How WhatsApp was Implemented as an MVP

WhatsApp is an inspiring example of unprecedented success that emerged from the MVP approach. Can we learn something from this? Absolutely!

How WhatsApp was Implemented as an MVP

Do you remember how WhatsApp used to be in its initial days?

Believe it or not, it started as a simple text messaging app whose initial users were fellow gym members, friends, and family members! In just 5 years, it has evolved beyond our imagination. From sending a simple text to sharing multimedia files, short status uploads to payment transfers, it has become the dearest app of all.

Initially, only two people worked on WhatsApp's development team, which grew to 50 members in 2014 and currently, in 2022 more than 1000 employees are working exclusively for WhatsApp.

WhatsApp’s Striking MVP Strategy

Now, take a moment to think about what would have happened if WhatsApp had waited for a perfect app to launch. We probably would have never heard about it because it's nearly impossible to come up with perfect software on the very first try.  And as they say," if your product is perfect to launch, it's already too late. "

It takes years of user feedback to recognize the actual scope of the product- what it can be! What it can do! This is the exact problem MVP is good at solving by offering a “minimum viable product. "

You launch a product with enough but not all the functionalities and then develop it further based on user feedback.

This approach has many benefits.

  • It saves time, which gives you an edge over other people.
  • It saves money as more functionality means more money to spend.
  • It gives you a chance to be flexible and modify your product according to users' needs.
  • Easy to manage with a smaller team.

On top of that, too many functionalities can be overwhelming for the user.

Jan Koum, one of the co-founders of WhatsApp, wanted to build an app that shows statuses next to the individual names of the users. When WhatsApp came into the market, too many apps offered more functionalities than WhatsApp does. But users stick to WhatsApp, which was the success parameter of an early launch, with minimal features. A simple product is user-friendly hence there is a better chance of users using it.

The growing popularity of WhatsApp network made it challenging for people to move on to any other platform, as their peers were there.

Lessons to learn

MVP is just a better way to go by for your start-up or your idea. Waiting for the perfect product may take years, and eventually, you will lose the game even before you start playing it. So don't wait for the ideal product.

Get clarity about what is that one major problem you want to solve, build that functionality, and as soon as that is done, give it to the users to use it.

There is only one correct way! MVP!

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Behind the Scenes is an effort from to help entrepreneurs understand the dynamics of Minimum Viable Product and what it takes to build a product-market fit out of their digital ideas.

Anuyat is a Pune-based company and offers Technical Consultancy, User Experience Engineering, DevOps Solutions, Mobile & Web Applications and of course, MVP.


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