MVP vs Beta-version: What is the Difference?

Dec 30, 2022 0 min read 4796
Fomenko Marina Head of PM
MVP vs Beta-version: What is the Difference?

The first thing to remember is that MVP and Beta-version of the product are not similar. Although each option relates to the preliminary stages of the release of the application, skipping one in favor of the other is a gross mistake. For example, shifting the task of testing the program to the first MVP users, as in the case of the Beta-version, will turn into a failure and serious reputational losses.

The matter is that MVP and Beta-version of the program differ in aims and time frames for release, which, therefore, excludes their interchangeability. Below you will see how a minimum viable product differs from Beta-version.

What is MVP?

A minimum viable product is a version of the program application that is adapted for selling. MVP is equipped with minimal functionality, which is necessary for solving tasks by initial users. However, the set of capabilities is quite restricted. MVP is released to obtain confirmation or refutation of the hypothesis about whether the product is useful for the audience, if there is a demand for it, etc. The minimum viable product is called the Alpha version. 

What is beta-version?

Beta-version is one of the preliminary stages in the process of development, at which the program is tested. In fact, the Beta-version of the program is almost its final version with an extended set of functions. It is presented to a sufficiently large group of selected users to evaluate possibilities, identify errors or drawbacks, and eliminate weaknesses. 

MVP vs Beta-version: What is the Difference? - 02

Comparing MVP and Beta-version

What is the difference between MVP and Beta-version?

  1. The release of MVP always precedes the presentation of Beta-version of the product, which is the first key difference between the stages.
  2. A minimum viable product is released for testing the team’s assumption about users’ needs for such a program. An entrepreneur can make sure that the product is suitable for the market and potential customers. If such an assumption is proved, they “roll out” Beta-version of it to a limited number of users. Their task is to analyze the program operation, identify and point out errors, and provide developers with helpful feedback. 
  3. Conceptually, MVP is minimalistic and endowed with critical features, whereas Beta-version is practically a final product. 

The target audience for these two preliminary stages is also different. The MVP’s target audience consists of internal users, as for the ones of the Beta-version, they are a selected segment of the mass market.

To sum up, we can say that MVP and Beta-version have little in common. A minimum viable product needs only several basic functions to prove the practicality and uniqueness of the conception. A Beta-version is created when there is much more extensive knowledge and subtleties of the software performance and users’ needs. It is possible to design a smoothly functioning application by going through all the preliminary stages of development, including MVP and Beta-version.

Read also: Technical documentation for IT startups

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