Development is often a complex and multi-layered process, as many steps must be completed to successfully launch a new product.
In the case of startups, the development process becomes an even greater challenge since, unlike more traditional companies, startups have less time. This means that the entire project must be carefully planned and understandable to all teams involved to ensure the project gets off the ground. Here, the startup either copes with the task, or the company fails, and others take its place.
Innovation is among the main reasons why the essential factor in product development by startups is speed. In other words, while more traditional companies and organizations start by buying a franchise or copying business models, startups start with an innovative idea. Thus, many successful startups are often first movers.
However, an innovative idea can arise from several people at once, especially in the modern global world. Therefore, the startup that releases a working product faster than others often becomes the winner and takes its place in the market.
That’s why many startups and enthusiasts pay special attention to an MVP software development company. Since innovative companies do not have time for long-term development, they release an MVP (a minimum viable product), which is then gradually expanded with new features and capabilities depending on the needs and user feedback.
However, MVP is only part of the journey. Let’s take a closer look at the main stages of startup product development.
Product Development Stages
Any startup begins with an idea. Therefore, before starting to develop a product, it is essential to make sure that your idea is workable, innovative, and, most importantly, needed by people.
This does not mean that you need to fully analyze the idea and make a proof-of-concept, but it is critical to evaluate its prospects in order to understand how best to organize the development process. To do this, you need to answer the following questions:
- What is the time frame for project development?
- Do you have knowledge and experience in the area that relates to your project?
- What user problem can your idea solve?
- Who are your target audience and ICP (an ideal customer persona)?
- Do you see people looking for your product or similar ones?
- Which market is your product primarily aimed at?
- What goals do you set for the next year/two for your startup?
- What are your sources of funding?
These questions allow you to consider an idea from different points of view to get a holistic picture and a clearer understanding of how and where you should move to make the project successful.
The startup development stages include:
At this stage, the essential task is to formulate an idea and evaluate its viability. Then, the startup is faced with the task of assessing the market, target audience, drawing up a business plan, and assessing the development of the project from a technical point of view.
At the pre-seed stage, a startup should focus on attracting investors, creating a prototype, and testing.
This stage starts after the prototype or MVP is released. Here, the key tasks for a startup are to receive and analyze feedback from real users and conduct additional market research if required to get the most accurate reaction to the product. Also, this is often one of the most difficult stages since it is important to ensure the stable flow of investment for subsequent product development.
This stage focuses on bringing the product to market. When a startup has attracted the necessary funding and already has the first version of its product ready, the next step is marketing. The place the product will take in the market depends on marketing efforts. Therefore, it is so important that as many people as possible learn about the product, especially among the targeted audience. Also, at this stage, the success of the product depends on the quality and stability of its operation. The better the product, the easier it is to promote it.
At this stage, the startup begins to look more like a traditional company. Here, the goal of a startup is to grow and expand. To fully implement the idea in practice, introduce new functions, and scale the business, a startup needs to increase the number of employees to be able to perform new tasks and solve problems. In addition, at the growth stage, the business structure begins to form and the startup begins to make a profit if the previous stages have been successfully passed.
This stage can be considered a plateau. When the product is launched, investors make a profit, and the startup becomes a full-fledged player in the market. Here, it is necessary to ensure that the business moves to a sustainable level in order to continue to implement new projects, scale, and adapt to changes without risks.
Steps in Product Development
When it comes to startups, product development usually follows the next scenario:
- Idea generation
- Market research
- Idea viability analysis
- Product development
- Creation of UX/UI design of the application
- Creating an application architecture
- Creating a product prototype
- Creating an MVP
- Product testing
- Attracting investments
- Full-fledged product development
- Release of the product’s alpha version and preparation of the beta version
- Trial version of the product
- Creating a marketing strategy
- Launch of a full-fledged product on the market
- Product and business scaling
Learn more about agile application development at Deepinspire.