5 “backbone” factors to determine the cost of developing MVP

A great MVP idea is not enough, because the cost of building an MVP will always vary depending on factors such as: Plan, design, features, technology used and implementation time. There are many cost aspects to consider when startups choose the MVP-based product development process. This article by Tech Town will show startups those factors, helping you not to spend too much money and resources to test the product. Let’s get started now!

5 factors determine the cost of developing an MVP.

1.   Plan the initial budget to build the MVP

There are different ways to build an MVP for your startup such as hiring a freelance developer, setting up an in-house team to implement the project, or hiring a software development company. Every option requires an investment of time and money.

When choosing to hire a software development company, the cost for this solution will be between $ 5,000 – $ 50,000, this difference is different for each company. Your task here is to choose the right MVP development partner for your project.

Once you’ve chosen an MVP development partner, share your requirements and budget details with them and discuss them thoroughly. Usually, MVP development companies will use their experience to provide valuable feedback, reviews and recommendations in order to build the best MVP for you.

Some examples of initial budgets to build MVPs of famous companies:

●     Twitter – $50,000 to $250,000.

●     Instagram – $100,000 to $300,000 for 3-6 months.

●     Facebook – $500,000 for 9 months.

●     WhatsApp – $250,000 for 9 months.

●     Uber – $1 million to $1.5 million.

●     Pinterest – $120,000 for 4 months.

●     Shopify – $250,000 and $300,000 for 4-6 months.

●     Vine – $125,000 and $175,000 for 4 to 6 months.

2.   MVP design cost

The cost of MVP depends a lot on the complexity of the design. Startups will best determine this by estimating the user interface (UI) to be used. Remember that initial design costs are always separate.

The UI should be simple, easy to understand, easy to navigate and engaging with the users, those elements will lead to a good user experience (UX).

The key components that determine the cost of UX include:


The preparation is an important factor determining the design cost. It’s a good idea to prepare all requirements and descriptions in advance before a meeting with your software development partner. Once that’s done, start presenting the wireframe and mockup to make sure everything is on track.


Wireframe is a type of framework for your application/website. It can be raw or present a navigable layout with skins and other elements. It also outlines the features and complete idea of ​​the startup’s app or website. Tools like Bootstrap can be used to create wireframes. With the templates available, startups will be able to create a rough layout within hours and at no cost.

On average, a wireframe can take anywhere from 10 to 30 hours to develop. Of course, it’s free if the startups’ internal team can do it themselves. As for all software companies, they will quote $500 or more.


Mockups or prototypes are designed to present ideas visually, helping customers better understand the product. A mockup is successful when it is well presented.

According to Wikipedia, “In manufacturing and design, a mock-up or mock-up, is a full-scale or full-size model of a design or device, used for teaching, demonstration, or evaluation of the device.” design, advertising and other purposes.”

A mockup of the final product costs about $500. Each extra site will cost an extra $50-$70. Based on these prices, startups can estimate the cost of your project. This is also how software companies often quote prices for their services.

However, if you have mastered tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Experience Design, building a simple mockup will be very easy. These famous tools are very useful and can help startups save money because Photoshop costs only $10 – $20 in royalty fees, while Experience Design is completely free.

In-page interaction

It’s not just about creating simple mockups. The interaction model is an opportunity for startups to improve in-page interactions while enhancing customer engagement. The reality is, customers or investors prefer an interactive solution to just a static image.

Tools like Framer and inVision will help you build the MVP platform. Interactive mockups cost a little more than standard mockups. All you need is your usual mockup and sign up for one of these tools. Then hand the design over to your development partner, who only charges $100 – $500 now. This helps startups save a significant amount of money.

                                                                       5 ” Backbone” factors to determine the cost of developing MPV

3.   Number of features and their complexity

This is a very important factor, startups need to list the number and priority of important features in every stage of the user journey. This journey includes three important stages: User – User actions – End of session.

When building your MVP, list the must-have features for your product. When it comes to prioritizing, ask and answer questions like:

What do startups want users to achieve with this product?

What features need to be developed to make the product more attractive and effective in its finished version?

Before your partner starts working on the MVP, break down the feature into categories like “must have”, “should have” and “not necessary”. Then ask your partner to do the same, this will help you reduce the risk of failure.

After the development team understands what functionality and features are required, startups need to understand the users next.

One of the key principles of startups is knowing your users. Product development and customer development should go hand in hand. Both are very important and should not be overlooked. By testing their products, startups will soon understand what users want and the actual needs of the market for the product before it is too late.

MVP development costs depend on features, features depend on business requirements.

Taking an e-commerce site as an example, the MVP options might be:

●     The first version of MVP is very simple, where users navigate based on product categories such as clothing, home appliances, healthcare products, etc;

●     The second version can be more complex, collecting data related to customer preferences and making recommendations more relevant to them;

●     The third version will be even more complicated, but keeping the business point of view, the cost is also much more expensive.

Platform category is also a major factor to consider when determining the cost of developing an MVP. Example: A game app needs a lot of graphics and built-in mobile mechanics, while an enterprise app needs to handle content, a database management system, and high security features .

4.   Implementation technology

Next, startups need to identify the technologies that will be used to grow your MVP. If you are not an IT person, you can still request to see recommendations from your software development partner.

While planning MVP for startups, you can consider some suitable solutions that can be easily coordinated. However, if you want to avoid future challenges, consult your partner about whether you should use a native solution or a hybrid solution.

Startups will significantly save on website or app MVP development costs with the help of native or hybrid development technology. Previously, developers used native code in hybrid environments to implement existing features. However, it will be difficult to improve the user experience later on. Meanwhile, hybrid apps are easier and faster to develop. They help take advantage of high-quality features with less development time.

5.   Time required to develop an MVP

The time it takes to complete the first version of the MVP shouldn’t be too long. During this time, building the MVP includes development and design. It will take 2-4 months if based on Agile method, startups can calculate the cost by consulting MVP development service from different software development companies. Costs will range from $15 – $75 per hour. Initial budgets vary greatly and depend on the partner’s hourly cost and the number of developers working on the project.

For example we compare a company working for 2 months with 8 developers at a cost of $20/hour and another company working for 4 months with 4 developers at a cost of $20/hour, Which company is the best?

The answer is of course the first, because manual effort increases and time spent on product development decreases. This reduces time to market, improving ROI.

The price of a software company starts at $10,000. This can be considered the average cost of developing an MVP, but depends on the complexity of the project. Each project has their own specifications, which further affects the MVP development schedule and budget.

The benefits of shortening development time:

●     Less development time leads to lower development costs.

●     The faster the product is released to the target audience, the quicker the startups will get a response. This allows you to make improvements and changes to your product and release the fastest updated version.

●     Reduce the risk of your ideas being stolen.


Now that you have identified the factors that determine the cost of building an MVP for your startup, choose the right solution for your business according to quality and cost. Remember that design and development are two aspects that can save both time and money. To turn your ideas into reality and reach your target audience, all you need is to formulate a business hypothesis, define key functions and choose a software development partner. good for your project.

Tech Town knows how to turn your MVP idea into reality. Please contact us to discuss your ideas.



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