An MVP is about validating a business idea as a product that can serve basic functionalities to serve your target user base. Like all well-established industries, MVP has its fair share of myths, almost all of which are not ideal to suit your business needs.
So today, we’ll be going Mythbusters mode and debunking 15 myths about MVP that need to be cleared up immediately.
What Do We Mean By “Myth”?
If we go by the general definition, a myth is an incorrect idea that is widely held. They might seem very reasonable to you when you look at them first, but you’ll see barely any evidence backing up the facts when researched. In short, they are popular misconceptions without proof or are just wrong.
Myths which are believed in tend to become true-George Orwell
Working on assumptions rather than confirmed information in software development leads to failures.
15 MVP Misconceptions, Debunked
These myths are the most prevalent ones in the MVP market. Sadly, many still follow one or more of these myths and facts, resulting in the downfall of their product or the end of the road.
To ensure that you don’t make the same mistake, let’s look at all the myths and how it is. You’ll see a pattern throughout all these myths: We are saying “No, it isn’t” to every single one of them.
1. MVP is A Cheap, Subpar Version of Your Product
Though an MVP is a minimal version of a product, the goal of any MVP development team should be to offer complete functionality of these minimal versions.
You don’t get too cheap out just because you’re making a basic version of the product. You must ensure that the basic version performs as intended to make it a successful product.
2. MVP Means No Workable Features or Use Cases
Even when the number of features is minimal, an MVP must have workable features. MVP doesn’t work out until it’s offering the solution the customer needs, and having no workable feature means the product will never serve any purpose. No MVP should exist without workable features.
3. Your MVP Has To Be Perfect
No, it doesn’t have to be perfect. You and your users know that it’s just the basic version of your product. They also know that there will be many more updates and improvements in the future since it’s just the start of the road.
So don’t stress yourself too much to make the shiniest product. It’s okay to offer something that looks simple but works perfectly. In our lifetime running Impala Intech, we came across so many entrepreneurs who thought MVP was supposed to be perfect; here we are, writing a paragraph about it. Even though it’s not supposed to be perfect dont forget to refine your Proof of concept (POC).
4. MVP Is Your Product’s Final Version
It most definitely is not. MVP is the start of the journey, not the end product. MVP is the primary version of your product with only the core features and the most basic version of the design you have planned for the future. An MVP turns into a full-fledged product through many different iterations and a long road to development.
5. MVP Is A Great Way To Fast Profit
The true purpose of an MVP is to validate your business idea. Suppose you’re making an MVP in hopes of making a quick buck. You will be thoroughly disappointed.
It’s not a silver bullet that’ll get you the cash cow faster. Think of it as a snare; you have to sit and wait to catch a game.
6. Failure Of Your MVP Is The Doom of Your Project
Let’s say you finally launched your dream product and started getting feedback. But sadly, there is more negative feedback than positive one. Does that mean your product is a complete failure? It does not.
MVP is a process, not a product. You present an idea, get validated, and act based on the feedback you received from presenting your idea. If you are negative reception, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and re-iterate, rather than calling it quits.
7. MVP Is Not Viable For Enterprise Products
It’s the opposite. MVP is perfect for enterprise products. Allow me to elaborate on why.
Enterprise-level products are far more complex and require a lot of scrutiny and development before they can be considered fully operational. They also require far more resources compared to regular products.
Before diving into something this big, it’s always a good idea to go with the idea that sticks. And to test that idea with minimal cost and development time, there’s no better option than creating an MVP to help you validate your idea.
After your MVP has received positive feedback, you can consider your idea viable and continue to design the product. That way, your investment is safe from unnecessary losses.
8. You Don’t Need Mobile App MVP If You Already Have A Web App
In a world where mobile device users are constantly increasing, the idea of not having a mobile version only deprives you of a potential user base. It applies even when you have a complete product as a web app.
Think of it this way: What if the customers were already happy with your web app and wanted to see a different iteration of the more portable product? That’s where the mobile version comes in.
With a mobile iteration of your MVP, the customer base can engage with something new, and you can gather more feedback with two different versions. Though it can be overwhelming, the results are well worth the trouble if you can handle it.
9. You Can Skip the Prototype Testing Phase If You Are Building An MVP
A prototype is an even more barebones version of the product you are trying to develop. A prototype can be as simple as a sketch on pen and paper, also known as paper prototyping.
Granted, you cannot run tests on paper prototypes, but you can show them off and gather feedback from potential users. You can also create interactive prototypes without any working code for better testing. But why is it necessary?
Running tests on your prototype helps you avoid mistakes that will cost you a pretty penny in the near future. When you run tests on your prototype, you will be able to exclude unnecessary features or design elements that would cost you extra time and money down the road.
10. MVP Is An Unfinished Version Of A Web App/ Mobile App
The only problem here is in the wording. MVP can be considered a “minimal” version for any web or mobile app. The word “unfinished” implies that the product does not function properly. That’s where the misunderstanding is.
Even if MVPs are supposed to be as minimal as possible, every function within that product has to work perfectly to solve the problems of the user base. So an MVP cannot be considered “unfinished,” but it can have open possibilities for future improvement.
11. MVP Is Only For Testing The Concept You Have
This one is partially correct. You can test the feasibility and viability of your concept using an MVP, but that isn’t the only benefit an MVP will give you. MVP can also shorten your development time so you can enter the target market relatively faster.
And, of course, MVP helps you gather every possible user feedback to improve your product for the future.
12. MVP Can Contain As Many Features As You Can Afford
It can seem like a great idea to cram in as many features as you can develop, but that’s a strict no-no. An MVP validates a product idea with minimal functions and effort. If you’re creating an app with many functions, it isn’t exactly “minimal” anymore.
It would be best if you focused on validating your idea with features focused on your audience’s core pain point rather than developing many features that take up valuable time and resources.
You have three features in mind: a, b, c. Now, you should:
- Develop the three features and see if you need to remove any of them
- Improve a, b, or c to solve problems in unique ways
- If you don’t see any response from the customers, you have to rethink the purposes of the three features again
13. MVP’s All About Having The Fastest Time-To-Market
As Shigeru Miyamoto once said: “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”
It applies to MVP development as well. If you rush it, you will not have enough time to test the functionality of the features of the app, along with fixing the bugs.
So even if you reduce time-to-market, you will have an app on the market that will only receive negativity because nothing is working right. An app like that doesn’t carry any benefits for target users and will fail.
It’s good to have a faster time-to-market in your plan, but don’t rush it to the point that the product is considered unfinished by your active users.
14. MVP Should Impress Users With Designs Only
Any MVP out there solves the issues of their target audience with functionality, not the designs. An app may look cool and sit pretty on your desktop, laptop, or phone. But there’s no point if it doesn’t serve its purpose with the functions.
However, good design isn’t something you should ignore totally, either. A good design will always increase the users’ convenience and improve user experience.
15. MVP Doesn’t Need Too Much User Research
You can never do enough user research. Your users are the best thing about your product, and user feedback is the greatest asset you will ever have by your side.
User research aims to determine the type of people that will benefit from the services you provide with your product. If you don’t know whom you’re making the product for, you create a product with no focus, and a product like that will surely fail.
So always conduct detailed market research to determine every possible user persona that can be considered a potential user of your MVP. Then curate your product around their needs.
To shorten it all up, here are the top 15 myths about MVP that we just debunked:
- Myth #1: An MVP Is A Cheap, Subpar Version Of Your Product
- Myth #2: MVP Means No Workable Features Or Use Cases
- Myth #3: Your MVP Has To Be Perfect
- Myth #4: MVP Is Your Product’s Final Version
- Myth #5: MVP Is A Great Way To Fast Profit
- Myth #6: Failure Of Your MVP Is The Doom of Your Project
- Myth #7: MVP Is Not Viable For Enterprise Products
- Myth #8: You Don’t Need A Mobile App MVP If You Already Have A Web App
- Myth #9: You Can Skip The Prototype Testing Phase If You Are Building An MVP
- Myth #10: MVP Is An Unfinished Version of A Web App/ Mobile App
- Myth #11: MVP Is Only For Testing The Concept You Have
- Myth #12: MVP Can Contain As Many Features As You Can Afford
- Myth #13: MVP’s All About Having The Fastest Time-To-Market
- Myth #14: MVP Should Impress Users With Designs Only
- Myth #15: MVP Doesn’t Need Too Much User Research
Hopefully, we have cleared up the delusions about MVP. Now go out there and make a great product! And, of course, Impala Intech is always here to help.
Some of these beliefs may partially be correct under specific circumstances, but most MVP myths are just false rumors.
Not at all. The name “Minimum Viable Product” suggests that it’s barely an initial version of the product that can be scaled further in the future.
If the MVP is designed well enough, the MVP will bring in potential customers. It counts as profit for the organization.
No, an MVP is never a shortcut. It’s merely a presentation of your ideas before becoming a complete product.
There will always be risk factors in any business. But an MVP can help the startup founder reduce the number of risks by a great margin.