Achieving a balance between time to market and MVP scope: Strategies for startups

    Every startup aims for a short Time to Market. On the other hand, a good MVP should be a fully-fledged application that is technically and design-wise refined. How can you achieve both?

    When creating an MVP, it's important to define its scope correctly. Meeting the most important user needs is the foundation of a good MVP, so it should include only the most crucial features. Otherwise, achieving a balance between a short Time to Market and an MVP that will succeed will be very difficult.

    What is Time to Market?

    Time to Market (TTM) is another term for the time that passes from the beginning of a project to its release on the market. According to another definition, it is the time from when developers started their work to the first sold copy.

    Why is Time to Market so important?

    The main reasons why Time to Market is so important are:

    • Rapid market changes
    • Competition
    • Technological progress (which accelerates market changes)

    Because application users expect constant innovation, new possibilities, and increasingly complex features. It is crucial for your application to be the first of its kind on the market, surpassing the competition. To achieve this, many companies want to create an MVP.

    Consequences of a long Time to Market.

    According to a McKinsey study, companies typically lose 33% of their income when they release a product to the market 6 months late. In comparison, exceeding the budget by 50% during product development results in losses of only 3.5%. For large companies, such losses may not be fatal, but someone will certainly face the consequences. The situation is even worse for small businesses and startups. Releasing a product too late often leads to the downfall of the company, which is a common occurrence. Approximately 90% of startups fail in their first 2 years of operation, and improperly defining Time to Market is certainly one of the reasons for this phenomenon.

    Why is a correctly defined MVP scope so important?

    A properly defined MVP scope means, above all, a short development time. At iMakeable, creating an MVP that meets user needs typically takes 3 to 6 months. As indicated by a McKinsey study, this is a short enough period to avoid income losses. A correctly defined MVP scope allows for the reduction of many costs, preventing the project budget from being exceeded. When defining the MVP scope, it's important to ask yourself whether a particular feature is truly necessary and whether the time required to create it is worth it. In many companies, the MVP scope is incorrectly defined, leading to the inclusion of many unnecessary features that could be included in later versions.

    There are several methods for prioritizing whether a particular feature should be included in the MVP, including the impact-effort matrix and MoSCoW, which you can learn more about in the article "How to Define MVP Scope." Calculating the ROI of the MVP definitely facilitates decision-making regarding which features must be included in the MVP and which can be added in later versions.

    By using these methods, you reduce the risk of exceeding the Time to Market by several months. This, in turn, reduces your costs and increases potential revenue, avoiding the situations presented in the McKinsey study. The main advantage of "trimming" unnecessary features is speeding up Time to Market. This allows for quicker achievement of product-market fit and also reduces the costs of creating the application.

    The main advantage of entering the market quickly

    Faster entry of the application into the market provides a significant advantage over the competition. This is because the application is made available to the first users, who provide crucial feedback.

    After collecting a sufficient amount of feedback, it's time to reconsider the MVP's functionality, as it may turn out that users are using the application in a completely different way than we thought. They have different needs, which can make a feature with a low priority become the most important one to implement.

    Choosing technology for rapid development - Why Next.js?

    In the context of rapid development, it is crucial to choose technologies that allow for efficient and flexible application development. Next.js, a framework based on React, stands out in this area, offering exceptional performance and versatility. Its main advantages include speed, ease of creating SEO-friendly pages, and support for server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG), significantly speeding up page loading times. Next.js also enables the creation of dynamic web applications with fast content refresh, which is crucial for applications requiring continuous data updates. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for startups looking to quickly introduce their products to the market without compromising on quality and functionality. If you want to learn more about Next.js, its advantages, and disadvantages, I invite you to read our article: "Next.js - What Kind of Framework Is It? Pros and Cons of This Technological Solution"


    Time to Market is a KPI that we want to minimize as much as possible. This translates into:

    • Cost reduction
    • Increased revenue
    • Outpacing the competition

    To achieve this, it is important to define the MVP scope correctly so that the application development time does not exceed 12 months, thereby unnecessarily prolonging the Time to Market. There are several ways to define the MVP scope, such as MoSCoW and the impact-effort matrix.

    The most important thing to remember is that the main goal of a good MVP is to meet user needs without unnecessary distracting features. These features generate unnecessary costs, extend Time to Market, and increase the risk of the entire investment.

    When defining the MVP scope at iMakeable, you will certainly ask yourself whether the application should be developed using native or cross-platform technology. You can learn more about this in the article "Cross-Platform and Native Applications - How Do They Differ and Which Solution to Choose?". If you are not sure how to correctly define the scope of your MVP or would prefer to delegate this task to someone else, contact us. We know how to define the MVP scope correctly and can create it for you."

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