MVP Prequel: The Ultimate List of Tools for Early-Stage Entrepreneurs

Nowadays, the value and importance of the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP, is beyond question. Both startups developing their first product and established companies deciding to spin off a solution they have not tried before, begin with an MVP to test their idea with minimum investment.

Let’s say it again: “with minimum investment”. This is the key point – the development of MVP shouldn't draw too many resources, both in financial terms and in terms of man-power required to roll out a working product. Of course, creating an MVP will require some effort and expenses, but in no case, it should mean reinventing the wheel.

At the same time, while keeping the expenses to the minimum, you still should create a product to convey the value and to express the purpose of your solution. MVP is the first contact with your prospective customers, and, as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Even if your product is not completely ready yet, your MVP should make users want to explore it.

mvp-tools-build-animate-startup

In creating a quick but impressive MVP, the wise strategy will be using the available MVP development tools which are offered in abundance. There is a great variety of them, and you can choose those that fit your requirements perfectly.

So, what does the current market have to offer in respect of tools for Minimum Viable Product development?

Tools for Building a Vanity MVP

Very often, startups opt for the so-called vanity MVP which is a common term for landing page MVPs and explainer video MVPs. In both cases, there is no product or service as such. The landing page or video describes the product and suggests signing up for it. This is the easiest way to estimate the customers’ interest towards the new product and the potential demand. Customers click the link, leave their email addresses, you count the clicks and sign-ups. This is how it works.

Besides, the same tools can also be handy in developing a Wizard of Oz or concierge MVP, for example – if you are going to provide manual service to test the market response, you will need a website, anyway.

Today’s custom app development market offers quite a selection of tools and services for creating a minimum viable product in the format of a landing page or explainer video. Let’s look at a couple of them.

Instapage

Key features:

  • Coding skills required: No
  • Free plans: No
  • Can be used for: Landing page creation

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-instapage

[Image source: Instapage]

The common opinion of Instapage is that it is a terrific tool for entrepreneurs wishing to build an eye-catching landing page to gauge the user traffic and collect leads. Its advantages are many – absolutely no code knowledge requirement, dozens of templates to choose from, intuitive drag-and-drop editor, selection of various elements to include on your landing page. Start from scratch or use an existing template and add all sorts of headers, forms, images, and buttons. Move them around in an easy “what you see is what you get” mode until you achieve the result you like.

Another valuable advantage of Instapage is that you can create responsive mobile views, thus getting a “two-in-one” solution – both a desktop and a mobile version of your MVP. It also features the built-in A/B testing support, allowing you to quickly assess the viability of different MVP versions.

On the downside, Instapage has no free plans, you need to subscribe to use its functionality.

Strikingly

Key features:

  • Coding skills required: No
  • Free plans: Yes
  • Can be used for: Landing page and one-page website creation

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-strikingly

[Image source: Strikingly]

Another great tool for MVP development is Strikingly. It’s a solution of choice for those who need to build an MVP landing page quickly and easily but totally lack the coding skills. Well, with Strikingly they are not required, as you only need to put together the layout elements to create an elegant page showcasing your product.

Strikingly offers quite a number of pre-built templates which you can turn into a landing page for your solution. However, the template editor has no drag-and-drop functionality, which may become a drawback. In any case, the tool is rather straightforward and creation of a custom page won’t take long. Besides, Strikingly is truly outstanding in working with mobile views.

Strikingly has no built-in A/B testing, so you’ll need to apply other testing tools. This disadvantage, however, is balanced with a free usage plan which is limited in the available options but can be a good solution for quick MVP creation.

PowToon

Key features:

  • Coding skills required: No
  • Free plans: Yes
  • Can be used for: Explainer video creation

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-powtoon

[Image source: Powtoon]

To be exact, PowToon is a tool for making presentations rather than videos, but presentations can be organized as videos, so there is no difference. Use a ready-made template or create your own presentation – either way, you will get a professionally-looking video demonstrating your product in the most attractive manner.

With PowToon, you do not need to be a skilled designer, since with lots of templates, shapes, and objects and an intuitive drag-and-drop editor you simply cannot go wrong. And there is a free version, too, however, it may be unsuitable for certain business purposes – all presentations built in the free version have the PowToon watermark and have no commercial rights. So, it seems that the free version can be a good option to practice your video-making skills.

MVP Component Tools

We’ve listed off the most popular minimum viable product creation tools that give you a complete MVP, built according to your requirements. However, there is a whole line of services which can enhance your MVP adding certain useful components.

Algolia

Key features:

  • Coding skills required: Yes
  • Free plans: Yes
  • Can be used for: Search integration

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-algolia

[Image source: Algolia]

Algolia is a platform where you can add the search function to your MVP. With Algolia, you are getting a powerful search engine with the auto-complete function and misspelling correction.

As opposed to the tools we have seen so far, Algolia is a tool to be integrated by a skilled DevOps engineer. It is implemented through an API, and requires indexing the data and maintaining the database for the search to work properly.

Algolia has a free version which is somewhat limited in the available options. Subscription plans allow a broader functionality, however, for the MVP purposes the free version may suffice.

Intercom

Key features:

  • Coding skills required: No
  • Free plans: Yes
  • Can be used for: Chat functionality integration

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-intercom

[Image source: Intercom]

If you include Intercom in your MVP building tools kit, you will get a convenient chat engine enabling simple communication with your customers. Build communication in the way you prefer – by sending messages to your clients, maintaining a support service, holding live chats with visitors to engage them and turn into customers.

Basic Intercom installation requires no special skills, and the service provides a very structured step-by-step guideline documentation explaining various configuration flows in detail. However, for custom integrations, you need API knowledge and DevOps skills.

There are a free trial and a free plan specially aimed at startups. In general, the company maintains a rather flexible pricing policy, so each startup can find a solution suiting its needs.

Picreel

Key features:

  • Coding skills required: No
  • Free plans: No
  • Can be used for: Exit popup generation

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-picreel

[Image source: Picreel]

This tool belongs to a large family of solutions designed to decrease the so-called bounce rate. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who exit the website after opening its homepage and making no other requests.

Picreel, like many tools with the same purpose, tracks mouse movements on the page and, whenever the mouse nears the “Back” or “Close” buttons, generates an overlay window suggesting a visitor to sign up for the newsletters. This is a good option for collecting leads at the start.

In addition, Picreel comes up with quite a package of other helpful functions, such as A/B testing, analytics, offer personalization, and a lot more.

To create an exit popup with Picreel, you do not need any special hard skills. The tool works right out of the box and allows quick and easy composition of a window to appear over your website for quitting visitors.

Picreel offers only paid subscriptions, but in this case, the value for money is rather high.

MVP Analytics Tools

The main purpose of MVP is to validate your startup idea. Thus, any MVP is only as good as the data it delivers. So, while developing your MVP, make sure that in addition to the tools for product development, you also include the tools which can help you understand its results.

We have already mentioned some built-in analytical functionality present in the MVP tools, such as A/B testing, but there are also dedicated services which can be helpful in studying the MVP performance.

Google Analytics

This is what first comes to mind. The opportunities offered by Google Analytics are enormous – you can study your MVP from all aspects and see whether it performs as you’ve wanted it to. And it is free, which is also a thing to consider.

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-google-analytics

[Image source: Google]

The basic setup of Google Analytics for your MVP can be done with no expert knowledge, for its straightforward flows and processes. We recommend consulting Google Analytics Help Center should you ever run into any difficulties.

Mixpanel

This tool can help you track and analyze user conversions on your website or MVP page. It monitors a customer journey within the website with all actions and requests the user makes. Afterwards, you receive complete analytics of user engagement and other user-related metrics which Mixpanel supports.

mvp-tools-early-stage_entrepreneurs-mixpanel

[Image source: Mixpanel]

Mixpanel configuration for your business is not too complicated and can be done without any special knowledge. It offers several subscription plans, including a free one.

As you can see, there are lots of great tools to help you build the MVP quickly and efficiently, sometimes without writing a single line of code. Be it the creation of a landing page or analysis of the obtained results – there is already a ready-made solution for it. You only need to shape up your idea, and you can start testing it on the next day already.

↑ Go up

Similar post