By Maksym Babych, founder and CEO of SpdLoad, the software development company for startups.

Today, every existing startup company has to find the right problem to solve and the right market to sell it. And the minimum viable product (MVP) is the most effective tool to test business hypotheses quickly and efficiently, looking for the most viable one. 

The MVP doesn't have to be a digital product. If you've found a way to sell your concept multiple times, then you've successfully tested the idea with an MVP. But the majority of MVPs are software.

Today, we will compare the three most popular approaches to creating MVPs: high-code, low-code and no-code. All of the featured types of coding are aimed at creating software. But what are the differences, and how do you choose the most profitable option for your startup?

High-Code Programming Vs. Low-Code Programming

High-code or traditional programming is the development of custom software by a team of developers who manually write code. The essence of this approach is that you can create anything, and you or your company will own it. On the other hand, this option is more expensive than different approaches.

In turn, low-code is also an option for programmers, not nontechnical people. Nevertheless, through the use of tools, it is possible to speed up and reduce the cost of development significantly.

For example, you can use a drag-and-drop editor to create a custom chatbot and add extra custom features. To do so, you have to be able to code.

Low-Code Programming Vs. No-Code Programming

If we eliminate the ability to customize products made using low-code platforms, we get a no-code platform, i.e., software constructor. No-code constructors are drag-and-drop visual builders, which allow us to create functional and simple applications. And herein lies their main disadvantage: the lack of ability to complicate or customize functions.

What Coding Option Should Your Startup Choose?

As the founder of a software development company, I believe the best option for a startup is often still custom high-code programming, and there are three reasons why.

1. The cost: Probably the most pressing question for a startup. Although custom development is the most expensive option, that doesn't mean it's not suitable for limited budgets. It all depends on what, how and with whom you will develop. Moreover, nothing prevents old-school developers from taking a low-code approach to speed up development, which will affect the price.

2. No technical limitations: It may seem a bit far-fetched, but think about it. Startups are looking for new models and features, so breakthrough technology and no limitations are the key factors that favor custom development. Even integrating free artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning (ML) libraries requires developer input.

3. Security and data ownership: The most obvious point is that app builders often do not adequately secure user data. This is especially true for payment data, fintech or health tech startups.

Use low-code or no-code constructors if their functionality is enough for your tasks. But to scale your product, you'll likely have to switch to custom code. So, find the right developers who are willing to help both with testing the idea and with scaling it.