Merge’s MVP journey

Merge’s MVP journey

We've gone through a lot in the earlier chapters about making a great MVP. Now, let's look at a real story - ours at Merge. We built Promtify, a cool ChatGPT template builder, and learned a bunch along the way. This chapter will share our story, the lessons we picked up, and wrap up everything we've talked about.

Promtify case study

At Merge, we wanted to make something special with Promtify: a tool that makes work easier and more productive using AI. We saw other apps trying to do similar things, but they were often hard to use and didn’t look great. We wanted our app to be different - easy to use and good-looking.

Merge’s MVP journey
Merge’s MVP journey

Starting off

Our journey with Promtify started with a Proof of Concept Prototype, a basic version to test our idea. This initial prototype was simple and just had the basic features to see if our idea could work. We focused only on the front end and integrating the OpenAI API. It was a crucial step to understand if our core idea had potential.

However, we quickly realized that functionality alone wasn’t enough and to really grab people’s attention, Promtify needed a great, intuitive design and more functionality. The process involved adding a well-thought-out design, a subscription model, and a database to support the growing functionalities. Our objective was to transform Promtify into a tool that was not just useful but also enjoyable to use.

So, we set off to make a full version.

The development was marked by a careful selection of technologies and a systematic development approach. We picked the best tools for the job: Next.js for making the app look good, Supabase for handling user accounts and data, Vercel for keeping the app online, Stripe for handling payments, and some tools to understand how people use our app.

  • Next.js: For front-end development, we chose it due to its efficiency and scalability.
  • Supabase: We utilized it for authentication and database purposes because of its easy integration and reliability.
  • Vercel: Chosen for our front-end hosting needs, it offered fast deployment and high performance.
  • OpenAI API: It served as our main AI integration API, providing us with advanced AI capabilities.
  • Stripe: We relied on it for handling subscriptions due to its secure and reliable payment system.
  • Google Tag Manager: Used for analytics, it provided us with comprehensive user data analysis.
  • Hotjar: It helped us with user behavior analytics, providing valuable insights into user interactions.

Our process

The development spanned over two months, with design and development done in parallel. We started with the tech stack, then moved to component development using Storybook, creating pages, integrating APIs, setting up analytics, preparing for deployment, conducting tests, and finally releasing the first version.

We ran into two important challenges though.

Creating a user-friendly template editor. The initial challenge was developing a template editor. We explored several solutions before settling on the Slate.js library, chosen for its flexibility and robust documentation. This library allowed us to develop a feature-rich template editor that met our needs.

Enhancing usability. The usability of the template editor was our second major challenge. The MVP version featured a basic editor, but it wasn't as user-friendly as we wanted. Based on user feedback, we redesigned and released an improved version with enhanced functionality two months later. This exemplified our commitment to continuously evolving based on user input.

What made it special?

In selecting features for Promtify, we focused on automation and efficiency. Key features like saving templates and sharing them within a community were aimed at automating routine tasks, making daily work easier and more efficient. This approach aligned with our goal of creating a tool that was not just a novelty but a staple in everyday productivity.

Additionally, we paid close attention to the aesthetics and functionality of Promtify. Unlike other similar apps, we wanted to combine AI power with an appealing UX and UI. This focus helped set Promtify apart in a crowded market.


Launching Promtify on Product Hunt was a strategic move that paid off. It brought significant attention to our app, translating into user traffic and brand recognition. This launch also provided valuable user feedback, which was instrumental in planning further enhancements.

Making Promtify showed us that we at Merge can build something quickly and without spending too much. We can mix AI into our apps well and make them look and work great. Promtify’s journey is a real-life example of everything we've talked about in this e-book.

Merge’s MVP journey
Merge’s MVP journey

Lessons learned

We have distilled the entire guide into 9 key lessons that encapsulate the essence of modern MVP development.

  1. Adopt a customer-centric approach. Prioritizing customer feedback in the product development process is a vital practice in the current market, where user experience is key to the product’s success.
  2. Lean value mapping. Identifying and eliminating non-value-adding elements is crucial for efficiency and product quality.
  3. Effective launch strategies. Choosing the right launch strategy is crucial for testing, refining, and promoting your MVP.
  4. Focus on core functionality. In an era of feature overload, prioritizing the core feature that defines your service is crucial for clarity and effectiveness.
  5. Continuous product validation. Regularly questioning and validating every aspect of your product ensures it remains aligned with market needs and user expectations.
  6. Adapting MVP based on market response. Continuously evolving your MVP in response to feedback is crucial for staying relevant.
  7. Engaging with early adopters. Early adopters provide critical insights for MVP refinement, making their engagement a valuable strategy.
  8. Prioritizing market fit over immediate revenue Understanding that the primary goal of an MVP is market validation, not immediate revenue, is key in today’s startup ecosystem.
  9. Designing for long-term scalability. Designing your MVP with future growth in mind is essential for long-term success.


We have established that this e-book serves as a practical guide for entrepreneurs and startup teams navigating the complex journey of MVP development in today's dynamic and customer-centric tech market.

We covered the essence of creating an effective MVP, highlighting the importance of starting with a solid business model, emphasizing customer feedback, and focusing on core functionality.

Prioritize building an MVP that fits the market over immediate revenue generation, and always design with future scalability in mind. This guide is invaluable for those looking to develop an MVP that not only addresses immediate user problems but is also adaptable, scalable, and set for long-term success.