A brief guide to MVP development: process and benefits it brings

The goal of any full-featured product startup is to offer the user a tool to solve their problem. Therefore, even before launching the project, it is important to understand whether the audience needs this new product. How to do it? Using the Minimum Viable Product concept, which is part of the "lean startup" strategy.

A brief guide to MVP development  process and benefits it brings

MVP can be applied to creating a product from any field, but it is most often used by startups related to developing digital services and software. The essence of the MVP development services from Otakoyi is simple: you create a product (good or service), and your task as a developer is to track and analyze the behavior of people who use this product (site, app, automated service, etc.) for the first time.

Thanks to the data obtained during testing, you continue to work on the product, adjusting it, or, in case of a lack of interest from the audience, stop further development.

MVP helps minimize risks

Any startup is based on a certain hypothesis. It helps to check its capacity:

  • creating a list of criteria that determine its viability;
  • creation and launch of MVP;
  • measurement of performance indicators;
  • analysis of results, drawing conclusions, and, if necessary, making a decision to test the next hypothesis.

According to a study by the business analysis company CB Insights, the reason for the failure of about 42% of startups is the lack of market demand. Many new entrepreneurs take months or even years just to realize that their hypothesis is wrong.

Stages of creating an MVP

#1 Formulating the task

Using a client-oriented approach, software companies try to answer the question of why the user needs the product, what task it helps to solve, and what its value is.

#2 Defining the target audience

When working out an MVP, you should not focus on the needs of a wide audience. Narrowing the target audience makes it possible to position the new product more precisely. To achieve this, you need to draw a portrait of the "ideal user," that is, a client who is ready to use or buy a product without hesitation, the capabilities of which fully satisfy them. In marketing, this is called a "customer avatar": the buyer's age, income, education, habits, and interests. This information about the consumer will also be helpful later - at the stage of promoting this new product.

#3 Studying the competitive market

Even if you have managed to come up with something new or special, companies that offer something from the same industry may still be working in this niche. It is worth analyzing their market share, studying experience, learning advantages, identifying shortcomings, and understanding what makes them unique and why consumers choose them.

#4 Carrying out a SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis allows you to determine weaknesses and strengths, calculate opportunities and prospectives of a minimum viable product, as well as predict threats.

#5 Roadmap creation

After performing a comprehensive analysis of the business idea, we must look at the new product through the eyes of a potential buyer. A roadmap is the sequence of actions a user takes while moving toward their goal of the desired product or service. You need to put yourself in the customer's shoes, imagine how they will interact with a new product (for example, an application), understand at what stage they may need additional information, etc.

#6 Determining the main functions and calculating the scope of the MVP

Regardless of the scale of the future project, the MVP should present only the main functions. It is undesirable to offer the user some additional features of the product immediately: this can confuse the client and distort the integrity of the results of the study of the feasibility of your idea. After testing the product and analyzing the feedback received, advanced functionality can be added later.

#7 Choosing an iterative method and developing an MVP

The MVP should be developed using one of the iterative methods — Scrum, Lean, Kanban, etc. All of the listed approaches provide the possibility of regular release of updates and rapid improvement of the product as user feedback is received.

#8 Testing the product

The MVP should be tested throughout the development process regularly. Alpha (internal) testing is done by the developer company's testers, while beta (external) testing requires outside help. The ideal option is to attract a real audience of future users of the new product. You can find people willing to participate in testing on specialized platforms: BetaList, Quora, ProductHunt, Reddit, etc. You can also attract followers on your social networks and blogs and use email newsletters.

Benefits of MVP for business

Here are some clear and important reasons why you should create an MVP:

#1 You can start MVP development even with a small budget

MVP is what startup owners love the most. Later, if it brings the desired result, you can spend the saved funds on the development of a full-fledged and top-notch solution. And if you have bad results, you don't risk losing a lot of money. It does not require high costs.

#2 MVP simplifies the entire development process

Starting software development with MVP is a good idea because it is easier than building a solution from scratch. You and the development team can focus on the core features. You develop it and only then add what is still missing. MVP development is like stringing beads. Everything is simple and clear.

#3 You can check the competitiveness of your product

Knowing if you'll have customers before starting a new business is hard. Thus, creating an MVP will help, without spending all your money, to check whether users need your product and whether it is competitive in the market.

#4 Faster launch to market your product

It takes much less time to launch an MVP. Saving time is very important. What if someone also offers a similar business idea? By then, your MVP will be up and running.

#5 It helps attract investors to your business idea

Launching a minimum viable product proves or simplifies the viability of your business idea. If it turns out to be successful, then investors will support it. MVP confirms the credibility of the project and the fact that money can and should be invested in it.

Final words

The information obtained thanks to the MVP (statistics, history of customer behavior, their feedback) illustrates the level of perspectives of the new project. Analysis of this data is the foundation for generating new ideas and developing efficient product development strategies based on actual data, not just a theory. In other words, MVP testing is a useful solution, and spending resources on it is wholly justified.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • Identitytheft.gov: If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at www.identitytheft.gov. This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

A brief guide to MVP development: process and benefits it brings