Top 12 MVP Examples That Revolutionized Markets

7 min readJun 7, 2024


When it comes to app development, most startups still face a dilemma: do we really need an MVP? Or can we just skip it and jump straight into building the full-scale product?

Our opinion on this matter is a resounding “no-no”. And nothing better proves the need for MVPs than the success stories that began as humble MVPs and grew into apps with worldwide fame.

So, if you're still unsure whether your project needs an MVP, keep reading. Today we are going to tell you about the most inspiring MPV examples in the world. By the time you finish this post, you might just find yourself convinced. Who knows, maybe your future app could follow in the footsteps of Uber or Tinder and become the next big thing.

Why do you have to build an MVP?

But before we head to minimum viable product examples, let us first highlight the perks that MVP development implies:

Focus on what matters most

When you prioritize the core features in your MVP, you ensure that development efforts are directed to what users truly need. Thus, you cut the app development cost and avoid wasting time on features that might be irrelevant. As a result, you deliver an impactful product that addresses key user pain points and provides value.

Faster time-to-market

  • Fact: Not all startups withstand the harsh competition – 10% of companies fail because they introduce their product to the market too late.

An MVP allows you to launch a basic version of your app quicker, gather user feedback, and iterate rapidly. Typically, MVP development spans from 2 to 6 months (the discovery phase included). It’s often 2x or even 3x times faster than launching a full-scale product. Thus, you gain a competitive edge by entering the market quickly, capturing early adopters, and securing your positions.

Saved money and resources

  • Fact: 38% of startups fail because they run out of money and can’t raise new funds.

Building a smaller app is more cost-effective. By starting with an MVP, you minimize upfront investment and reduce the financial risk associated with developing a full-scale version. This approach to resource allocation helps you to be more agile in the development process.

12 MVP examples: success stories

Now, it’s time to proceed with the most successful examples of various MVP types across industries:

MVP example #1: Netflix

📲 Industry: Entertainment

📍 Founded: 1997, Scotts Valley, California

💸 Monetization model: Subscription-based

Netflix's path to becoming a global streaming powerhouse wasn't a straight shot. It all began in 1997 with a much humbler MVP: a website for renting DVDs by mail. This service addressed customer’s pain points of late fees and due dates. Netflix prioritized convenience with features like subscriptions and a queue system, setting them apart from the competition.

However, its most disruptive move came in 2007 with the launch of its streaming service. By focusing on user experience and content quality, Netflix rapidly expanded its subscriber base and content library, revolutionizing how people access entertainment.

Today, with over 260 million subscribers worldwide, Netflix is synonymous with streaming excellence. The platform sets industry standards, with its original shows and personalized recommendations. From its MVP origins, Netflix has reshaped the entertainment landscape and become a cultural phenomenon.

MVP example #2: Airbnb

📲 Industry: Real estate

📍 Founded: 2008, San Francisco, California

💸 Monetization model: Service fees

Air Bed and Breakfast, later shortened to Airbnb, was founded in 2008 by Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk. It’s a nice minimum viable product example as it started as a platform connecting travelers with people who had spare air mattresses in their apartments.

This core concept addressed a need for affordable and unique travel experiences. The founders themselves even put an air mattress on their living room floor! This initial focus on a core function allowed them to test the market and gather valuable user feedback. As the platform gained traction, its founders expanded functionalities to include listings for entire apartments and homes and attract a wider range of hosts and guests.

Airbnb's success lies in its ability to adapt to user needs. They built trust through features like secure payment systems and reviews. Plus, the platform has always fostered a sense of community by encouraging interaction between hosts and guests. Thus, from accommodations on simple air mattresses, Airbnb transformed into a global hospitality giant, forever changing the way we travel the world.

MVP example #3: Instagram

📲 Industry: Entertainment, Social networking

📍 Founded: 2010, San Francisco, California

💸 Monetization model: Advertising

Instagram's evolution from a basic MVP example is a story of rapid growth and strategic innovation. Launched in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, Instagram began as a usual photo-sharing app focused on filters and easy editing tools.

This MVP was incredibly simple: users could take photos on their phones, apply filters, and share moments from their daily lives with a limited network. This focus on a single, well-defined function resonated with early adopters who wanted a more visual way to connect.

As Instagram became more and more popular, it continuously integrated new features, introducing video sharing, stories, and more. In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram, further accelerating its growth.

Today, Instagram boasts over a billion monthly active users, making it one of the most influential social media platforms globally. And, let’s be honest, now we can hardly imagine how we connect, share, and discover content without Instagram.

MVP example #4: Uber

📲 Industry: Transportation

📍 Founded: 2011, San Francisco, California

💸 Monetization model: Service fees

Founded by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, Uber started as a ride-hailing app that connected passengers with drivers for on-demand transportation. This minimum viable product example, initially called UberCab, was first publicly launched in San Francisco in 2011 and allowed users to order a black luxury car.

Gradually, Uber’s MVP expanded its services to include various ride options, such as UberX, UberPOOL, and UberBLACK, catering to different preferences and budgets. They also implemented features like real-time fare estimates, in-app payments, and driver tracking for transparency and user safety.

Through strategic partnerships and a focus on user experience, Uber revolutionized transportation. Today, Uber operates in hundreds of cities worldwide, reshaping urban mobility for millions of people.

MVP example #5: Duolingo

📲 Industry: Education

📍 Founded: 2011, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

💸 Monetization model: Freemium business model

Duolingo is another great minimum viable product example that became a global phenomenon. Duolingo was initially launched in 2011 as a free language-learning website and mobile app. The MVP focused on providing users with an interactive platform to learn languages at their own pace. The gamified approach proved highly motivating, keeping users engaged and coming back for more.

Since this approach was beyond successful, Duolingo continuously introduced new features to enhance learning effectiveness, such as personalized lessons, progress tracking, and social features. Plus, the app has significantly amplified its list of languages – now it offers 40+ languages to choose from.

Today, Duolingo boasts over 500 million users, empowering individuals to learn new languages conveniently and affordably.

MVP example #6: Spotify

📲 Industry: Music, Entertainment

📍 Founded: 2006, Stockholm, Sweden

💸 Monetization model: Freemium, Premium subscriptions

Spotify’s story began in 2008. Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon saw a global market demand for access to a vast library of music without downloading songs to a device and launched a music streaming service Spotify. Its initial international launches were limited to a few countries, including the UK and the US.

This example of MVP was a desktop application that allowed users to listen to a curated library of music for free, supported by occasional ads. This core function addressed the desire for a legal and convenient way to stream music. Later on, Spotify went mobile and was complemented with a premium subscription offering ad-free listening, on-demand playback, and offline downloads.

Spotify managed to find a balance between a freemium model and user needs. The company constantly expands its music library, introduces features like personalized playlists and podcasts, and integrates social elements for sharing.

MVP example #7: YouTube

Discover 6 more examples of MVP products that rocked the markets here.