Everyone Starts Somewhere: The Role of MVP's in Amazon, Dropbox and Snapchat

12 Jul 2018 - Revant Birla

An MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, is the starting point for an entrepreneur. It’s the simplest form of your idea that is easy to make and used to test the market and discover whether consumers will actually buy your product or service.

What are the keys?

There are two keys to creating an effective MVP. First, you want to make an interactive product that customers must take action to use. This is very important because what people say they will do and what they actually do are two very different things. Second, you want your MVP to reflect the core purpose of your vision for the product product in a cost-effective way so that you can scale easily and build upon that core. Some of the biggest names in the tech world have followed this model, let’s find out how they did it.

MVP Model

Take Amazon for example, the e-commerce superpower, a company that started with a simple MVP. In his article “Amazon is Huge Because It Started With A Great MVP,” Steve Eakin explains how Jeff Bezos started Amazon with an ambitious dream. Amazon’s initial MVP was a website that customers could order books through. Customers would order books off the Amazon website and Amazon would purchase the books straight from the distributor and ship it directly to the customers. After launching this website, Amazon kept building and improving their MVP based on consumer feedback, cutting costs and increasing revenue with each revision. Here, Amazon built an MVP that customers could interact with and could be scaled to what Amazon is today. Amazon’s MVP served as the foundation for their constantly growing company and has contributed to its great success today.

To read more about Amazon’s MVP and beginnings, check out this article on Amazon from Entrepreneur Magazine,

Let’s explore the MVP of another very successful company, Dropbox. When trying to launch Dropbox and convince venture capitalists to invest in the startup, Drew Houston, the CEO of Dropbox, created a short video to visually explain what Dropbox does. Additionally, Dropbox utilized a landing page to record over 70,000 email addresses of interested customers. These two “tools” combined to create the MVP which eventually led to the development of Dropbox. Dropbox employed user engagement techniques, like creating the Dropbox tutorial video, to appeal to customers and highlight Dropbox’s usefulness. This created large amounts of customer interest, as tracked by the landing page, which led to what Dropbox is today. To read more about Dropbox’s MVP, click here or here.
Lastly, let’s look into the MVP of Snapchat, the messaging app that has captivated millions and millions of teenagers around the world. Snapchat’s MVP was a basic messaging app, where users could send pictures to each other with the pictures disappearing in seconds. Through this MVP, Snapchat was able to gain user interaction and test the app’s success, looking at how many downloads and users the app was able to capture. Snapchat gained large user traction through their MVP, leading to all the features Snapchat has today, including videos, filters, location stickers, and much more. To read more about Snapchat’s MVP, click here.

How we can help

The MVP can be a difficult thing to create for your company. Capturing the core of your business in a simple, cost-effective and intuitive way is tough, but very important. That’s where Daylight Data can help. Our solutions are software based, data driven and fully functional upon delivery. If you have a vision for your product or entering into a new market, we can help you build an insightful MVP. Our goal is to help you build your vision, and it all starts with an MVP.
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