Startup founders, developers, entrepreneurs, and now Web3 founders should be no stranger to the term: Minimum Viable Product, or MVP.
Building an MVP is an absolutely crucial step along the way to launching any startup. Facebook, Google, Twitter; all of them, at some point, had an MVP. They looked way different than the massive platforms we all use today, but they were instrumental in helping them get off the ground.
In this article, we take a closer look at what is a minimum viable product, and how to build a minimum viable product. In particular, the steps for creating a Web3 MVP.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
When building and launching a startup, Web3 or otherwise, speed is everything. Don’t take too long before you test your idea in the wild, collecting actual data from real users/customers. Even if you have a really clear idea of what you want your product to look like/be, and all of the possible features necessary, it means nothing without user data.
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is exactly what it says on the tin: a basic version of the product. Simple, straightforward, and easy to build. Its main goal is to launch quickly and test theories in order to accelerate your product to market.
Simplicity is key. It ensures speed, the ability to start collecting data, and clarity. Don’t worry if your first version, the MVP version is basic and maybe a little embarrassing. It needs to be user-friendly, to a point, but can be far from perfect.
Keep features basic. Whether this is a blockchain-based dApp, or something else, it needs to be live, functioning, and out in public in order to collect data.
5 Steps to build a Web3 MVP
#1: Concept phase
At this stage, you may have nothing more than an idea.
Make sure you are asking yourself some key questions, such as:
- What problem am I trying to solve?
- Why are applied blockchain and Web3 technology the way to solve this problem?
- How many people are struggling with this problem, and what are the most effective ways to solve it?
In other words, before writing one line of code, you need to understand the pain points, potential market size, and why Web3-based technology is the answer to these challenges.
It could be that you’re already building a Web2 or SaaS-based startup, and are pivoting into a Web3 solution. Or you are new to the startup world entirely and see Web3 as the way forward. Either way, founders are turning to Web3/blockchain technology for new and improved ways to solve numerous problems, create new opportunities, and innovate.
At this stage, scope out the features, create design mockups, and search for ways to start assembling a team, building community, and attracting investors.
#2: Build, build, build
With a Web3 startup, you aren’t just building a community (essential given the decentralized nature of blockchain-based/Web3 projects). As a founder, you need to build:
- A community
- A brand
- A product
Give prospective users and customers reasons to believe in your vision, the community as a whole, and the product.
An MVP is clearly a big part of this. But remember, it’s only one element of the overall process. Without a community and a brand — which relies on a strong marketing effort — an MVP is only an app, lost in a sea of countless other blockchain business ideas & projects or the immense creator economy landscape.
Communities, branding, marketing, content, and being active on social channels get your MVP into the hands of potential users, customers, community members, and investors.
Whilst developers (or a dedicated Web3/blockchain-based agency) are building your MVP, make sure other aspects of the project are operating full steam ahead too. Such as establishing and growing a community who will want to use this MVP.
One way to build a Web3 startup quickly is to use DEIP’s Casimir tool, a Web3 startup builder. DEIP is a creator economy protocol exclusively for intangible assets, derivatives, and Web3-based projects.
Startup founders can build MVPs themselves, or rely on Web3/blockchain-based agencies to build and launch their products and implement proactive marketing campaigns to establish and grow communities.
Either way, as soon as your MVP is close to being ready, it’s time to launch. Regardless of how big or small your community is. The only way to know how people are going to react to your idea is to launch and then keep growing.
#4: Collect data
Now you are at the most critical stage. It’s said that no plan survives contact with the enemy. When it comes to startups, no MVP survives contact with an initial group of users/customers.
Collecting data is an essential part of the MVP process. It’s central to the iterative feedback loop that every Web2 (and now Web3) product needs to go through. Collect a range of subjective (user surveys, feedback, etc.) and objective data points (user metrics, etc.). Use this information to power the next stage, turning an MVP into a fully viable product, platform, dApp, or DeFi project.
#5: Iterate, improve, keep building
Once you’ve launched your Web3 MVP and collected real world data, you can move into the scaling stage of Web3 startup building: iterating, improving, and continuing to build.
Turn the data into powerful learning points. Grow the community. Raise funds. Develop new product features and offerings. Take your Web3 startup to the next level. All of this starts with an MVP and the data you collect from this key stage in the growth process.