When an entrepreneur with no cooking experience decides to open a restaurant, how important is it for them to have a qualified chef to run the kitchen? The obvious answer to this question is: extremely important.
So, then, how important is it for a non-technical startup or entrepreneur to have a qualified technical partner when building a minimum viable product? Just as important as the chef, if not more.
Covering Your MVP From A-Z
There is more to building an MVP than just coding and adding some graphics. Even though an MVP’s development time is shorter than most IT projects, it still contains all the elements of software development and the foundations of a new business. In order to effectively deliver the best product to your users and convince investors that you have a winning business on your hands, you need the skills and experience of a full-service technology partner. The services you need to create all of this include:
Branding, Design, and Prototyping
Even though it takes years to develop a strong brand image, having basic branding elements covered when first releasing your MVP to users is an important step in the right direction. By creating a unique user experience and a consistent look and feel, designers are able to deliver the right brand image and communicate the proper message that captures and engages initial users.
Another critical element of your MVP’s success is the prototype. By creating a prototype, you are able to transfer your ideas and vision from your head into an interactive product that can be utilized by initial users and presented to investors. A prototype also sets up your application for MVP development by including production-design elements and removing usability bugs, which offer a seamless transition from design into MVP development.
Developing your MVP is the most resourceful and longest part of the whole process. Having the right full-service technology partner is critical in the crossover phase from design to development. There are a lot of things that can go wrong at this point (poor communication, lack of management, etc.) that can cause the MVP project to come to an abrupt stop and create a number of problems in the future.
Your full-service technology partner will be able to eliminate many of the problems plaguing startups that have designers located in one part of the world and developers in another. The close working relationship that exists in full-service development teams is hugely beneficial and extremely hard to imitate.
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First impressions count, we all know this, so why risk damaging your first impression with an unresponsive, lagging, usability-flawed MVP? By closely monitoring your MVP and resolving potential issues before they affect your service, you can be sure that your application will deliver the right experience to users and instill confidence in potential investors.
There is a window of opportunity between the launch of your MVP and the next release of your application, and it gets smaller by the day. In order to capitalize on new market opportunities, you need to strike while the iron is hot to keep users engaged. Your technology partner will work with you to precisely analyze user feedback, results from tests, and data from your analytics to put in place the subsequent development tasks for your application’s next release.
Support and Maintenance
Support and maintenance are just as important to your application’s success as the development phases. Ensuring you have the right sysadmin team on hand to prevent potential problems and fix unexpected issues is critical in maintaining a stable application and supporting its ongoing development.
Having the right technology partner provides investors with a massive amount of confidence. The tech industry is highly competitive and constantly changing; if you want to survive, you have to move with it. Investors look for startups that have an experienced and knowledgeable technology partner who is able to identify opportunities and new trends, avoid risks, and make calculated decisions.
Investors also want to see that your application, not just your business, is continually moving forward and scaling up, and is able to be adjusted and developed further when needed – without delay. Also, there are a number of problems that can arise when you have different teams located in different areas (e.g. designers in one country and developers in another) and the onus of responsibility for managing this falls on you. By teaming up with a full-service technology partner, you create a stable and reliable work environment that allows you to manage the business side of your startup and deliver the confidence required to your investors.
So just like in a restaurant, having a qualified, full-service technology partner is a critical part of your MVP’s success, because not everyone can build high-quality software and run a startup.