Quick & Cost-Effective MVPs for Mobile Apps

If you know The Lean Startup concept well, you would begin with an argument that the purpose of an MVP is not to make it cost-effective or quick. Its purpose is to validate the problem-solution market fit hypothesis.

We get that. Still we must acknowledge that we are living in a real world where we do not have ample time and cost resources to build an MVP.

We have come across founders who have married with the concept but when it comes to execution, they need certainty on the variables such as Time and Costs.

Now this is a practical problem so there has to be a practical solution to it and here’s how it goes when we look at it from different perspectives.

Since the concept of MVP has emerged in the technology industry, most people whom we encounter as a Product Design Studio, are related with technology industry. So our examples would revolve around that. Here goes a few such scenarios:

MVP for a Mobile App

These days the word “App” has taken over the world. It is the same piece of zeros and ones and is nothing but software but many people think that the word App is sexy while the word Software is boring. Whaever the case, but we encounter many enterpreneurs who love to call themselves “Apperneur” i.e. The App Enterpreneur and would want to venture into the world of enterpreneurship via their first mobile app.


There are several important scenarios that must be well understood and answered before jumping into the mobile app development. These scenarios are:

  • Is it a completely unique idea? Have I researched the App stores well?
  • Do I intend to create a “clone” of a popular app that is minting millions?
  • Does the app is a product in itself or the app is an extention of an already existing product?

If you intend to create a clone of a popular app then you might not require an MVP. The concept is already validated by the other product and all you have to do is to identify the lose ends in the app being clonned and make those features better. Let us look at the recent history. Facebook was a clone of MySpace from one perspective but it had beaten MySpace in every single area. To validate the overall concept, you might not need an MVP although you might need it where you are adding a product increment that does not exist in the app being clonned.

If you are building an app based on a unique idea then the best possible way is to use a prototyping tool and create a prototype around the idea, buld visual graphics and leverage tools such as Flinto to create app prototypes that can be installed in a mobile device. Using Flinto to build a prototype could be a super-quick and pocket friendly exercise where you can get a prototype done in in about $500 and within a week. Not a bad investment for validating a totally new product idea, isn’t it?