When building a new product, the first and foremost thing you need to consider is your idea’s scope, market need, and feasibility. Therefore, before you consider building products, you should have an answer to the following questions:
- Is my idea technically feasible?
- What will my product look and feel like?
- How will users react to it?
But, there is a lot of confusion surrounding these tools. While some argue which strategy should be first, others juggle to find the difference between them. This blog contains insights that will help entrepreneurs cut through the clutter and make a strategic plan to achieve a product-market fit.
What is Proof of Concept (POC)?
The main goal of POC is to test the technical side of product implementation and not the entire feature list. You can carry out a POC for any particular feature or functionality that raises doubts or looks difficult to implement.
Because a POC is just a physical implementation of any one part of the product, it is built for internal teams or stakeholders, not for users. But using and examining it, your internal team can decide whether you should proceed with developing the actual product or not.
When and Why you should develop a Proof of Concept:
- A POC is a great tool for validating a new idea that hasn’t been seen or implemented before.
- It helps you predict all the technological risks that may arise if you proceed with the development.
- You can attract pre-seed or seed funding by presenting a proof of concept.
- It is a cost-effective way to validate the initial idea and find various technological approaches to implement it so that you can select the one that requires less effort and resources.
What is a Prototype?
A prototype is a visual representation of your idea or your product’s core feature used to predict the look and feel of your end product. It helps designers and project managers ensure that the end product will provide a seamless user experience and will be easy to navigate.
A prototype has many types ranging from simple paper prototypes to high-fidelity interactive versions, and businesses should develop one based on their needs and budget constraints. It helps designers create and analyze the UX and interface of the final product with the help of interactive UX wireframes and UI screens but without a backend. Businesses can use online tools like Invision and Proto.io to create prototypes and validate ideas.
When and Why you should develop a Prototype:
- A prototype is not a complete version of the product, so it can not be launched for the general public, but it can be used to test the idea among a small group of people inside the company.
- Prototypes help you build a seamless user experience by letting you make changes to the design until you achieve perfection.
- Creating prototypes provides you with an idea of the look and feel of your product and prevents rework. You can also attract investors if you have a beautifully created prototype ready to present.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Your MVP is an important part of your product, and it should provide a seamless experience to users while solving their pain points. It is not advised to add advanced and unnecessary features in an MVP, but that doesn’t mean it should be a low-quality product.
An MVP is the base of a product, and it should be capable enough to attract your target audience. Developing an MVP aids in building a product based on your user’s requirements.
When and Why you should develop an MVP:
- An MVP helps you get your first paying set of users. It isn’t a full-fledged application or product but is market-ready and lets you collect user feedback.
- An MVP is the most important and effective tool when gathering the attention of investors. With an uncertain market demand, investors are reluctant to invest in just ideas, but with an MVP, you have validation from real end-users. Their feedback can be amazing proof to show investors.
POC vs. MVP vs. Prototype: What’s the Difference?
Well, this question in itself is wrong, so there is no right answer to it. There is a very thin line between these idea validation tools, but you don’t need to choose just one of them.
The typical Software Development Life Cycle goes through four processes, POC,
Prototype, MVP, and Production. If you conduct all these strategically, it can help you
avoid failure and allow you to achieve product-market fit.
It is good to go in order and use all three tools to validate your idea if you have the resources and bandwidth. But, ignoring all of them can lead to product failure. Here is how these steps are different from each other:
|The definition||It is a piece of evidence that proves the technical feasibility of an idea||It is the initial version of the product that shows its look and feel||It is ready to launch version of the product having just the core features|
|Who is it for||Internal team, developers, and early investors||Internal team, investors, designers, and limited end-users||For everyone, including end-users|
|How it helps||Predicts any technical roadblocks in the idea implementation||Helps design a seamless UI/UX for end-users||Allows you to collect feedback from end-users and quickly implement any changes required|
|Estimated time to develop||2-3 days||2-3 weeks||2-3 months|
|When to build it||When your idea hasn’t been implemented before, and you aren’t sure about its technical feasibility||When you are sure of your ideas’ technical feasibility and want to test the design elements||When you are sure of technical feasibility and designs, and you now want to launch the product & collect feedback|
Insights and Crux
But, it doesn’t matter at what stage of the process you are; you will always need a team of expert developers and designers to progressively push your project forward.
At Netsmartz, we work with clients on a distributed agile model to help them fast-track their product development and develop disruptive products. By working with remote teams, you can scale faster.