How to Launch a Startup MVP: Complete Guide


Congratulations! If you’re here, you’re on the cusp of launching your MVP and it’s time to take it to the next level!

A proper launch for MVP is crucial and determines the success of your product. Therefore, you need to know how to launch MVP in a way that creates a buzz around your product, catches the attention of potential users, and converts them to loyal customers.

How to Launch a Startup MVP mvp startup

What is an MVP Product Launch?

An MVP product launch is when you release your product into the target market for your target audience to try out. An MVP product launch goes through several steps before release, including design, coding, and product marketing methods before the launch takes place. The launch summarizes the entire process, from development to your product being pushed out the door.

How to Launch a Startup MVP The Right Way

You can launch an mvp startup the right way by following these 6 simple steps.

  • Step 1: Determine The Scale of MVP Product Launch
  • Step 2: Set Realistic Goals
  • Step 3: Keep the Pace of Rapid Changes
  • Step 4: Monitor Feedback From Users
  • Step 5: Brace for Impact
  • Step 6: Maintain balance

Even an exceptional product idea might stumble into the digital products market because of a subpar launch process.

Step 1: Determine The Scale of MVP Product Launch

Your launch could target only 3-5 people or be an all-out big-bang launch that targets thousands of users within the market. Here are the different types of MVP launch approaches you can take.

1. Soft Launch

A soft launch only targets a limited part of your target audience, reducing the risks associated with a product launch on a larger scale. A soft launch utilizes a few key points that align with the initial objectives of launching an MVP:

  • Receiving Customer Feedback: When you collect user feedback through an MVP launch, you receive valuable suggestions to make the user journey as smooth as possible. Feedback from active users is essential for further development and improvement of your MVP.
  • Understanding The User’s Intent To Become Paying Customers: This is self-explanatory. Through the interactions the users make, you get to know about the motivations and intentions of your user base. It helps you determine if any of them will become paying customers to utilize all the core features offered by the MVP.
  • Testing Different Monetization Methods: When you have a bunch of users ready to pay for all the features provided by your MVP, you can test different monetization methods with your user base to see what appeals to them the most and implement them within your business model.

2. Hard Launch

This is a more challenging option and is only to be adopted if you have a clear idea of what you are doing. A hard launch campaign targets a larger audience with pre-launch marketing and other sales methods to attract attention toward the product and then caters to a large user base on the day of launch.

A hard launch is a viable option when:

  • You already have a large audience that’ll surely use/ test your product
  • Your infrastructure is solid, and the product can handle the stress of additional features
  • You can anticipate the market by learning about customers and target audience reactions to implement business ideas accordingly

3. Dark Launch

This launch aims to keep a more extensive audience base “in the dark” while the small number of users accessing the entire production work as active testers. A Dark launch is the best way to get real-time feedback from the users and optimize the minor issues before you reveal the update to more people.

Step 2: Set Realistic Goals

When setting goals for your MVP launch, make sure to keep the goals realistic. Your MVP goals should have a few characteristics:

  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Measurable
  • Specific
  • Timely

Step 3: Keep the Pace of Rapid Changes

It’s a good practice to have a product roadmap for future development. But it’s also imperative that you keep pace with the rapid changes in the market.

Whenever the market sees a new trend or change in development methods, make sure that your development cycle is agile enough to adapt to the recent changes that are about the industry.

Step 4: Monitor Feedback From Users

It would be best if you always treated your MVP as your lovechild. The best way to do so is to monitor public feedback so you can improvise it as much as possible to appeal in front of all the users.

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

– Bill Gates

Both your MVP and your development plan should be user-oriented. When you collaborate with your users, you make them feel more involved in the process, which gets you better feedback from them.

Monitor all possible feedback from users, and utilize them accordingly.

Step 5: Brace For Impact

Humans are unpredictable. No matter how much you plan, there will always be something that has a chance to go wrong, and it will go wrong in one way or another.

When launching your MVP, even when you think you have the best plan in motion, always hope for the best while preparing for the worst. Have a contingency plan ready if your product needs to be better received.

Whenever you’re facing a roadblock during an MVP launch, if you show persistence and stick with the product to improve it regardless, your early adopters have a higher chance of becoming paid customers or, better, becoming retaining customers.

Step 6: Maintain Balance

It’s good to analyze the acquired data and plan accordingly. However, you must also ensure you’re not constantly stuck in the planning phase. It’s good to take a step back and plan, but don’t let that delay your development cycle.

When you take too long to dish out updates for your MVP, the user base slowly loses interest in the product. It’s better to take smaller steps toward perfection than no steps.

Road To Building Your MVP

Now that we have the startup plan, let’s discuss the road to building your MVP with seven easy development stages:

  • Step 1: Map Out User Flow
  • Step 2: Low-Fidelity Wireframe
  • Step 3: High-Fidelity Wireframe and Design System
  • Step 4: Prototype
  • Step 5: Back-end Development
  • Step 6: Front-end Development
  • Step 7: Deployment

Step 1: Map Out User Flow

User flow is users’ journey through your product to solve their problems. In this step, you figure out the most convenient and fluent path for your users to take to make the customer experience smooth.

Step 2: Low-Fidelity Wireframe

The low-fidelity wireframe is the most basic version of the blueprint that lays the foundation of app screens and websites. They usually have placeholder texts for you to replace later, according to your final plan.

Step 3: High-Fidelity Wireframe and Design System

High-fidelity wireframes represent the final stage in the development cycle. Here, all the placeholders are replaced with actual content. This stage also contains the final color schemes and other design specifications suitable for the product.

Step 4: Prototype

A prototype is a functional version of your designed product. Users can navigate through, interact with, trigger transitions, and use almost every function within the product via user interfaces.

Step 5: Back-end Development

Here, the back-end developers work on the API, database, and servers that contribute to the product’s architecture, making it functional.

Step 6: Front-end Development

A front-end developer works as a bridge between the UI/UX design and back-end codes that combine everything into a functioning form. The components between the front-end and back-end can be a mirror match.

Step 7: Deployment

After all the previous steps have been cleared, it’s time for the product to launch. At this step, both the front and back ends should already be in a test phase, making the process easier by introducing the final build.

Why Minimum Viable Products Fail

As we mentioned earlier, an MVP can fail despite the best methods applied. There are quite a few reasons behind such an incident. A study by CNBC notes that 47% of startups that failed in 2022 lacked proper financing.

Here are our top 5 reasons why Minimum Viable Products fail to meet the business objective:

  • Reason 1: Monopolized Market Niche
  • Reason 2: The Problem Has Already Been Solved
  • Reason 3: The Product Didn’t Meet User Expectations
  • Reason 4: Technical Implementation Wasn’t Sufficient
  • Reason 5: Poor/ No Marketing Strategy

1. Monopolized Market Niche

When you enter a market where a few larger organizations have already monopolized the niche to the point that a new product doesn’t stand a chance, there’s a very high chance that your MVP will only succeed if you bring something entirely new to the table.

2. The Problem Has Already Been Solved

If all the pre-existing products are already solving all the problems your target audience is facing; then there’s no need for your product in the market. In such a scenario, the MVP will fail due to a lack of initial customers.

3. The Product Didn’t Meet User Expectations

Many different aspects can make your MVP an instant hit. Some aspects will not resonate with other users the way it was meant to, failing the MVP.

Even when an MVP has a lot of different functions, if the functions exist within the MVP exactly how the users envisioned it, it means the user expectation has yet to be met, and the MVP launch results in failure.

4. Technical Implementation Wasn’t Sufficient

When developing any product, there will always be a few technical limitations causing bugs and glitches within the app. Sometimes, these technical inconsistencies are so prevalent that they ruin the overall UX, causing the MVP to fail or face a user loss till the issues are solved.

First impressions are always important; if the MVP is bugged from the start, it only worsens things.

5. Poor/ No Marketing Strategy

In a world where people have limited attention spans, constant marketing and sales pitch are necessary if you want to retain attentive eyes on your product.

Sometimes, an MVP product team may need more budget for marketing, or the marketing is done in a manner that fails to grab the potential audience’s attention.

To Wrap It All Up

Planning and building an MVP requires constant business and product expertise. If not, your goals may never be met. 

To keep the process constant and make sure you aren’t the only one stressing yourself by overworking, here’s what you can do:

  • Hire remote developers/ teams
  • Build in-house MVP app development team
  • Outsource MVP development to a mobile app development company

Best of luck kickstarting your MVP!


What Does It Mean to Launch an MVP?

Launching an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) means releasing a product with basic features to test the market and gather feedback for future development.

What Are the 3 Elements of MVP?

MVP should have an initial value, potential benefits to retain early adopters, and a feedback loop for future development.

How Long Does It Take To Launch an MVP?

MVP launch can vary depending on the complexity of the product, but it typically takes 3 months to complete.

Why Does MVP Fail?

MVP can fail due to poor product validation, lack of market research, inadequate resources, or failure to address customer needs.

What Are the 4 Types of MVPs?

The four types of MVP are: Landing Page MVP, Concierge MVP, Wizard of Oz MVP, and Email MVP


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