The modern IT industry is constantly reaching new heights every day. We live in a world full of startups and hundreds of products appearing in the market daily. So it can take a lot of work to stand out of the crowd and create something that appeals to everyone while fitting the business model.
It takes a lot to be considered a huge success in a market where 90% of startups fail, and after all these years, we only have a few successful examples. If you want to join the club, you should understand how the big shots in the industry get it done.
To help you with that, we’ll discuss 15 successful examples of MVPs that every startup founder, including you, should analyze for success.
What Is a Successful MVP?
To measure your MVP’s success, you need to look at your product’s reception in the market from your target audience. One of the essential metrics to look out for is the number of active users you have for your MVP.
When observing multiple metrics, you’ll have an estimate if it’s the best choice to financially commit to your MVP for the further development process.
The amount of interest in your product will determine if you’ll keep developing what you currently have or repurpose your product to target a different customer base.
Suppose you find that your current minimum viable product is achieving complete customer satisfaction along with your product vision. In that case, all you need to do is improve it. If you still need to, you need to re-adjust your goals and provide something that will benefit your user base.
Top 4 Types of MVP
There are many, many different types of MVPs out there. But here, we’re only going to look at the top 4 types that are the most mainstream in any industry. And, of course, we’ll discuss each approach’s ups and downs.
1. Single-Feature MVP
Starting with the most traditional MVP method, single-feature MVP is what you develop when you’re only trying to solve one problem of your target audience with an application with one core feature and minimum functionality.
- You get to develop and publish your product faster.
- It helps you enter the market with a tangible product quickly.
- It’s best to turn additional features into a separate product.
- Since it has less functionality, the target audience base will always be smaller.
- Users often need to understand the real purpose of the application and complain about the basic design and limited functionality.
2. Concierge MVP
Do you know how it would be if you encountered a very advanced robot, but the entire mechanism was run on hamster wheels? That’s how concierge MVP works.
A concierge MVP is a marketable product that serves multiple purposes. Still, all the operations are done manually with a team of experts behind the scenes. The best part is the users know about it too, and they’re happy to be accompanied by the team throughout their user journey.
- You can validate your idea before you automate your basic features.
- You don’t need a long time to determine how your mobile app/ desktop app will perform with future versions.
- Concierge MVP always gets you the most accurate behavior data from target users.
- The competency of your team will determine how good or bad the user journey is since they are holding up the entire backend infrastructure.
- You’ll often need to team up with third-party companies to fulfill most or all functionalities if you don’t have your own team.
3. Wizard of Oz MVP
Like the name, this app can also be considered one big magic trick. Like concierge MVP, wizard of Oz MVP also has humans working behind the scenes to replicate automation.
But the core difference is, this time, the users need to learn that the app isn’t entirely automated.
- It helps you test the market demand if you want to avoid building an expensive, automated version of your product.
- Since all the work is done manually, implementing different iterations takes less time.
- User insight data is unique compared to other user data collection methods.
- Similar to concierge MVP, it’s tough to determine how competent the service is since the human factor makes it unpredictable.
- This kind of MVP requires precise instructions based on behavior and occurring incidents.
4. Piecemeal MVP
“If you can’t beat them, copy them.” Is that how the saying goes? Well, for this type of MVP, it does.
Piecemeal MVP is when you take all the pre-existing tools and ideas on the market and then mish-mash them together to create something unique. Or you can use them to present your business idea in your own unique way.
- Since most of the tech already exists, the development cycle is concise.
- It takes you less time to publish and get your idea validated
- You can take all the feedback already provided on the existing products and improve your product based on that.
- Implementing multiple features seamlessly with pre-existing tech stack or features takes a lot of work.
- Third-party solutions are only sometimes the best when trying to deliver the product within a specific time.
TOP 15 MVP Example & Case Studies
Now that we’ve explained the basics let’s look at 15 Minimum Viable Product examples that fit the criteria for being a successful MVP.
Let’s start with the most successful MVP of them all, which is Amazon. Starting as a simple bookstore in the ’90s, Jeff Bezos wanted to make the most of the ever-growing eCommerce industry.
When he found out through an online report that the web was growing 2300% a year, he wanted to monetize this growth and created an online bookstore.
The goal of Amazon was to buy books from distributors that were ordered by Amazon’s customers and then offer the required books to the customer at a reasonable price.
As the company started making a profit, Amazon began to widen its range of products. If you name something you want to buy, Amazon has it.
The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.-Jeff Bezos
AirBnB started with two roommates renting their room out for one reason: they couldn’t afford their rent.
During a conference in San Francisco, they saw that all the hotel rooms were overbooked, and they had a fantastic idea. They decided to rent the top portion of their apartment to temporary residents willing to stay overnight.
They created a simple website with pictures of their apartment and necessary contact information. They instantly started receiving calls, and that’s how it all began.
“Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”-Brian Chesky
Now AirBnB is the go-to choice for someone traveling anywhere and planning to stay within the comfort of a house instead of a crowded hotel.
The idea of Dropbox was easy to pitch on paper, but it was tough to implement in real life because of the expenses. So the founder of DropBox had one hell of an idea.
Instead of creating the software, they created a detailed yet simple video of how it would work. Then they put it on a simple landing page and pitched it in front of an audience for valuable feedback.
Their explainer video reached over 70k views in less than 24 hours, validating their business idea more than they hoped it would.
Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook back in 2004 with one single feature like a true MVP: to connect the students of Harvard University. It became so popular that it was expanded outside the university to connect people. And it happened just after a few months of launch.
In 2005, Facebook expanded to other universities and a few high schools in different countries. Once Mark’s idea was validated, Facebook slowly became what we know today and is still the biggest social media platform.
Foursquare is an excellent example of a single-featured MVP. Foursquare is a location-based social media that started with one feature: Check in at different locations, earn badges for checking and share them with your friends.
Foursquare had an effortless UI design, but the fact that it felt like a real-life game made the idea of the actual product more appealing.
After the idea was validated, the founders of Foursquare expanded it to a city guide for the best locations to check into.
Groupon started as a piecemeal MVP that used to promote local services and their limited-time deals. The first version of Groupon was created with a basic WordPress content management system.
Once they saw that more and more people were interested in getting good deals every day, they started to gather user data to improve user experience.
Now Groupon is one of the largest eCommerce sites and the best site for getting a hold of any discounts or coupons available.
The beginning of HubSpot was a humble one back in 2005. Brian Halligan and Dharmish Shah started out with a simple blog where people would come in and discuss topics like inbound marketing content marketing.
Once the blog started gaining traction, HubSpot launched a closed beta in 2006. Today, HubSpot offers a wide variety of software for different sectors, as well as courses and ebooks- both paid and free.
Instagram is another single-feature MVP that allowed people to take a pic, put a filter on it and share it with everyone when it first launched. With this version, Kevin Systrom, the founder of Instagram, tested the market to validate his idea.
Of course, the idea was a grand success, and over time Instagram became the most popular social media.
Picture this: the platform that helps people to launch their MVPs also started as an MVP. Interesting, right?
The Kickstarter website was built with minimal features back in 2006. They launched their first closed alpha version in 2009. They also launched the complete website in May of the same year and backed up their first project.
Till now, Kickstarter has backed up an astounding number of 21,643,162 projects on their site.
Ryan Hoover started ProductHunt with a single goal: to build a community where people can share their products and discuss different aspects with others. ProductHunt also started its journey as a piecemeal MVP by taking existing resources and working with them.
ProductHunt validated their idea with 170 members over two weeks before publishing the product. Since then, ProductHunt has been the go-to place to discover any product related to any industry.
The story of Pebble is something entirely different. They came in, raised enormous money with their idea, refused to elaborate further, and left.
Pebble created a design that challenged the whole smartwatch industry at the time. Their idea was validated by $10 million worth of backing on Kickstarter. The message was clear: not everyone wants to use whatever’s the latest and trendy; it’s about what appeals to the people.
Even when the product never came to pass, it’s still a great example of how a great idea can get validated if they follow the right track.
If you’re thinking how commonplace a music streaming service has become, imagine this: I wrote this piece while listening to my playlist on Spotify. Right now, you might be listening to your playlist while reading it too. But this wasn’t the case back in 2006.
Back then, the founders of Spotify found out a few things that gave them the idea to launch the app:
- People love streaming music
- There are record labels and artists who are ready for it
- Stable streaming is feasible with the current state of the internet
The founders made assumptions and created a product based on speculation. They tested the product among their family and friends, which resulted in success.
Spotify was released in Sweden first, and influential music bloggers spread the word about the app because of its ease of use. Then Spotify continued to reach more devices and regions, creating a mobile app.
Stripe started as one of several side projects by its founders, John Collison and his brother Patrick. They wanted to take away the hassle of online payment methods and simplify it. They had only one prominent example to follow at the time: PayPal.
They focused on every single issue PayPal had during that time, tried to improve the most they could, and then shared their idea with family and friends.
After getting their idea validated, they launched their website with the only core functionality of transactions. Still, then it was named “devpayments.”
After performing one first transaction, they decided to dedicate their time to building Stripe up to what it is today.
Would you believe the idea of Twitter came out of Hackathon? Let me tell you a story then.
When Odeo lost the market after Apple released iTunes, Odeo arranged a hackathon to find new ideas to solve the problem. From the Hackathon came the idea of creating a platform based on SMS.
Though Twitter, or Twttr, was going to be limited to employees only, the idea was made public in 2006. The reason? Odeo had to spend way too much money to send SMSs, or daily tweets if you will.
They rebranded to Twitter and became popular in 2007, and you don’t need me to tell you the rest.
The idea of Uber came out of a simple question: What can we do about people who can’t buy a black car but don’t want to ride a taxi?
Then the founders connected iPhones with drivers in San Francisco. All they had to do is to input their credit card information to pay for their ride.
The idea of Uber didn’t take long to get validated, similar to other mentions on this list. And, of course, we all know how convenient it is to get an Uber anywhere nowadays.
To Wrap It All Up
Building your MVP is a very efficient way to get your idea validated by your target audience. Just like the MVP examples we mentioned above, if the initial version of your MVP is up to the mark when it comes to solving problems of your targeted user base, your MVP will be a big hit.
But it’s not just about making assumptions. Take your time to study the market, the audience, and most importantly, the needs of the potential users.
When you’ve done all of the above, you need a fully functional initial product. It could be demo videos, paper sketches, or a digital product idea with minimal key features.
Not sure about the right MVP approach? Contact Impala InTech today! We’ve got your back, no matter the type of MVP you are trying to build.
With an MVP, you can test if your product idea has a market need. AN MVP can validate your idea so you can work on it to make it into a full-fledged product.
When you create a successful MVP, you can gain more potential users and customers, as well as investors, to back up your development.
There are a few metrics you should measure if you want to determine if your MVP is successful. These metrics come into play after you publish your MVP.
An MVP has only the basic functionalities, but even at that stage, it can be marketed to gain more attention from the target market.
The goal of an MVP is to solve a core problem. If it can’t solve a specific problem, the MVP is prone to fail.