What it Means to Maintain, Sustain, and Obtain for Your MVP and Beyond
Maintaining Your Software
So you’ve built and released your product and you’re at a good spot to coast for a bit, right? Maybe for a short time, but ultimately all software will require maintenance. Much like your house, your car, or your body - software requires maintenance to continue working as intended over time. Especially if your software interacts with the outside world, maintenance is an unavoidable fact of life. We recommend you don’t go much more than two months without updating dependencies, updating servers, and applying security patches; deferring maintenance leads to larger issues and increased repair costs.
Sustaining Your Business
If your starting point was your MVP, or Minimum Viable Product, your software is unable to function independent of you. This parasitic relationship is exactly what you should be experiencing if you truly leaned into the “minimum viable” concept (if not, you overbuilt). MVPs are made with the intent of getting the smallest possible scope out the door so you can start receiving feedback and prove your worth for your next round of funding. This first iteration may feel like it’s being held together with chewing gum and bits of string, but it allowed you to keep initial costs down so you can scale with intent; the idea of getting a working “forever product” at a cheaper rate just because it’s called an “MVP” is certainly too good to be true.
The external support you need to provide will vary based on your product and your business model. Generally, anything that you can handle manually in your MVP phase should be. This includes tasks such as managing the onboarding process for new customers, offering support to any customers experiencing issues, and generating reports from your database.
It is rare for a company to invest a fair amount of money into software and never plan to grow it again. Organic growth works well to a point, but eventually you’ll need to put in the effort to scale. Whether you are looking to drive more value to current customers or reach new customers altogether, sustainable growth happens where it is nurtured. Drip campaigns and focused marketing efforts guided by user data exports help to grow existing accounts and acquire new ones.
Ongoing Operations are No Small Effort
Mile Marker knows the above efforts are not to be brushed aside, which is why we developed a product offering we call “Ongoing Operations”. For a fraction of our monthly development cost we offer support in the “maintain”, “sustain”, and “obtain” realms.
Maintenance comes in the form of implementing security patches and bug fixes, making sure to stay one step ahead of known breaking changes that are inevitable from the outside world. Keeping up with changes implemented by third party integrations is imperative to keeping your software running.
To sustain business operations we support the experience of your customers and your business units to make sure everyone has what they need. This ranges from assisting with initial onboarding tasks to creating data exports that help the marketing and sales teams better identify their target markets.
When it comes time to entice new investors or customers, or gather in-depth feedback to identify the next feature sets, Mile Marker offers support in obtaining what you need to take your next steps. We’ll sit in on calls with potential investors to field technical questions and concerns and collect and aggregate feedback from your customers to build a roadmap filled with features they actually want.
Whether you choose to continue your partnership with your developer or ultimately bring your code management in-house, you want to ensure someone is keeping an eye on things. There is great ROI to be found in making repairs in a timely manner and addressing the needs of your team and your customers.
About Mile Marker
Mile Marker is your strategic partner for agile software development. Created for founders, by founders, we offer strategic software at startup speed. We specialize in aligning your technical work with your business goals through collaborative planning, offering a multidisciplinary development team, and ensuring ongoing support for your software. If you’re searching for a software development company or need a technical partner, start the conversation with an introductory call.