While launching a new app, the product development time is one of the most prioritized factors, which clients focus on. At times, this is placed even ahead of the project budget.
Of course, companies can enjoy a competitive advantage, as they can tap their market before their competitors do. It is for this reason that a fast MVP (Minimum Viable Product) serves as an effective strategy for several companies. They implement these to test the requirements of their customers.
Why is an MVP Necessary?
An MVP can be defined as a simpler version of your software that can solve your problem. The software development time needs to be as short as possible. Companies waiting long to develop these products are susceptible to high competition.
In the process, they may lose the strategic edge in the industry. However, with a working version of the software, startups can approach their investors. They can also be an early entrant in the industry.
Validating a business idea becomes easier, when you have an MVP. A statistic reveals that 70% of tech startups fail to thrive, normally around 20 months after they receive the first financing, primarily due to poor market research.
However, when you run a test using an MVP, the difference can be huge. It can prevent business failures, as you can obtain feedback and check out the needs of your customers.
An MVP serves as a tool to realize the true potential of a given idea. Accordingly, you can plan the right direction of steering your business.
Another core benefit of using an MVP is that, brands can promote their products earlier. In the process, they can reach out to the early adopters much faster. When you get an idea of the preferences of your users, you can incorporate the changes, while developing the product on full-scale.
Besides, a tangible outcome of your product can help you attract investors. Most importantly, business firms need not invest resources in features that do not appeal to users. Evidently, an MVP can complement your marketing strategy right from scratch.
Hybrid Apps and Flutter: A Brief Background
Xamarin, a company which is presently owned by Microsoft, emerged in 2011 to foster better hybrid app development. This brought about a revolution in the development of hybrid apps. The idea was to simplify the coding and use the same code for developing apps on both platforms.
Next, Ionic gained popularity in 2013, and Drift Co. was behind this development. The developers could come up with sophisticated apps, using their existing abilities.
In December 2018, Flutter 1.0 was released by Google. Over 18 months, Google had the software in beta. The Dart programming language was used in this tool.
Dart, developed by Google, is similar to C. As an OOP programming language, it was easy to be used by developers who knew Java or C. They could seamlessly adapt to the language.
Besides, ECMA has approved Dart as a programming language and it is not a mobile only language. The developers can use Dart to develop anything on the servers, web, desktop and mobile apps.
After this, mobile app developers have been extensively using Flutter to enjoy a seamless app development process.
Why Should Businesses Adopt an MVP?
In order to validate your business idea, an MVP needs to be developed. It confirms the interest of the users in the products you are planning to launch. Using an MVP can minimize possible errors by testing the product on a small scale, or creating a hypothesis.
MVP deals with balancing the offerings of your business to the users with that they actually need. Business firms adopting MVPs can benefit in several ways.
- They can remain within a limited budget, while launching their apps quickly
- Save time while developing the app, finding the right target group
- Gather feedback about a given app, further improvising the product
- Save resources, money and time, ensuring that they channelize their efforts to develop a product that will probably be successful
- Find early adopters of the product by acquiring a potential base of customers
For business firms, it is advisable to start with limited features in the basic model. Successful companies often follow this strategy.
Companies That Have Successfully Implemented MVPs
It is interesting to study how successful companies got started with an MVP. Many of the successful brands like Uber, Instagram and Buffer experimented with MVPs.
Buffer is a popular social media account scheduling and management software. It was started as a two page site with minimal features.
The developers adopted the lean methodology, presenting the idea to examine whether or not his product would appeal to the people.
Eventually, the Buffer team came up with a web app, which supported only Twitter, integrated with a Chrome extension feature.
You must be familiar with Dropbox, the popular cloud storage platform. In the early days, the company encountered financial challenges. They required money to do away with technological problems, before the MVP could be launched.
The investors, too, found it difficult to get a clear idea of their pitch, since they were not trying out any solution. Besides, the concept was very innovative and it lied beyond their imagination.
Therefore, a video MVP was created by Dree Huston, explaining the idea behind Dropbox.
Transportation mechanisms within and even between cities have evolved, thanks to app cabs. Before the inception of Uber, people had to wait for a long time to avail a cab. People can now call cabs through their smartphones.
The MVP developed for Uber was designed to test whether it was viable to develop an on-call taxi service without a call centre. The developers used GPS in sharing the locations of taxi drivers, while connecting them to the users.
The app had a simplistic structure and only one feature was tested. It was just the beginning of Uber’s business and using an MVP proved fruitful for Uber’s efforts.
The photo and video sharing social media platform, Instagram was launched when the market for editing software for images was almost saturated. Instagram came up with a simplistic MVP, which made it successful.
The users were able to share images through Instagram that offered a few filters. Initially, it was launched for iOS, enhancing the focus and reducing development costs. It is evident that the approach has worked out well for Instagram.
Airbnb has made its mark in the tourism industry. It was initially started to offer accommodations at cheap rates to travelers at various apartments. The company came up with an MVP, with images of the apartments and flats.
In the process, they got three guests in the initial attempt. Airbnb focused on obtaining feedback from the users constantly. They did not overload the app with unnecessary features, which is one of the reasons behind their success.
What is Flutter and How Can it Help in Building an MVP?
As a cross platform development framework, Flutter was developed with the aim of building native Android and iOS apps, using a single code-base.
Launched in December 2018, Flutter has attracted several software development companies. It comes with enhanced features, widgets and bug fixes. Being open source, it complements MVP development.
The prime reasons for an increasing popularity of Flutter include:
- Flutter has got a large community, supporting the users
- Business firms need not spend large amounts as licensing fees during experimentation
- App development becomes simplified, as Flutter speeds up the process
- A great user interface helps in creating an interactive user interface, through which the users can access various features and inbuilt tools
Building an app using Flutter indicates that startups and business firms enjoy a dynamic setup. The dedicated widget engine in this cross platform tool attracts UI components that resemble the native ones.
The UIs that are developed using Flutter’s widgets are flexible and pleasing. These can be seamlessly enhanced and improved.
By default, these UIs are well structured. The developers can also customize the existing widgets, creating custom ones. Flutter apps are known for their smooth and fast performance.
What Makes Flutter a Good Choice for MVP Development?
Flutter can facilitate the development of cost effective MVP in a number of ways. Due to the availability of widgets, developing an app with Flutter becomes easy. The developers can incorporate the changes seamlessly.
In the process, the developers can skip the complex process of decision making regarding the best business platform, while building a cross platform app.
Therefore, you can obtain feedback from a larger number of respondents. This makes MVPs very important for startups.
Besides, Flutter brings you the opportunity to make valuable integrations. The sketch designs can be exported directly to pixel perfect codes. Rather than making changes in the visuals, one can prioritize delivering value.
Flutter also enjoys a good compatibility with Firebase. This does away with the need to have a separate backend for building a simple MVP.
Firebase Remote Config further helps in modifying the app, without waiting for a long time for the app store to deploy the same. Therefore, the developers can test the app on real users, with various approaches.
Ways in Which Flutter Can Help in Developing an MVP
Mobile app developers have found certain unique features in Flutter, which they cannot enjoy elsewhere. The flexible user interface, speed, easy integration and performance are some of the prime reasons for its popularity.
Let’s have a look at how developers are being benefited by Flutter, when they work on MVP.
- Developing cost effective apps
In the past, cost constraints used to be one of the key hindrances for companies willing to launch new apps. However, Flutter has done away with this issue, given that it comes free of cost.
It supports the development of cross platform apps, where it is necessary for the developers to write a single code base. This serves the purpose for both Android and iOS platforms.
This has eased up the process of working on both the platforms and one can simultaneously develop apps, reducing cost.
Besides, Flutter enables the developers to access features of native apps. This makes the tools pixel perfect. Large enterprises and small businesses benefit from the cross platform app development features of Flutter. In the process, they need minimal money and time to access the mobile world.
- Speedy app development process
While building a finished product, developers require lesser time, thanks to Flutter. It comes with the hot reload feature, which helps the developers view changes that have been made to the app coding spontaneously.
When any change is made in the software, the developers can see it immediately. Therefore, the app development process becomes faster and easier.
Flutter also fosters a closer collaboration between designers, developers and testers, when they need an immediate change, enhancing the look of the app.
The hot reload feature also enables developers to add new features and fix bugs within minutes. The experimentation process becomes faster, as the new version does not have to be coded entirely.
- Attractive design draws investors
For startups and businesses, it is important to draw investors with possible ideas that may convert. Flutter comes with an enriched collection of UI features, interactive designs and the latest technology. This can attract customers and investors alike.
However, Flutter considers everything to be a widget. The SDK supports Material Design and Cupertino, an assortment of behavioural, visual and motion oriented widgets. This gives a compelling look to the apps, both on iOS and Android devices.
Flutter supports the widgets that are available and helps the developers to customize widgets, as and when they need. 2D GPU accelerated APIs are also supported by Flutter. The app animation turns out to be attractive and smooth, that enables developers to come up with rich UX and UI.
The developers also have access to an extensive range of themes. They can separately design themes for iOS and Android devices that render the most ideal user interface on a particular device. This enriched set of features complements the development of easy to use and user friendly apps.
Flutter: A game Changer for Building MVP
In recent months, Flutter has been a game changer for developing MVPs. This is because:
- Flutter development can be started by developers with the minimal learning curve.
- Flutter involves lesser coding, as all the codes are shared between Android and iOS apps.
- As Flutter has been developed by Google, it offers a great reliability and it has a large community for support.
- The developers do not need a powerful machine and can seamlessly arrange the setup.
Still Wondering Whether Flutter Would be the Right Choice for Building an MVP?
Like every piece of software, MVPs have their own unique features each. Since the Flutter community enjoys a direct support from Google, it is vast enough to support any kind of product development.
Therefore, Flutter is the best choice for app developers under the following conditions.
- If you want a cost effective solution to run your application, integrating evolving technology
- App developers looking forward to build apps in a sustainable manner, with seamless rendering and features ready for the market
- In case you want to come up with expressive user interfaces, Flutter brings you the best platform
Building outstanding and high performance mobile apps require a good support from SDKs like Flutter. It can fit into the respective needs of the developers, offering a good deal of customization. Evidently, Flutter can complement business firms develop their MVPs.