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How Minimal or Viable is your MVP?

Blog: Zvolv Blog

Startups worldwide have grown remarkably over the last decade. The number of newly recognized startups in India alone has increased to over 14,000 in 2021-22 from only 733 in 2016-17. The startup industry is projected to grow by 11-15% every year and with the support of the government and corporate sector, the startup sector is poised to thrive. But this isn’t the real story, at least not when we dive deeper into understanding the startup ecosystem. While the number of new startups keeps on increasing, the number of startups that fail and shut down is over 90%. Before answering the question of why startups fail, let’s understand a critical part of the startup journey – the MVP.

The Idea

It all begins with an idea, a thought of solving a problem that hasn’t been solved before, or improving upon a solution with one that is an order of magnitude better. One of the most important things to know about startups is that solely as an idea, a startup is worth close to nothing. Ideas are essentially a dime a dozen, people who implement them are priceless. It is the commitment of the people that defines the start of the journey of building a startup. Moving ahead, the journey of starting up is a roller coaster ride that has a fixed destination but varying paths. The first fork in the road a startup often faces is that of developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). A technology startup’s MVP needs to be more than presentations and wireframes to be taken seriously by investors, prospective customers, and partners. On the other hand, if your MVP is close to a refined product already, you have probably gone too far before validating key aspects of your business plans. It is a fine balance, and many startups in all their exuberance end up putting the cart before the horse. 

The MVP Challenge

It is said that the journey of moving from an idea to MVP is one where the foundation of a startup is built and nurtured. More than 90% of startups today are technology-enabled businesses, and software constitutes a critical part of the overall MVP strategy. It is a key step towards validating the idea and initiating the scaling journey, and many important questions need to be asked and assumptions made based on data, research, and often times gut feel.

Many a  startup with great ideas falters because of incomplete research, undefined concepts, lack of market understanding, gaps in understanding customer needs, and most importantly lack knowledge and skills to build the MVP. With so many things to focus on, managing processes, people and technology becomes an exhaustive task. Managing processes and people is a task that can be done through constant evolution and improvisation whereas that barrier many founders face is in understanding the technology to build an MVP and then a product.

The Fork in the Road

Do you put together a technology team to build your MVP, or do you leverage outsourced partners to build the MVP? This is often the dilemma most business-oriented founders will have. Both roads have their pitfalls and advantages.

The Alternative – No Code/Low Code Platforms

With advancements in composable application technology and the growth of the citizen developer movement, business technologists are able to define and build applications rapidly and to a large extent independently of any professional developers. With visual drag-and-drop development environments and pre-built modules that can be connected together with minimal configuration, no-code/low-code platforms can be leveraged to build applications an order of magnitude faster, and cheaper than any of the in-house or out-sourced development options.

Benefits of using No Code / low code Platforms:

At Zvolv we have worked with many new startups across multiple verticals and founders with lots of exciting ideas. A recent success story is of a novel logistics startup that built a self-service portal for their end consumers utilizing the Zvolv platform, in under 2 weeks. As an add-on product to their core logistics services, they needed to try this out with some key customers with rapid iterations before investing in building a full-scale product that can serve hundreds of end customers. The MVP built on Zvolv gave their customers insights into shipment statuses, in-transit inventory, stock coverage, and a lot of other reports that they earlier used to compile and send manually on a daily basis. With minimal effort they were able to launch a product on Zvolv built entirely by their business process owners with the Zvolv team assisting them with developing the integration with their warehouse management platform. The MVP eventually evolved into a full-fledged product with several iterations based on the early customer feedback. 

Are you ready to build your MVP? Download the 7-day action plan to build your first application on Zvolv. And drop us a note – we’ll be happy to help you evaluate the right architecture and approach for your MVP.

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