How Long Does It Take To Develop an MVP for Startups?


How Long Does It Take To Develop an MVP for Startups how long to build mvp

Generally, building an MVP for a startup can take anywhere from three to six months. However, it’s important to note that the main goal of an MVP is to launch quickly and test the product with users to gain feedback and insights for future development.

How Long Does It Take To Build an MVP

A shorter time to market is the key to success for any product. With an MVP, you get the initial product version out in the open for people to use and provide user feedback on.

Even with minimal functions, an MVP takes time to build, regardless. The ideal time it should take for you to build an MVP is three to four months.

“Customers don’t care how much time something takes to build. They care only if it serves their needs.”

-Eric Ries

Steps to Build an MVP

1. Research the Marketplace

Before you get started with development on impulse, do thorough market research to determine your target audience.

Once you do so, you have a firm idea of a problem you are trying to solve for your users.

After you have decided on the problem you want to solve, it’s time to build your product.

2. Choose Your Software Development Agency

To ensure your product is being completed under proper observation and being the best it can be, you need to choose a software development agency to do it for you.

You can also develop your software via an in-house development team, but outsourcing your development process to a software agency provides more wiggle room for you to perform other tasks. In contrast, your viable product is being developed.

When choosing the right software agency to give your product idea a tangible form, here are a few things you should look out for:

  • If the company has a website that is frequently updated
  • If the website has reviews and testimonials from verified sources
  • If the developers have enough experience to carry out the task
  • If the company website has a portfolio of their previous projects
  • If they have strong policies in place
  • If the agency has affordable plans with amazing prices

3. Delve into MVP Development

After choosing software that is a perfect fit for your business model, MVP development begins.

Here, the agency will ask you for the specifications and recommend the required tech stack for MVP development and other resources.

The agency will also create a detailed statement that contains the cost and time estimate for them to create your desired product.

If both parties come to an understanding, the agency will start the product development process with their recommended tech stack and resources.

Steps to Scoping Your MVP

To make sure you got your MVP project scope just right, you need to focus more on the long-term plans you have for your application rather than the features it’ll have when the product comes out.

1. Determine Business Objectives

Your prime business goal should always be the benefit of the target user base.

If your current features are benefitting the users. consider scaling said feature to appeal to a bigger audience in the long run.

  • The business goals of any MVP can have a wide range, such as:
  • Getting your first customer
  • Ensuring product-market fit
  • Taking action according to customer feedback
  • Ensuring future product scalability

2. Gradually Narrow Your Scope

To reach the ideal MVP status, you should always minimize your product throughout development. Here’s an effective list of how to do it:

  • Take one action, determine if you need it, and then move on to the next after making a decision.
  • Identify the level of significance for each step as you go along.
  • Once done, find the most straightforward path to implement everything from your feature list.
  • Consider the impact on the user experience for adding/ removing any feature. If the UX impact on active users is low, feel free to cut down on unnecessary proceedings.

3. Overcome Obstacles to Create an MVP Quickly

The development cycle is sometimes about developing the product as per the plan and publishing it. There can be several obstacles in the way, like:

  • Having technical issues regarding the tech stack
  • Having issues regarding the framework
  • Lack of funds

Though these problems are somewhat technical, they can be considered obstacles that can increase the span of the development cycle a lot longer than anticipated.

As a startup founder, your goal should always be to finish creating the MVP as fast as possible while efficiently dealing with the oncoming issues.

Agency Vs. Internal Team Vs. Freelancer, Best Choice To Build MVP

AspectsAgencyInternal TeamFreelancer
BudgetCan develop a product on a relatively affordable budget since the development cycle is sophisticated and time is shortened.The budget is usually higher since it takes a lot of time and money to recruit and maintain a team of the best and maintain it.The budget is highly unpredictable since different developers can charge differently. Hiring an experienced individual can drive recruitment budgets even higher.
ControlModerate control over the development allows collaboration with internal teams.Complete control over the product team.The level of control depends on the level of communication, which could be more reliable in most cases.
QualityUnder professional scrutiny, the quality is always top-notch.The quality depends on the efficiency of the team.The quality can depend on the freelancer’s efficiency, but it usually needs improvement.

Estimating Time To Build MVP Based on Industry

Even when you’re planning to launch a finished product with minimal functionality, there’s no way to predict how many features will end up in the initial version.

As a result, predicting a specific timeframe for MVP can take time and effort.

Over at Impala, we’ve figured out our best estimate for different startup MVPs. Let’s take a look at them all.

IndustryEstimated Time (Months)
Email Prospecting Tool0.5
OS Live Chat Tool0.5
Real Estate API2
Virtual Office Platform3
Marketing Automation Tool3
Telecommunication Platform3
Onboarding Software4
Home Insurance Platform4
Web Design Tool4.5
Sales SaaS4.5
Automation Services5
Digital Lending SaaS Platform5.5
Entertainment Software6
Travel Insurance App/ Website6
P2P Marketplace6
Digital Workplace7.5
B2B SaaS Platform8
Lead Generation Software8

Looking at the table closely, we can see that the average time to create a polished MVP ready for launch is four months.

The final timeframe can fluctuate due to various factors, but the average is always constant.

What Factors Determine The Time To Build Your MVP

There are a lot of major and minor factors that determine the development timeframe. Here are the major factors you need to estimate how long it could take to build MVP.

1. Amount of Features

Standard MVPs always start with the most minimal number of key features.

If you have tons of features planned, but you have a limited budget and minimum time, the end product becomes impossible to achieve.

Your time to develop your MVP depends on the number of basic features you are trying to implement.

2. Feature Complexity

Even when you have minimal features, if the features are more complicated than those already existing in the market, the feature will take longer to build and implement within the final product.

3. Team Assembly

If you have a budget constraint (which is completely understandable) and assemble a team where the proper talents required for the job are not present, your development time will increase.

4. Project or Industry Experience

If you hire an agency with prior experience on similar projects or expertise in your industry, you’ll manage to build your software product within a shorter time.

5. Time on R&D

If you don’t spend time on R & D before your team develops the app, the app may not take the form of your product vision.

As a result, you’ll spend additional time fixing the application’s functionality.

6. Budget

This one’s pretty straightforward. When you have a tighter budget, your development resources and workforce are cut short, increasing the development time.

7. Technology

Your preferred tech stack might increase or decrease your MVP development time. Of course, we’re always prepared to show you the right path.

But you can build your MVP using a different, customized tech stack. In that case, the development time is likely to increase or decrease.

To Wrap It All Up

There is no surefire answer to how long it takes to build an MVP. The simplest apps can take months to build just for a few missed decisions.

The most complex apps might come together through agile development in a couple of months with all the essential features.

If you’re planning to create your MVP within the shortest average time, why not collaborate with Impala InTech as your outsourcing partner?

With our professional team of experts and a tech stack recommendation for every kind of app possible, we’re sure to deliver you a full-fledged product within a shorter development time and affordable budget.


How Long Does It Typically Take To Build an MVP?

There is no specific timeline for building an MVP. It entirely depends on the number of features you want to implement and the capability of the development team you are working with

Is It Possible to Build an MVP in a Few Weeks?

If the MVP has easy-to-build functions that can be implemented and tested within a short period, then you can build said MVP in a few weeks

Can a Single Developer build an MVP?

There are no-code MVPs that are easy to create and publish, which can easily be done by a single person

Should an MVP Be Built In-House or Outsourced?

It will depend on the organization’s current financial and development structure and situation

Can an MVP Be Built Without Any Coding Experience?

No-code MVPs can be built and published without any coding experience