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7 Reasons Why Bots Are Excellent MVPs for Startups

The most cheap and easy Minimum Viable Product

Author avatarLuba Belokon/Startups/June 12, 2017
7 Reasons Why Bots Are Excellent MVPs for Startups
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One startup, an aggregator of business services, dived into the realization their awesome idea, which was going to transform the world. In their view, of course.

It took 7 months to develop an application. During this time a world was not shaken up — in fact, it hardly noticed that something was going on. The startup’s team woke up, remembered Lean Startup methodology, and decided to create a smarter MVP — bot.

Why do bots make a great Minimum Viable Product?

#1 — Bots find your audience in the right place

Bots live inside messenger chats. Don’t you agree that it’s better to test your idea somewhere users spend the majority of their time: in messengers? You may have seen the recent BI report, which states that messaging apps are bigger than social networks.

Facebook Messenger has become the top choice of businesses for bot development. It has more than 11,000 bots now.

#2 — Bots are quick to develop

It’s possible to make a working bot in several hours. Yes, it’s going to be very simple — perhaps even primitive — but who cares if it works and demonstrates your business idea. That’s all that is required from MVP — no artificial intelligence, machine learning, or difficult NLP.

What’s better? Make a simple bot in 3 hours, or waste 7 months to develop an MVP app and then realize there is no demand? Furthermore, bots are easy to design and the entire development process is automated, so they don’t require an extensive backend.

#3 — Bots are cheap to develop

Bots don’t need much funding to develop if you want just to test your idea. Unlike app development, you can make it work without professional OS developers and UX designers.

Anyone can create a chatbot with services like Chatfuel and Manybot for free. Startupers don’t even need a tech knowledge for that. These platforms manage the entire process from setup to publishing into messenger.

#4 — Bots are mobile optimized

Chatbots living in messengers are already mobile optimized, so you don’t have to go through the additional troubles.

Statsbot’ report in Slack

#5 — Bots have UX advantages

Users don’t need to install any additional applications to launch a bot. They are more likely to use a service that’s integrated into an app they already use. The average conversion rate for the installation of bots is higher than of mobile apps.

#6 — Bots could replace front-end interfaces

Bots can function as a landing page, mobile app and personal account with lots of settings at the same time. Messenger platforms are now integrating UX elements into their apps that allow you to build a bot that looks like an application.

#7 — Bots have different business models

You can meet bots from all different types of businesses. They help to order food, get news, schedule meetings, check the weather, conduct banking transactions… almost anything. But in some markets bots yield to other platforms.

To find out whether it’s worth to build a bot in your niche, consider finding a familiar business model, which has succeeded.

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