Frequently asked questions on Minimum Viable Product(MVP).

Frequently asked questions on Minimum Viable Product(MVP).

FAQ

It’s the month of MVP and we are here to abreast you with all the important things there are to know about MVP. MVP is a concept defined by Frank Robinson and popularized by Steve Blank and Eric Ries. It is a product which hasn’t been fully developed but which has enough features and functionalities that the customers can play around with it and gauge if it’s what they need, developers can get feedback from customers to further furbish the product.

Now that we have gone through the fundamentals, let’s look at the frequently asked questions about MVP.

1. What does Minimum Viable Product mean?

Frank Robinson defined a concept called Minimum Viable Product(MVP) which changed the way entrepreneurs started gauging the product market fit.
A Minimum Viable Product is a product which hasn’t been fully developed but which has enough features and functionalities that the customers can play around with it and gauge if it’s what they need, developers can get feedback from customers to further furbish the product. This process saves a lot on the cost and risk factor, making a fully functional product and watching it fail is like the worst nightmare any entrepreneur can ever have.

2. Why is MVP important?

MVP is a shortcut, a way to change the scenery and 1-up the competitors. The thought behind the MVP is to break the superlative idea into small steps and examine the behavior of the customers.

         Here are all the benefits that MVP brings to your company –

  • MVP helps in saving time and resources and also makes sure that they are invested only in the projects which would bear fruits in the future.
  • MVP also helps millennials to test their idea and recognize what trends can be used and leveraged to produce an optimum product which would cater to the needs of the targeted audience.
  • MVP helps in procuring early stage adopters and potential clients.
  • If leveraged correctly, MVP can also be used to attract potential investors.

3. What is the key component of an MVP?

The main idea of an MVP is to get feedback from the customers so that the product can be developed further as per the needs of the customers. So there are three components that are important here, first one is enough features for customers to explore the product, secondly, a feedback mechanism which will enable customers to send their feedback and lastly, it should have scope to be developed further according to the needs of the customers.

4. Should you develop an MVP in-house or outsource it?

For an early stage startup, mobile application and web development is quite an expensive component. Hiring an in-house team and paying salary to all the employees while investing on the MVP is a lot to deal with, but if you outsource your MVP to the right offshore partner you can utilize so much of your money in developing a feature rich MVP. The cost to hire developers offshore is far less compared to hiring developers locally in the US, and it’s an additional advantage when you find an expert for less cost and that too on a contract basis. Once the MVP is done and you have received the funding you can hire an in-house team and if there is any need for any additional resources you can always fall back on your offshore development team.

5. Minimum Viable Product vs Prototype?

Your prototype is not your MVP! A prototype is a model of what your product might look like, it may or may not be a functional model, while an MVP is a fully functional product or a shorter version of the product which the customers can use.

6. How do you prioritize features of an MVP?

Feature prioritization is one of the most important phases to plan a roadmap, mark the boundaries and differentiate between the wants and needs of the customers. Now the features will defer from product to product, again it’s not a one size fits all. What you can do is make a feature bucket wherein you can categorize your features as “Must Have”, “Nice to Have” and “Not Needed”, this will give you a clear understanding of which features to prioritize.

7. What should be built first? The core team or the MVP!

If you have a CTO who has got your back, like Batman and Robin, it’s beneficial to build an MVP together, but, if you are a lone ranger, it would be best to outsource the Minimum Viable Product development to an offshore development agency. As I have mentioned above, it would save you a lot of costs, which you can use to make your MVP feature rich.
So the bottom line is that MVP should be your top priority, finding a team and that too whose skillset is in line with what you’re trying to achieve will consume a lot of time.

Conclusion:

MVP can help you make a really awesome product, but if not done right, you’re up for a lot of trouble. Check out “How MVPs can go wrong, and how to make sure yours doesn’t” Hope you leave our site satisfied with all the information you were looking for, if you are still in a haze and need guidance with your MVP, we would be happy to help. Connect with us here.

What really went wrong with Appster?

What really went wrong with Appster?

Appster
Image Source: Mobileappdaily.com


 

When a colleague shared an article today that Appster filed for liquidation, I was a bit taken aback. My relationship with Josiah Humphrey goes around 5 years back…when he was someone looking for devs on Upwork (then Elance) for one of his clients and I was among the ones looking for work for myself. Things have grown from there. Both I and Josiah do not visit Upwork anymore. While I dedicated my time to build an Upwork alternative — RemotePanda, Josiah has become an industry stalwart with Appster consistently being ranked among the top agencies.


 

Our connection has been limited to Skype and Linkedin now but yes I do often check his profile for inspiration and getting to know whats going on in the app world.


 

Today as I saw Appster news, I thought of reasons what could have gone wrong for the guys. Here is my take.


 

1) App development demand is drying up


 

App development saw its peak between 2010–2015, that’s when the industry was new and you could ask for whatever price you wanted and the client would pay for it, but now in 2018/19 that is not the case. The market has become saturated with App Development companies, so any company whose revenue is completely dependent on developing apps is in a tricky situation right now.


 

“Paul Vartelas of BK Taylor & Co has been appointed administrator. He has said the main reason for the collapse was a “sharp drop” in available work over the last six months”


 

https://www.channelnews.com.au/appster-goes-into-liquidation/


 

The demand is down because there is no more incentive for new players to come in and build apps. Almost all of the top 30 apps on any Appstore have remained the same year on year, with the only exception of Flappybird. Nobody is beating Skype or Google duo in the video chatting vertical anymore, they might be getting a fight from WhatsApp but WhatsApp is a leader in another vertical. So its like they are all just fighting amongst themselves to be leaders in most categories. Thus, the economics does not work for people to build new apps because most verticals are now saturated and the chances of coming in the top 100 apps are like slim to none.
http://fortune.com/2016/09/16/smartphone-users-apps/


 

2) Deal size does not justify the lifetime value of the client


 

Contrary to typical IT sales, size of an app deal is usually 3–4 months long (50–100K in revenue). This means that the sales engine should be running fast enough to keep bringing new demand. If demand diminishes you can still get a new sale every 3 months…isn’t it?


 

Well, thats where having a bigger size could be a problem.

With an average deal size of around a 100K means, they need around 100 new clients every year. Now, this is possible when the tide is high but not in the markets like I mention in point a – where the market has lost the incentive to build new.


 

“Surprisingly we were in one of the best cash positions the business had been in, just four months ago, but things spiraled out of control very quickly. We missed forecasted sales targets by about 50 percent four months in a row … with expenses of roughly $1 million per month, our cash reserves were depleted very rapidly despite attempting cost reductions,” they said further.


 

https://www.mobileappdaily.com/appster-collapses-into-liquidation


 

In addition to this, having ambitions to be the premier company requires a lot to be spent on overheads and on experiments that may not convert to profits instantly.


 

This brings me to my next and most important lesson


 

3) Do not mix products and services growth plans


 

In 2014, Forbes quoted Appster to “expect to hit $100 Million in annual revenue within the next four years. To fuel that revenue growth, the company is currently opening offices in Canada, the U.K., and Germany and ultimately aims to scale to forty-two countries”


 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jlim/2014/08/06/aussie-start-up-appster-adds-former-founding-paypal-cfo-and-virgin-australia-executive-to-its-board/#34a6938b54f3


 

They even had people like Former Founding PayPal CFO And Virgin Australia Executive as part of their board.


 

Sounds like the recipe to success. No its a recipe to disaster because the ingredients that you are buying are for building a product growth strategy and not service growth strategy.


 

A services business is linear in scale and so are its costs and profits. No amount of funding or add-ons can change the linear growth model to a nonlinear model of a product.


 

A quick glance on Appster website shows their commitments towards building IP, trademarks and so on but were they really required?


 

Appster services


 

In the end, I would add that though I pointed out things that could have been done right and what not, I the guys would have seen that already and must have taken decisions that were best at the time. I have actually adored Josiah and Mark for their zeal and contagious enthusiasm in building Appster to what it is today. It started at $3000 and still remains a multi-million dollar company.


 

A salute to the guys who dreamt and built it on…

Five Ways I’ve Tried To Thank My International Clients

Five Ways I’ve Tried To Thank My International Clients

 

Winter is Coming! The end is here! Well, instead of white walkers, the end of a fantastic year is coming.

 

Yep, it’s that time of the year where we look back at all the fantastic memories we made and the people we met. It’s also that time of the year where we send the year-end greetings to our valued clients. It is a tradition and a ritual that we follow every year in order to tell our clients how great it is to be connected with them and how important they are to us. It’s our way of expressing gratitude and appreciation.

Since it’s our yearly tradition, we have always tried to experiment with newer and effective ways. This post accounts on how we have sent different gifts from India to the USA and the gaffes that have happened with international shipments.

Before starting on any such exercise make sure that you have the right address and contact details of your customers. Sending an email asking the same is ok, rather than delivering on a wrong address later. Even if you have the address from their website or signature, it is advised to double check. Once that is done, you can think about innovative ideas to make holidays even better for your clients.

 

1. Getting Some Self-Made/Customized Stuff Across:

 

 

Team Selfie

 

For us, it is imperative to get that feeling of belongingness across to our clients and what’s better than sending hand-written customized notes right? Accompanied by a project-specific team picture just to add a cherry on top of the cake.

This is a fantastic idea, right? What could go wrong one must wonder?

Well, we used a company for the same that had an app to put across handwritten notes and ship them via UPS. What we learned the hard way is to go for receipt option so that you know whether it’s delivered or not. If untracked, you just don’t know which packets got delivered and which ones did not.

 

2. Sending The Essence Of Your Culture:

Essence Of Your Culture

 

If a handwritten note is not your style, you must have thought that sending something which symbolizes your culture would be a good option. Like sending something which isn’t really available in your clients country, could be an excellent way to connect and exchange culture with them. One of the years, we chose to send handmade elephants to our clients.

We chose to ship internationally from India. The delivery rate was high but the cost of shipping every item was way higher than the cost of the product.
Lesson learned – Take shipping cost into account while you plan.

 

3. Sending Gift Box Through Amazon:

sweets

 

Let’s go with a simple method of sending a gift box using Amazon, well why not? right. Amazon has basically everything. Yep, Last year we tried this too and found that our clients received the gift boxes unlike the case when we sent from UPS, but we had chosen gift wrap option and we figured out that most clients did not see our name on the box. This meant they didn’t know who sent these gift boxes to them. It was only after we asked our clients later on how they liked our gift, they told us that they realize it now that it was us. The chocolates were delicious though, they reported.

 

4. Gift Cards Are A Good Option:

 

Amazon Gifts

 

Gift cards are good, who doesn’t like gift cards right?

We have discovered them to be nice and easy to send over option. While sending gift cards, make sure of certain things like –

*Making sure that there is ample amount of time to avail the offer.
*Making sure that the offer you are providing is accessible in their country.

 

5. If nothing else is possible, A Simple Email Greeting Can Go A Long Way:

 

It’s the end of the year and a holiday season; it is entirely possible that your clients have already gone out of office. Now, what to do? A simple email greeting would be best in cases like these. Moreover, many time clients are juggling with different phases like changing office or going on a long holiday and they may also prefer virtual greetings.

Year-end greetings are a great way to express gratitude and importance towards the client. It’s a way to appreciate people who were a part of your journey throughout the year.

Well, a lot of effort does go into planning and working out gifts for clients- the special people of your company. Here is a quick glimpse of us working out on the same this year –

 

 

 

What are some year-end greetings and gifts that you have sent to people? Did you also face any issue? Let us know.