How to build a great MVP, fast

One of the first things a startuper has to do to get started is building a basic version of their app/website/product to show it to investors. This MVP often needs to be done fast, without sacrificing quality.

After working on a few MVPs, we have picked up a few tricks that might help you get your product up and running quickly.


Summary


Don’t try to reinvent the wheel

One of the common pitfalls when building a new software product is to build it from scratch. We get it, your app/website is different than the others. That’s why it’s better.

Except it’s not that different. Whether you’re building a social network, a mobile app or something else, chances are similar products already exist. They might not be exactly the same (which is probably why you’re building your own), but they do pretty much the same thing.

So why build your product entirely from scratch when others have already done most of the job for you? Look online: there are probably many solutions (open source or otherwise) that could help you save a lot of time.

Use those tools! You’ll be faster and you can even use some of that free time to do other things, like:

  • Work on the other sides of your projects (business, marketing, contents…)
  • Build more functionalities, make your product even better
  • Improve the design, polish up the code
  • Give back to the open-source community by sharing some of your code
  • Help others learn by publishing what you discovered
  • Rest (if you’re an entrepreneur, you probably need some) and go be with your loved ones

Pick the right tools

Don’t be afraid to spend a few days, or even a couple of weeks, seeking and trying out a bunch of tools that might suit your needs.

If they save you a month’s worth of work, you can see why it’s a good idea to spend a few days testing them. If so many people use WordPress or Express nowadays, it’s for a (very good) reason: it saves (a lot of) time.

So don’t hesitate: test them, push them to their limits!

  • Study them
  • Read some of the code
  • Look at the documentation
  • Speak to other users
  • Read others’ opinions
  • Break them, don’t be shy

Choose the right people

If your project isn’t tiny, chances are you will need to recruit people to help you build it. But you probably don’t want to take the risk to hire someone who doesn’t suit your needs. And you’re right, you should be careful enough to make sure your beloved project becomes successful!

I won’t give you a Recruiting 101 lecture in this article, but there are a few key points that might help you a bit.

Look at their past projects

If you want to make sure someone is capable enough, you should take a look at what they have already built.

  • Did they write clean code?
  • Did they cover edge cases?
  • Did they use appropriate tools?

Socialize

If you’re gonna be working with someone, you should make sure you can work together. See if their personality suits you, if you can talk to them easily. You don’t have to be BFFs, but you should at least be able to chat.