It’s no secret that the traditional methods of finding web developers do not work well in the case of the lean startup methodology. According to Yarandin, Inc.’s own statistics, two of our three minimum viable product (MVP) customers came to us after not getting what they expected from traditional web developers. Why this happens and how not to make a mistake in choosing MVP developers is the subject of this article.

How to Find MVP Developers

Of course, we all understand the importance of attracting professionals who are able to provide comprehensive services. When it comes to MVP, all things being equal, you should give preference to those who have experience implementing Lean Startup methodology. But this is all theory. In practice, when it comes to finding MVP developers, the situation is far from obvious. Why? Let’s see what customers consider when choosing traditional web developers: 1) experience (how many years they have been on the market), 2) methodology, 3) impressive portfolio, 4) beautiful website, 5) the location of the office, and so on. Sound familiar? Ironically, none of this is important in the case of MVP developers. They may not use traditional methodologies (such as scrum or RUP), may not have (due to specificity) an impressive MVP portfolio, may not advertise themselves (because most MVP jobs are given to developers through recommendations), and may not even have a permanent office near you (many MVP projects require a distributed, cross-functional team). The list goes on, but hopefully you get the idea—because MVP developers are not traditional developers, to find them you need a nonstandard approach.

The logical question you may be asking right now is this: If the traditional methods of searching for developers do not work, how should I go about it? What skills should I seek from the MVP point of view, and what questions should I ask? Well, if you ignore the obvious professionalism requirement, the following tips can be quite helpful.

So, how do you find MVP developers?

The first and most important step? Look for those who specialize in MVP development, not just those who know something or have heard something about MVP. Look for a team of people who are laser focused on creating MVPs. We cannot stress enough the importance of this. It is entirely possible that the people from the web studio who developed your website are genuinely brilliant and able to do anything—however, this “anything” may be not an MVP. As we wrote in our previous article, MVP is different from a software product with minimal functionality. MVP is more of a concept; it allows you to learn from your customers, and it is this, not something else, that you should get.

The Yarandin, Inc., team combines the three basic qualities of an ideal MVP developer
First, we are laser-focused in lean startup/MVP development; second, we build partnerships with our customers; and third, our team has all the skills necessary for successful MVP project implementation.

Second, treat MVP developers as partners. Do not forget that because of specificity, MVP development requires much more informal interaction compared to traditional software development. Because of extremely short deadlines and because the projects nevertheless must simulate the key parts of a potential product, success is possible only if both customer and developer build a partnership, allowing the combination of their potentials.

Third, do not be afraid of offshore outsourcing. MVP is a relatively new area, and it may be difficult (or even impossible) to find good MVP developers with whom you can meet in person rather than via Skype. The reason is rather prosaic. Many entrepreneurs still do not understand what MVP is and are not ready to pay as much as it actually costs. Many still consider MVP as a product with reduced functionality, and this makes many professional developers stay away from the market. In fact, this is the reason why (as we have said previously) most MVP jobs are awarded through word of mouth and very few MVP developers advertise themselves.

And finally, if you need help in the field of lean startup—including but not limited to MVP development—don’t hesitate to contact Yarandin, Inc. We already have everything you need to ensure the success of your next business project.

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