A minimum viable product, or MVP, is the crucial first step in any software or product development. Free from the pressure of creating the perfect product, generating an MVP lets you focus on meeting the immediate needs of your customers. While the spirit of an MVP is to free yourself of the trappings of minutiae, you still need an experienced team and a way to evaluate and prioritize your feedback. This means you'll need a development platform that helps get your product off the ground. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has more than 90 cloud-based services to help you build scalable and flexible products. Here are three reasons why AWS is good for an MVP and how other startups are leveraging AWS to build their products.
What Makes a Promising MVP
Before you're ready to utilize AWS, it's important to set the stage for a viable and successful MVP. The keys to building a successful MVP include establishing overall goals, choosing a demographic and creating a feature map. Avoid pitfalls like using an inexperienced team and ignoring customer feedback. One of the chief purposes of an MVP is to establish a product that can be tried and tested by actual users and then improved over time—so fostering a feedback cycle is absolutely essential. Because an MVP must be flexible and have room for growth, it requires the foundation of a solid cloud platform and versatile tools.
3 Reasons AWS Works for MVPs
The suite of services available through AWS is vast and versatile. They have what you need to get your project off the ground, but more importantly AWS can grow with you. You can build an MVP with confidence, knowing you won't have to find new hosting provider or alternative services once you acquire a larger user base. Big names like Netflix and Expedia are running web applications on AWS, so you know the platforms will still work for you when your product grows in complexity, too. Here are three benefits of using AWS for your MVP:
1. More Agile Product Development
The Agile Software Development school of thought has been popular since the 1990s and covers an umbrella of ideologies for software development. Specifically, a product developed with the Agile methodology uses incremental development, customer personas and milestone retrospectives. With AWS, you can use tools like AWS CodePipeline to automate code deployment and foster incremental development, and analytics tools like Amazon Kinesis to keep track of milestones.
2. Improved DevOps
Development Operations (DevOps) is all about the practices and tools your organization uses to deliver their applications at a high velocity. For an MVP, having tools at your disposal that help you grow and deliver on customer feedback promptly is vital. Some of the AWS tools specifically helpful for MVPs include AWS CodeBuild, which can process and test multiple code builds at once. AWS CodeStar, which allows you to quickly build and deploy new code, is also useful.
3. Expedited Time to Market
AWS has helped startups like Duolingo and SmugMug get their product to market much more quickly. The cloud services offered by AWS can accelerate the rate at which you are able to add new features to your MVP based on customer feedback and suggestions. API Gateway and AWS Lambda help you add locations to your app and run code without servers. If you're itching to get your MVP in the hands of your initial market, AWS is here to help you deliver.
Proof Positive AWS Can Improve an MVP
On top of Duolingo and SmugMug, other startups using AWS to bring their MVP to market include audio processing app Myriad, communication app Remind, and video advertising platform VidRoll. Another app, Wolfpack, has also used a plethora of AWS tools to bring their travel startup to market.
Wolfpack is an app that helps people traveling in groups, specifically motorcycle riders, keep track of each other while they're on the road. As the app's creator explains it, riders often face challenges remaining in a pack when one driver has to leave the highway to get gas or gets separated in traffic. Wolfpack requires geotracking and communication capabilities, and it has used AWS to build its MVP. The creator of Wolfpack says the services he utilizes include CloudFront, SNS, S3 buckets, RDS and Auto Scaling Groups. Owing to the easy-to-use ecosystem of AWS, Wolfpack has been able to generate an MVP app without special assistance or the need to contact Amazon for troubleshooting.
Developing your MVP is hard work, but with the support of a versatile and flexible platform like Amazon Web Services, you will have a strong foundation upon which to build. From basic development tools, media services and analytics, the services available from AWS will help expedite your development process and allow you to take your product to the next level.