want to get this part right. Even though someone else is going to help you build it, you still need to know exactly how this process works, and what steps you need to take to be successful.
Here’s how you, as a non-tech founder, can create an MVP for your startup when you have no idea what you’re doing:
Fully Embrace the MVP Process
At the beginning, building out the MVP should be your top priority. You may want to squeeze in time to create a pre-launch landing page and start building a waiting list, but we’ll touch on that later.
I could give you countless examples of wildly successful apps that were all bred from their MVP’s, but my favorite story is Uber. They’re the perfect example of the power of consumer demand. When the app was first created, it was only used by the founders and their friends in San Francisco. The small group of beta testers showed the founders what people wanted out of an app like this, and they were able to roll out a perfected product that subsequently raised over $11 billion in VC and private equity investment. Even better, they totally disrupted the transportation industry. It’s an epic story that all started with the MVP process.
The top benefits of investing in your MVP are:
- You’ll get customer feedback right away. As soon as people start using your minimum viable product, you’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, and what they want from your app.
- It speeds up the product building phase. Knowing what users want before reaching this stage will make it easier, faster, cheaper, and better.
- You will lower the chance of risk. Rather than building expensive features, you’ll wait to ensure people are demanding them. You won’t build the extras until you’ve gotten validation from your users.
Here’s how you want to create your MVP:
- Define your why, and figure out what problems your app is going to solve. Who is your target audience, and why should they care? What makes you better and different from their other options?
- Create a customer avatar and use it to create stories around them using your app. This might sound silly, but it’s one of the best ways to decide on what features to start with. How will people use your app in their daily lives? Assign your desired features with a “must have”, “should have”, and “can have” category. The “must have” category is the perfect place to start with your MVP. The other features can be added later, once you’re sure people want them.
- Start to build a community around your business idea and concept. Create a landing page once your idea is clear, and start building a waiting list for your launch. Get involved in other online communities where your target audience hangs out. Start blogging and creating content around what problems you solve, and what differentiates your business. This is called the pre-launch stage and should be started as early as possible. It’s a great way to test market demand and interest as well.
Once you’ve worked through these steps, it’s time to find the right partner to bring your idea to life. You’ve done the groundwork to fully understand your concept, your idea, and what features your MVP needs. Now, you have what you need to find the right firm or agency to create the perfect MVP.
Post originally appeared on gojilabs.com.
David is the Co-founder and CEO of Goji Labs. David loves working closely with passionate founders to understand their vision and help them build beautiful applications while focusing on risk-mitigation. As an author, he focuses on informative and educational blogs that enable our clients to make the most of their businesses.