How Long Does it Take to Develop an MVP?

How Long Does it Take to Develop an MVP?

A Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is the basic version of your product that can be released to the market.

Today, building a minimum viable product is a common practice both for websites and mobile applications and may come in handy when planning a project.

A Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is the basic version of your product that can be released to the market.

MVP development has become quite popular during the past several years, and many well-known companies successfully used such an approach. For example, before Instagram became one of the most popular social media platforms, it was called Burbn. This platform was an MVP with basic functions.

Therefore, creating an MVP is great to quickly test your business idea and its viability. When creating a minimum viable product, you need fewer functions than the final product required. This means that you will need less time and a smaller budget.

There's one more thing to consider: according to research by CB Insights, the main reason for a startup's failure is the absence of customers' interest. This means that you should test your idea with an MVP and receive feedback on whether it is relevant on the market or not.

Even if the idea fails, the budget loss will be minimal. In general, an MVP reduces the risk of development failure and gives an understanding of what in the product needs to be changed, removed, or added, thanks to early feedback.

Also, we can say that a quick launch is not the only thing that matters. Unlike a prototype, an MVP needs to be able to scale if required. So choosing the right approach and technology is crucial here.

However, how long will it take to develop an MVP

The time required to build a product depends on the approach you choose. You can create your project from scratch or buy an out-of-the-box solution. Let's take a look at both approaches.

Off-the-shelf software

The out-of-the-box platform is a software product available for sale to the general audience.

By choosing a ready-made solution, you can use your platform really fast, depending on how it will take you to get it up and running. Sometimes, it can take you a few days.

However, there are some downsides as well, if compared to custom software development.

1)An off-the-shelf solution suggests a standard set of functions.

2) The price for such software is always fixed and includes those features you may not need.

Custom software development

Bespoke software is a solution specific to your business needs and parameters. It is usually applied for particular projects, such as online marketplaces, finance, banking, educational products, etc.

A custom MVP takes more time to implement if compared to the out-of-the-shelf platform. However, it includes only the features you need and comes with lifelong support. And the costs will cover only the functionality you need, so you won't be overpaying.

How do you build a custom MVP?

Definitely, you will need a team of technical professionals. You can find them as follows:

  • Hire a freelancer or a team.

This approach has its benefits and drawbacks. Certainly, the cost to employ a freelancer or a team is not very high. However, it takes time to hire the right people. In general, this is the cheapest option but it has big risks.

Also, the final MVP development cost will also depend on the country you choose for hiring a freelancer or team.

  • Employ an in-house development team. The most expensive option.

This approach means that you create your team from scratch. Therefore, in this case, you will have total control of the project, despite the high development cost.

Surely, employing an in-house team is not cheap. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a software developer in the US is around $98,000. Also, you should include the cost of sick leaves, vacation, insurance, and onboarding each member of your team you've hired. Additionally, when there is no work for the team between projects, you'll still have to pay fixed salaries.


  • Find a software consultancy specializing in the product type you want to create.

If you don't want to choose freelancers or spend too many resources hiring in-house developers, an outsourced team is your option. Thanks to their vast experience and a clear workflow, such companies create more qualified solutions and bring them to market faster.

By hiring an experienced software consultancy, you get not only experts with sets of required skills but also full-fledged support for your project.

An agency has professional developers, QA engineers, UI/UX designers, copywriters, and project managers to create a solution for you.

On average, it takes 3-4 months to develop and release an MVP, but sometimes the timing can change since each case is unique. After the first discussion, the developers will be able to dive into your idea and calculate how long the project will take to complete.

If you are thinking of building a custom MVP and have the necessary budget, the best option would be hiring a professional software consultancy. They will already have the required experience and skills for creating similar products, thus enabling you to build and roll out your MVP to the market ASAP, as well as save money.

If you order the development of an MVP from an experienced agency that specializes in such projects, it will allow you to expect the payback of the product. Furthermore, the work with qualified specialists will be more effective in any case. Of course, this approach does not completely eliminate risks, but it minimizes them, which is vital when working with a startup.

To sum up

As you can see, when you want to know how long it will take to build an MVP, a lot depends on the development approach you choose as well as the features you want to implement.

If the time frame is critical, then you should choose ready-made software products that will help you launch your MVP faster. But when it goes to personalization, you should definitely pay attention to customized solutions.

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