Every year, more than 305 million startups are launched worldwide. However, 90% fail to compete in the market and don’t last long.

Why do the majority of unicorns fail? The answer is Blunders in the MVP development process.

Yes, MVP development lays down the foundation of an emerging startup. It is more than a method to validate your product idea. With MVP, companies can quickly evaluate market reactions and confirm whether users like their upcoming product. They can iterate their MVP to produce a development process based on market insights.

Yet, most unicorns make some common mistakes when creating an MVP. These mistakes are sometimes so crucial that they badly affect the overall efficacy of product development.

Hence, we bring some critical mistakes startups must avoid when building an MVP and accelerating their product development and release.

Let’s get started!

What is a Minimal Viable Product (MVP)?

The concept of minimal viable product (MVP) first originated in 2001. Frank Robison is believed to be the creator of this concept, later popularized by two consumer development and management entrepreneurs, Steve Blank and Eric Ries.

An MVP refers to an initial commercially viable product version with minimum functionality. In the SaaS industry, MVPs have essential features built to collect user feedback and test whether the product will satisfy the needs of early adopters. Mainly, startups can use this approach to validate demand assumptions and product usability. Besides, minimal risk is involved because MVPs don’t require much budget or investment.

Hence, MVPs benefit startups in three different ways. First, entrepreneurs can validate their product ideas by collecting users’ feedback. Once an idea is approved, they can enter the product development phase by making minor adjustments. Eventually, the final product is launched quickly, thus saving both time and money while delivering impeccable results.

5 Mistakes to Avoid in MVP Development

When building your MVP, make sure not to make below five mistakes to increase your chances of success:

1. Skipping Market Research and Analysis

Before making a minimal viable product (MVP), startup owners must ask one question to themselves?

“Do they have an audience that needs their product?”

Over 90% of entrepreneurs skip this question, which is the primary cause of the failure of startups at an early age. This question is directly linked to market research and analysis. Your product idea cannot be considered perfect until it is backed by market demand and validated by end users.

For instance, if you are building a cloud storage software for a particular location, say Africa. A few things must be considered before initiating the MVP development process, such as:

Demographics Research: Are you familiar with the needs and expectations of your target customers?

Competitor Analysis: What competitors do you currently have in the market?

Users’ Pain Points: Why do customers want to switch from products they already use?

Unique Selling Proposition: How can you differentiate your product and stand out in the market?

Hence, never start building an MVP without conducting extensive market research and considering these factors.

2. Inadequate Product Strategy

The next critical mistake startups often make is to follow an inadequate product strategy. Being an entrepreneur, you must be clear about the timeline of the MVP development process. A solid project strategy is like the heart of your business; if it functions properly, everything will be perfect.

Conversely, entering MVP development with an inadequate product strategy keeps your team busy and decreases overall productivity. You keep spending money on sales and marketing while your MVP is still not ready to appease potential customers.

As a result, when you fail to generate satisfactory results, your startup runs out of funding. The result is closure for an indefinite period and embarrassment.

3. Overloading Features

Most entrepreneurs think building an MVP with overloaded features would attract more customers. They are wrong. Instead, this strategy also contributes to the failure of startups.

Customer success is not an overnight job but a gradual process like climbing a gigantic mountain. You don’t jump; instead, cover your distance in phases until you reach your destination. The same case is with product development. An ideal MVP has minimal features but is fully functional. It’s better to build an application with 4 unique features than software with 9 non-operational or irrelevant features.

How does feature overloading impact the MVP development process? First, it delays product delivery. You cannot release the initial version until all features start working correctly. Secondly, you have to rework product modules that failed to deliver value. Lastly, feature overloading burns money, and startups can’t afford it.

4. Neglecting User Feedback

You must have used Facebook, Uber, Instagram, and Spotify. One common thing in all these applications is that they regularly incorporate user feedback in their MVP development process. Over time, they made gradual improvements and achieved high user satisfaction.

User feedback is a treasure trove of honest opinions developers need to perfect their products. You can’t say your MVP is ready until it resonates with your target audience. If most customers give positive feedback, go for full-scale development. Otherwise, go back to identify your mistakes and make corrections until you get your desired results. Following this approach would increase the chances of product success.

To better incorporate user feedback, encourage users to share honest opinions. Evaluate both positive and negative comments and actively listen to your customers. Lastly, iterate and improve your MVP until it evolves into an ideal product.

5. Not Having a Solid Tech Stack

While this mistake is expected in the IT industry, you can consider it in other sectors like manufacturing or production.

You might have very innovative product ideas in your mind. However, to make them tangible, ensure you have a solid tech stack. Twitter, for example, had a limited tech stack incapable of handling mass traffic. As a result, users started receiving error messages until Twitter upgraded its tech stack later.

Most startup owners start working on MVPs without having access to advanced technologies. While their ideas are innovative, their technological approach is outdated. As a result, the MVP cannot offer unique or exclusive functionalities users are looking for.

Final Thoughts

MVPs are crucial for successful product development. A user-friendly, scalable, and intuitive MVP lays the foundation of product success. At the same time, mistakes made during the MVP development mistake also result in the early closure of most startups.

We have discussed the five most common mistakes businesses make when creating MVPs. These include skipping market research, inadequate product strategy, and overloading features. Similarly, unicorns that don’t iterate user feedback into the MVP development process and have a limited tech stack struggle to achieve their desired objectives.

When working on your MVP, avoid these five critical mistakes and optimize the user experience for better results.