How to build an app from concept to reality

Curiosity Lab
5 min readSep 13, 2022


Step by step for building an MVP for your app idea

App Store downloaded on phone

So you have an idea for a mobile app that you think could be sucessful. Better yet, this is something you see yourself doing plus everyone you told your idea to seemed to find it promising. Now what?

In this article, we’re going to discuss the step by step for building a mobile app from an initial idea to a live version in the app stores, the benefits of an MVP and dive deeper into the planning and development stages of the process.

Why you should opt for an MVP

MVP -or Minimum Viable Product- is a well know concept which has been proven sucessful by many tech companies (now tech giants) such as AirBnb, Facebook and many others.

The concept is simple: defining what is the core of the idea, the aspects that offer the most perceived added value to the customer, and planning the simplest app possible that achieves that result.

The benefits of such approach are clear: focusing on what is important, putting only the most valuable features in front of users and saving an enourmous amount of time and money on planning and development which alone can mean the difference between a sucessful start up and a failed one.

At Curiosity Lab, we help you plan and develop a professional MVP at a 3-month to market and 25k max cost policy. Learn more


The planning phase is arguably the most important when building an app. It is at the planning state that the idea becomes a concrete concept and the app starts gaining its identity. Some of the important steps during this phase are:

  • Market research: This activity consists in studying direct competitors and other players in the field, investigating possible partners and service providers as well as identifying the target audience needs.
  • Brainstorming: Informed by the market research, is time to brainstorm ideas and find a concensus among the founders as to the app concept and scope.
  • Initial mockup: A mockup is a non-functional static design of the final product. It helps founders visualize what the app will eventually look like and decide on important features with more clarity.
  • Definition of visual identity: Here aspects of the visual identity are decide upon and added to the mockup.
  • MVP scope: It’s finally time to define what is essential for the MVP. Assuming the mockup contains the whole vision of what the app is intended to be, this step is the time to prioritize the core and most valuable features for the MVP version of the app. Other features are not discarded and, instead, are saved to be added on future app releases.

    Even though planning is critical to the sucess of the app, many people overlook this stage and end up wasting precious time and resources on features later to be discarded.

At Curiosity Lab, we encourage clients to prioritize the steps listed above and we offer support when required, from UI development to planning consulting from expert developers and business professionals.


After the app is idealized and the important information is on paper, it’s time to start the development. Here, a few steps are crucial to the success and quality of the final MVP product:

  • Choosing the right stack:

This is the most important step in development and ensures the way from zero to MVP is the shortest possible and, more importantly, it ensures that when the MVP is ready your app will be able to handle the traffic and the customer’s expectations. Two factors impact the most your choice of right stack: 1) whether you opt for a Hybrid or Native app and 2) your server and database needs. We will talk about these two factoros below.

  • Hybrid vs Native apps:

Hybrid apps can be compiled into Android and iOS versions that can be deployed to Google Play and App Store in the same way as a native app can be — in this context, we refer to native apps meaning the ones built specifically for Android and iOS in their respective accepted programming languages.

  • Server and Database needs.

An app is not only the files that are submitted to the app stores as the application bundle. It also encompass the database where the information will be stored and the sever that will communicate with this database. Hosting and maintenance costs vary widely depending on the provider, technologies used and specifications needed. Therefore, it’s necessary to plan accordingly in order to manage costs and performance efficiently.

  • Defining sprints:

When all the requirements are agreed upon it’s time to plan the sprints. Breaking them into hear deliverables help speed up development and allow for better progress control.

  • Testing

After all planned sprints are completed it is time to test the app. It ensures any bugs will be found and corrected before the release. This step is vital in building a high-quality product.

  • Release

Making your app live in the App Store and Google Play involve a proces that can take a few days. It’s important to plan enough time for any delays in this phase.

At Curiosity Lab, we specialize in Hybrid app development providing the best cost-benefit without any loss in features, quality or performance

Next steps

Now that the app is live in the app stores and ready to receive users, it’s time to think of what comes next. This varies widely from app to app, but the main points in this phase fall under business inteligence, marketing and development.

  • Marketing: Since now the business is running and the main goal becomes attracting users, it’s normal for the focus to shift to marketing. Changes in the app will be necessary to promote campaigns, update marketing materials, reflect promotions, etc.
  • Business Inteligence: The biggest benefit of a MVP is to be launched early and allow the business to collect data from users and daily operations. After the app is published, several demands will arise from the BI side, including tracking, testing, monetization, etc.
  • Development: Even though the app is published it doesn’t mean development stops. Developers should continue planning and developing features for future releases, making changes and improvements, adding content and scripts for marketing and BI, among other needs.

For this later development phase, we suggest clients to work with developers in a on-demand basis. At Curiosity Lab, we provide hourly development and maintenance with 3 rate tiers based on task complexity and effort.

Final considerations

In this article we have shown how we think and how we plan when building an MVP at CuriosityLab. If you have aditional questions or would like a free consultation on your app idea contact us today.