- Limited resources and low budget (development costs are painful)
- Lack of technical background and coding skills
In the Lean Startup world, nobody wants to spend years on solving problems that don't exist, even more, if it means paying a fortune for that. It's better to validate your product as soon as you can when building for the public. And that's exactly why MVPs are crucial. So in this article, we will walk you through:
- What is an MVP?
- Is no code the right choice for your MVP?
- Why do you need an MVP?
- 8 actionable tips for an effective MVP
What is an MVP?
For the records, let's state the traditional definition first:
A minimum viable product (MVP) is a version of the product with just enough features to be usable by early customers who can then provide feedback for further product development. An MVP allows us to quickly launch the initial/test version of the product and gather maximum amount of validated feedback through their early customers.
Let us uncomplicate what an MVP is a little more.
You can call the MVP a crappy, unfinished version of the final product with basic functionality. In practice, it is a fast and dirty working solution to a user's problem. It shows you if you have managed to claim the correct product-market fit.
The minimum viable product (MVP) allows us to launch the product fast and collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
The definition of MVP has evolved a lot to fit in the “Lean Startup World”. Today, new tech products are not a novelty. People expect a minimum level of quality, and they expect it from all products. You no longer need a minimum "viable" product. You need a minimum "awesome" product (MAP) to be viable. A product that has minimum features but stands out incredibly. A product that values experience and functionality equally.
Why do you need an MVP?
The fundamental purposes of MVPs are:
- Solution seeking: you spot a problem, and you want to find a solution.
- Hypothesis testing: you think you have found a business solution to a real life problem, and you want to test it.
- Essence delivery: your proposed solution solves the problem end to end. It doesn't deviate.
- Improve product: you start somewhere with the solution and then build on it. This allows you to improvise rapidly.
Is No Code good for your MVP development?
The consequences of running an untested idea is way too unpredictable for you to be investing a ton of money. Then, how should you build your MVP? No-code to the rescue!
You can choose to partner with us, hire an agency or do it all by yourself. But the reasons why no-code triumphs over all the above alternatives are:
- It's way cheaper, flexible, and easy to iterate than traditional code.
- It's a faster way to enter the market.
While there are a few downsides to the no code approach, the core purpose is to let you concentrate on the idea at its heart and ship faster. All of these are exactly the things you want while launching your MVP! You can worry about automating, improving, and spicing things up after your idea is validated.
Let's jump right into the 8 actionable tips on how a startup founder can build MVP without code.
Tip #1: Test the idea before building anything
In the early stages, focus on speed. Iterate, execute, succeed, fail; do it all faster. You don’t even need to build anything to show your product value to the users. Make presentations, explanatory videos, fast & dirty design screens, manually deliver the value to users. Try faster routes to collect feedback. Improve your idea at this stage before building it further. Then create your beta user list with easy form creators like Typeform, Google Forms and keep nurturing your potential users
Tip #2: Do competitor & user research
Analyse the market and study your competitors. Read reviews from competitors’ customers, test available solutions, run interviews. Identify the pain points of users and figure out how your product can stand out. In most cases, the solution is right there. It just needs optimization!
Tip #3: Set Goals
Set clear goals and expectations for your MVP launch with collaboration tools like Notion and Miro. These goals can be as simple as:
- What problem is my product solving?
- What will be the metrics for success?
- How many beta users do I need to have proper testing?
- How am I better than the competitors and how can I prove it?
- How can I decide if the MVP is a good Product-Market-Fit?
Tip #4: Create a list of features & user flow
Identify 2-3 core features that can best help you solve the problem. Use familiar UX practices to map out the user flow. Avoid reinventing the wheel for well-established behavior. Keep in mind that it should be the “minimum” version of the product, delivered quickly in a few weeks.
Tip #5 Test prototype
If you are skeptical about jumping straight to MVP, you can always build and test a prototype. Prototypes are basic implementations of the future project used to express the essence of it. It can be as simple as sketches or low-fidelity wireframes. Use them as a source of feedback and sometimes as bait for investors. Figma is your best friend here.
Tip #6 Develop the product with no-code
After identifying the features and testing the prototype, determine which no-code stack suits your product the best.
Here are a few tools and platforms that we suggest:
- Platform to get a no-code team: WeLoveNoCode
- Prototyping & design tools to make shareable designs and clickable concepts: Figma, InVision, Marvel.
- Website builders: Webflow, Carrd, Bubble.
- Mobile apps builders: Adalo, Glideapps, Bravo Studio Apps.
- Newsletter and email builders: Substack, Mailchimp, SendGrid.
- Tools to collect payments: BuyMeACoffee, Gumroad, Stripe.
Tip #7 Use the “Build, Measure, Learn” approach
After building the MVP, measure the impact of your product to determine the high and low points of your launch. You already set up goals and expectations, so you know what to measure.
Learn by iterations. Keep yourself in a continuous feedback loop. Remember, the sooner you learn, the better! Having an Airtable, Spreadsheet or Business Model Canvas can help keep your learning organized.
Tip #8 Give it to people early on
Don't run after perfection. As soon as you have the desired list of beta testers, give it away to the users. Fast to market is better than perfect to market! Connect with your users via personal touch or email nurturing tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot, or SendinBlue.
Building an MVP may not always be an effortless and successful process. But it’s definitely a cost-effective and promising way to move forward.