Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) on a Shoestring - Reading Time: 2 Mins


When you are creating a startup, it starts with an idea and as you plough along.

Going through either your Business Model Canvas, Lean Startup and Jobs to Be Done. It will result in a draft version of MVP.

To be honest, it is expensive to create an MVP.

The money could be used for testing out the idea and gaining traction for it.

What is a Minimal Viable Product (MVP)?

A Minimal Viable Product or MVP is a presentable prototype that is used to learn and crystallise your idea to potential users or investors to gather feedback and improve upon it.

Usually in this stage, the focus is on learning the potential pitfalls or improvements or even pivoting to another product or service to address the problem that you had founded.

Types of MVPs

Depending on the number of resources that you have.

I would suggest you to focus on developing multiple MVPs before dedicating significant resources to create your finalised presentable MVP.

Which is used for pitching to a potential investor for your startup.

Build It on Paper

As the name suggested a paper prototype is one of the most simple prototypes a person could learn to create with stacks of papers, ruler and pen.

There are a few downloadable templates like UI Stencils, Snakpeekit or from Broad of Innovation.

Digital Design

Despite requiring slightly more time and steeper learning curve to create.

The advantage of this approach is that if it is a digital product say a website, a mobile app is your end result.

It will be presentable remotely and allow a person to experience how it is like on a website or a mobile app.

Tools like Figma, Adobe Xd, Canva, Balsamiq or Invision Studio are the types of tools I would consider.

Justifying the Cost

If you did not notice the tools or types of MVPs requires some time from your end to learn about the tools used to create your own MVP.

This is a very important process, it's worth the effort to understand as it helps you to generate the project requirements, design and workflow for your finalised MVP.

You enjoy a clearer picture, lower cost, easier time in working with developers or designers who are building your finalised version of your MVP.

You could conduct feedback sessions with potential investors or users of your product or service without dependency on the developer or designers to build it for you.


I hope that you would not skip the building process of your initial MVP and engage a developer or designer to build an MVP for you.

As without it time & effort will be wasted in engaging a developer and designer to create your finalised MVP.