MVP, Core Path, MMP – Product Versions in App Development
Table of contents
The product development stages in creating a mobile application are usually divided into product versions, of which there are typically several. In this article, we want to focus on some of them, namely the MVP, Core Path, and MMP, as they are critical steps on the way to a successful mobile app. Let’s take a detailed look at each of them and try to find out their specific definition and benefits for different use cases.
Whether you’re a developer, product manager, or entrepreneur, this guide was created to navigate you through these key milestones and provide a roadmap for successful app development. To make the journey easier, let’s first get to know our main character. Larry – the owner of a successful scale-up robotics company – will be your guide.
Unlike you, Larry never thought he wanted to build a mobile app. That is, however, until he realized that his company’s future depended on improving the user experience for his customers. Let’s waste no time and see how Larry’s app development ideas turned out.
Which product versions are key at the initial stage of application development?
Larry’s company, Robodogger, produces robot dogs. The problem is that they download the software update automatically as soon as it is released. It takes 1 hour to download and install the update, and the robo-dog is unavailable during that time. Analysts have found that user satisfaction is dropping, and this problem must be fixed quickly.
Larry keeps thinking: Let’s name it the Robodogger app! It should allow users to add their robot dog to the app and get a notification when software updates are available and schedule the installation for a convenient time. It’s also a good idea to add a feature that allows our customers to contact technical support in case of breakdowns.
Besides robo-dogs, Larry’s company produces accessories and provides services that can change the color of your robo-dog. Currently, you can do this through Robodogger’s online store.
Yesterday, Larry was watching an episode on RoboTube about Artificial Intelligence.
As Larry was absorbed in thinking about what his app could offer, his phone buzzed.
Larry picks up his phone and starts texting someone.
He has a friend – Rob – who is a business analyst at a mobile app development company and decided to share his idea with him and hear his opinion.
#1: Rob, you’re a business analyst!
#1: I had a brilliant idea to develop a mobile app for our robo-dogs. Here’s the brief, what do you think? But first, can I ask you what the best step to start with is?
#2: Of course! Can you describe what the app should include?
#1: The Robodogger mobile app should allow users to add their robodog to the app and be notified when software updates are available and start installing. I think scheduling the installation at a convenient time would be great. I also want to add a feature to contact tech support in case of a breakdown. We also sell additional accessories and services, so the research says that the ability to view a catalog and order those services in the app will increase our sales. And yesterday, I was watching an episode on RoboTube about Artificial Intelligence, so I had the idea to integrate AI into the app so owners can communicate with their robo-pets.
#2: It’s a good idea, have you determined what the core app will be yet?
#1: Is it necessary? Let’s do it all! I’ve got a couple more ideas – users will love them! So let me finish it!
#2: Let’s quickly remind ourselves what product versions are:
In app development, good companies often consider several key product versions. These product versions represent different app development and release stages or iterations.
We will focus on the first three stages, from the initial idea to the beginning of development. To understand each of them, let’s define a common way of thinking for each of them:
It’s important to note that product versions’ specific names and categorizations may vary across different development methodologies and companies. Some organizations may use alternative terms – such as Alpha, Beta, Release Candidate, or Major Releases – to denote app development and release stages.
The key concept remains the same: all product versions represent a stage in the app’s evolution, with incremental improvements and added features to meet user needs and market demands.
#2: Well, I can see the enthusiasm, but let’s move in order. Let’s look at the problem, compare it to what you wrote, and try to distinguish versions of the future product from this:
#1: Excellent! Thank you! Now that I know how it works, I’ll send it to the software house.
#2: Hold on, hold on… For now, we’ve divided your idea into product versions, but if you present it to the developers as is, they’ll have to figure it out themselves. This could lead to misunderstandings and, in the worst-case scenario, complications during development.
#1: Oh, you’re right… What should I do then? I know the product version names, but I’m unsure about what I should include in the documentation to ensure a competent proposal from the developer’s company. It’s becoming a more complex question… Can you assist me in figuring it out?
#2: Sounds like a challenge. Let’s clarify the purpose of this conversation: to gain a deeper understanding of each version’s objectives and scope. We need to describe how to precisely identify your product and also identify any potential discrepancies between your expectations for the future app and the documentation you provide to the software house. Does that work for you?
#1: That’s great! How about we create a pivot table for that? We can label all product versions and outline what should be included in the documentation for each one.
#2: That’s an interesting idea. I was just about to suggest something similar! Let’s get started!
Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
At its core, the MVP mindset is all about crafting a product in its simplest form, enabling customers to test its basic functionalities and provide invaluable feedback. The approach is rooted in the principle of validating the product’s core goals with the least amount of effort. This involves a meticulous focus on fundamental functionality to guarantee that the core concept operates efficiently in serving its primary purpose.
Within the MVP mindset, the emphasis is on efficiency and economy. By creating a lean version of the product, the development team optimizes resources and efforts while ensuring that the product’s main objectives are met. The central goal during this phase is to obtain essential feedback that can guide subsequent iterations and improvements.
In the pursuit of an MVP, less is often more. By resisting the urge to over-engineer and incorporating only vital features, the development team is better poised to understand the product’s viability. The MVP mindset prioritizes user input, seeking to align the product more accurately with user needs and preferences, ultimately leading to a more refined and successful end product.
The Core Path embodies a precise implementation of a system, carefully engineered to execute a targeted end-to-end function. This stage plays a vital role in the development process, providing a clear definition of the application’s critical components. By doing so, it offers a framework to effectively identify and address potential risks associated with the product. The Core Path sets the foundation for a methodical approach, ensuring that resources are utilized judiciously and that the project remains on track, ultimately preventing scenarios where investments are made without substantial value being delivered.
In essence, the Core Path acts as the linchpin, ensuring that the most crucial elements of the application are established and optimized. By precisely defining and addressing potential product risks, this stage significantly contributes to the product’s stability and efficiency. Moreover, the Core Path emphasizes the prudent allocation of resources, avoiding situations where the budget is depleted without commensurate value. It underscores the importance of a strategic and calculated development process, providing a robust foundation for subsequent stages of the project.
A conscientious investment in the development journey, the Core Path is focused on building a solid and functional core for the application. By identifying and mitigating potential risks at this crucial juncture, it lays the groundwork for a successful project outcome. Additionally, this strategic approach ensures that resources, including both time and budget, are spent wisely, fostering a disciplined development process that balances efficiency, innovation, and risk management throughout the application’s lifecycle.
Minimum Marketable Product (MMP)
The MMP mindset is distinctly focused on incorporating essential enhancements critical for the successful commercialization of the product and gathering valuable feedback. Instead of inundating the initial release with an excess of features, the central goal is to present a product that is minimally refined and poised for entry into the market. This strategic approach not only ensures that the product is optimized for its first release but also facilitates the gathering of crucial feedback from users.
In the realm of MMP, quality outweighs quantity. The mindset is grounded in the belief that a product, though refined to a minimum, should be robust enough to meet the market’s demands. By carefully curating features and functionalities, the focus is on delivering a product that addresses core user needs without overwhelming them. This approach positions the product to efficiently collect vital feedback that can be instrumental in shaping subsequent iterations.
The MMP philosophy encapsulates the essence of efficiency and precision. It acknowledges that a well-calibrated product, though lean in its offerings, is well-equipped to meet the initial market requirements. By concentrating on the most critical features and functionalities, the product is not only prepared for a successful market debut but is also primed for an iterative approach, incorporating user feedback to evolve and expand in subsequent versions.
Droids on Roids approach
#1: Do I have to describe everything by myself? It seems like it will take a lot of time…
#2: Not necessarily. The purpose of documentation is to provide the developer company with the necessary information to evaluate the project accurately.
Moreover, companies like Droids on Roids, who prioritize understanding the purpose of the product, can assist you with parts such as User Stories, Design Guidelines, Technical Requirements, and Resource Allocation during the quotation stage. However, not all firms focus on the overall project vision. At Droids On Roids, an entire team is dedicated to developing the commercial proposal, considering the product’s vision, business goals, and objectives. Business analysts and UX researchers are also involved in this process.
If you choose to work with a company like this, you will not only have a team of professionals, but also a partner who will treat the project as their own from the very beginning. They will leverage their expertise to define the requirements for the final product, help with prioritization, and offer optimal solutions that align with the latest market trends.
#1: That sounds great! Rob, thank you so much for your assistance. I’ll send the materials now ???? and email you once we release Version 2! Your advice has been extremely valuable.
#2: I’m glad I could help. Feel free to reach out anytime. By the way, here’s a link to submit a brief to Droids On Roids [URL]
Conclusion: Larry’s final thoughts
When I started with just an idea for my app, I didn’t know much about MVP, Core Path and MMP. But learning and using these stages really made a difference. They helped me take my app from a rough concept to something that people actually use and love. If you’ve got an app idea and you’re ready to make it happen, these strategies are the way to go. Trust me, they work!
And hey, if you’re like me and don’t know where to start, don’t worry. Talk to experts, just like I did. They can guide you through these strategies and make the whole process smoother. So why not give it a go? Let’s dive in and turn your great idea into a great app.