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6 cost saving tips for building an effective startup MVP

Six tips that save you money on building MVP learned from mistakes startups make regularly

Richard Kacerek
Richard Kacerek

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Going from an idea to a million customers is a long journey usually full of costly mistakes. Let’s try to avoid those and put you on the right track so that you can make your journey shorter and safer.

You can do a lot to save money on your MPV app development. Here are six points that make the most significant impact on your total balance sheet.

1. Build a prototype yourself

Sometimes startups like to skip this part altogether. The problem with not having a prototype is that you cannot clearly demonstrate your idea to anyone - investor, developers or potential customers. Creating and testing a prototype is something you can definitely learn to do yourself. It’s great fun!

The prototype also helps you validate the concept early, and proof that your idea has traction and customers will use it. Customers can actually give you precious feedback and insights you can use to wow your investors with a winning investor pitch deck presentation.

Yes, you can build a prototype yourself. With our 30 days to a prototype challenge, we’ll guide you through the process. A prototype of your idea is the very first milestone you need to reach to build a successful startup.

2. Plan your development carefully

The most productive way to save money on MVP is to have a good plan of your app features. Sometimes I meet with startups where they take 2 months to choose the supplier, but they are left with just 1-month app development timeframe. Rushing along the way and cutting corners just to meet deadlines. Let’s align expectations here a little. You cannot build anything substantial in a month. MVP development is a complex process, that needs several experts to spend hundreds of hours. We always estimate a minimum of 3 months to build a mobile app. That’s a realistic rule of thumb for most projects.

“Think about it what market needs, what you are building and what you can afford. Then strike a balance between the three. That is called MVP.”

Rockstar MVP app development team like ours will help you plan your MVP development in stages, milestones, and suggest the most cost-effective ways to get your app to the real users. Our job isn’t finished until your app is in the app store.

3. Clear definition of MVP

While it’s great to rely on a dev team to come up with some technological ideas to make your idea better, you need to have a clear definition of what you are building. Unclear instructions like: “we’ll just use some APIs to connect to our customer banking app” is not very clear. In this example, you can’t connect to your customer Natwest bank to track expenses. That’s not going to happen! Firstly developers are not magicians, and you would need to convince Natwest to work with you and allow such a connection to take place.

Having clear, a simple to understand definition of MVP is essential to your success. I always say: “Make it simple first, you can always complicate it later.”

You can have a fully working web or mobile app in the app store in 90 days. Build the right minimum viable product mobile app from the start, fast and with less risk. Verify your idea and validate the feasibility of the project in just a few weeks.

5. Keep app features simple as possible

Your app features complexity is what dictates the price of MVP. Bigger the wish list is, higher the price will climb. As a startup, you want the MVP app to be built within a timeframe and within set cost. You will need a list of set features too.

Ask yourself: What is the single-most-important action that I want my users to accomplish? And build your MVP around that single idea.

“Clarity and simplicity save you money to build what really matters.”

6. Hire rockstar team that saves you money

Don’t assume that React Native is cheaper to develop with. It’s probably not!

Depending on what your app features complexity is, you might not be able to use a framework, and you will need to rely on native connections anyway. And there is the hidden cost of updating React Native or any other native framework quite frequently. And that will add up over a few years. Then you might say why we haven’t built the app natively from the start.

For some reason, startups are terrified of having two codebases - one for iOS and one for Android. There is no reason to be scared if you add a website into the mix and you’ll end up with yet another codebase.

“Hiring an ace tech team will save you development cost by choosing the right technology. Choosing the right technology will save you a ton of money over time on updates and upgrades.”


Having a clear definition of MVP and a clear plan are the most significant cost savings you can get. And don’t forget, you can do a lot of prototyping yourself to further on your savings. Clarity and simplicity always win! With your developers, investors and most importantly, your customers.

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10 step guide to building a profitable tech startup

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Investors are not interested in your app idea