This the typical request of a founder who wants to build a “disruptive” product. if you are a software development expert, this is absolutely laughable. Many founders think building a disruptive product means building a product with numerous functionalities. This is a myth many founders have believed over the years which has led to the colossal failure of many tech startups.
Let’s look at few popular apps that started with very few functionalities then grew to become giants in the app ecosystem.
The very first version of Uber, UberCab, set out to connect customers with cab drivers and accept payments. Uber accurately identified a single and pervasive pain, which was hailing cabs, and as a result, the MVP was widely accepted. Uber took a basic concept, which allowed them to quickly enter the market, receive real user feedback, and grow into the massive brand they are today.
Instagram initially launched as a location-sharing application; users could take photos from the app, edit them, and geotag locations. Overnight, 25,000 users signed up for the platform. Today, Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users and 500 million social stories are created every day. With time, Instagram’s unique value proposition changed entirely and today, the platform is ubiquitous.
Over the course of nine years, Instagram has enabled video content support, introduced direct messaging, added Stories, and much more. As Instagram iteratively improved their product, the MVP turned into a full-fledged social media platform.
I cited these examples because they products we are all conversant with. Developing a successful product is not an easy feat even in well-developed markets. Every founder must ensure that building a product is not centered around solving many problems at once, it is about solving specific problems then gradually expanding the product’s ability to solve more problems.
Thinks about it this way; The way cars were made in the 19th century is absolutely different from the way cars are made now. They initially started as just a four-wheeler that could move one or two people from one point to another point. Now, look at the evolution of cars from when it was just a four-wheeler to what it is now. There’s clearly a ginormous difference. Several other things can be done in a car.
It is the same with software. You should not start by trying to make your app do everything at your first launch. You will be able to retain users when your app solves a specific problem.
Remember, the best apps do a small number of specific things very well. Apps with a small number of functions offer a simpler, smoother, and more satisfying user experience. They’re also easier to support from a development perspective.