User expectations for web and mobile apps these days are higher than ever. The days of deploying a low cost shaddy MVP are over. You’ve got one chance to make a positive first impression on your stakeholders. Here are three keys to helping you nail your MVP launch with a Damn Good Digital Product (DGDP):
Key 1: Invest in user experience
Nate Walkingshaw is the king of customer centric product development. He’s wrote an excellent framework on the topic called Directed Discovery. Through my own experiences along with learning from people like Nate, it’s clear that understanding the customer is key to building DGDPs. Well before you define your product, take time to meet with your customers and dig deep into their problems. Understanding both the root of their issues and the severity of the pain will be key in providing a meaningful solution.
Once you understand the problem, invest in designing a product that solves the pain in the most enjoyable way possible for the user. Partner with a good design team that understands both technology and design. Be prepared to take a few weeks and sometimes months in the design phase and be careful to not write any feature code until the product is well specified. Show your customer clickable mockups and get feedback. You’ll be surprised at how much time and money this will save you in the long run.
Key 2: Raise outside money
Bankrolling your entire savings into your MVP is risky and building a digital startup is already stressful enough. Do what you can with your own funds, but raising some money even at the expense of equity dilution will give you the resources and flexibility to go through the rigorous process of finding product/market fit. Rarely do entrepreneurs get it right the first time. Normally a few iterations of trial and error are required before you hit the sweet spot.
Key 3: The most expensive software development is cheap software development.
Building DGDPs is difficult when you’re doing it right, and impossible when you’re cutting corners.
If you go with the low cost development partner be prepared to end up with a “throw-away” prototype that you won’t be able to scale or extend when the time is right. When you’re ready to build a DGDP, you’ll need to find a highly qualified partner with experience in both design and development. I’ve seen millions of dollars thrown away when entrepreneurs don’t grasp this concept: you get what you pay for. There are no exception to this truism in software development.
Congratulations on your decision to build your dream app! The Ravn team wishes you great success and hopes to see you on Forbes someday. Ready to hit the ground running with the development process? The Ravn team has over 30 years of experience in building high-quality digital products, and we’d love to help make your vision a reality. If you’d like to discuss how Ravn can help you build a DGDP (damn good digital product), we’d love to speak with you.