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What is an MVP?
The term “MVP” was first introduced by Frank Robinson in 2001 and stands for “Minimum Viable Product”. It’s used to build a set of simple core features for any product, allowing it to be deployed and absolutely nothing more. It creates enough features of functionality to satisfy early users and gather feedback for future improvement.

Besides the old approach to developing products, MVP allows small companies to check if what they offer is what their potential users want to buy, without spending much time and risk wasting money for nothing. For example: your target users need specific means of transportation, but they are not sure if they what to spend their money buying a premium product. What then?

First, let’s create the most basic version of the product. It may be straightforward and simple, but it will do the job. It will allow users to move from place A to place B. The next step will be to gather feedback from users about the product. Will they like it? If yes, you can keep working to implement features that will improve the product. If not, you must go back to the previous step and see what must be done differently.

Just look at this image for a few seconds and reflect on it; How much money is needed to go from a bike to a car? It’s not just that they are totally different products but also, they work differently and mean different things to end users. It’s necessary to create a completely new product.

Another factor to consider is if you’re going to sell your product to investors. You may receive funding for a motorbike, but no way investors will put money on something that you did not even started to build yet.

The first conclusion about an MVP is that the main point of it is to focus on a single audience and build a product that delivers real value to users. For example, instead of building a mobile app with unnecessary features that will consume time to develop, think about the main goal of the app and focus in one or two features that will contribute to the overall goal.

Choosing an MVP, proof of concept or prototype.
MVP, proof of concept (POC) and prototype are all used for validating ideas, each have a different purpose.

POC is a way to check if any idea can be applied in a real-world scenario before implementing it. A way to get a visual demonstration of what an idea may look or work allowing to confirm the assumptions the fastest and cheapest way possible.

Prototype is the next step after the POC. It is a working simulation of the product, something that can be interacted with and touched. In comparison with POC, the purpose of a prototype is to answer question “How to build what is proposed to build?”

On the other hand, MVP represents a fully working version of the product to be release to the market. Often, MVPs are created based on successful prototypes. If you do not know if your idea is good for a product, first build a proof of concept. Then if everything goes well, create a prototype of the product. If everything is ok, go for it!

The help to build the idea.
Of course, there are many challenges in developing an MVP and here’s where companies like Polarising can assist you. We have a department called LABS, exclusively dedicated to these types of projects, where someone with an idea can see it be planed, built and deployed. LABS will help to decide which is the best course of action to get an MVP and the best features to the product, so you can estimate all costs to launch your idea.

To have a solid base for the MVP and for the future of the project, there’s a reliable stack that uses Java with the Spring framework for the backend, Angular to the frontend and Ionic for mobile applications. By using these technologies in the development stack, you’ll guarantee that the product can reach most of the targeted audience.

When the project is about to start, some POCs will be done, if necessary, to validate some functionalities, and if further validation is needed, then a Prototype will be made too. During the project, the agile methodology will be used with quick sprints, so the client can see the progress of the MVP and give feedback about the new functionalities to invest in.

So, all you need to start is having an idea! Tell us about it and let’s do it!

Tiago Simões
Polarising Consultant