Every entrepreneur has their Eureka moment. It happens when they realise that their idea is unique or transformative and can make a difference. The right ideas and inspiration build empires, but before you go fast forward with your vision and start product development, it’s essential you think through and fully understand Proof of Concept, Prototype and Minimum Viable Product.

These concepts will help you understand the nitty-gritty of product analysis and help you build a better product that will scale your business in the long run. This article will help you take a close look at POC, Prototype and MVP – their importance and purpose. By the end of this article, you will understand how they help the product development process.

What is Proof of Concept?

Before diving into the product development process, every founder must ensure that their idea is feasible and has the possibility of building into a fully-fledged product and scale over time.

A Proof of Concept (POC) enables you to demonstrate a small part of the product ( not all the features) by testing multiple technologies or design concepts new to the market or existing ones but in a unique context. Focus on building the POC around the feature or concept that raise the most concerns.

Since POC is just a small working project of your product, the users don’t test it. In the PoC phase, the testing is done within the company. Based on the results drawn from the testing, you will understand whether or not it’s sensible to build an actual product.

A POC also convinces the early investors that your idea can be built into a product because pitching with a working product model is always better than just a promising idea.
If your team is unsure about your idea, a POC will motivate them; it shows the possibility that the idea that seems tricky can be developed over time.

The Main Purpose of Proof of Concept

1. It validates the feasibility of your idea.
2. It saves time, money and other resources.
3. It makes your idea very convincing for early investors.
4. It will help you detect forthcoming risks and loopholes at an early stage.
Since POC is an integral part of product development, let us take a look at which industries must consider building a POC:
1. IT/Software Development
2. Project Management
3. Business Development
4. Cyber Security
5. Manufacturing
6. Healthcare

What is a Prototype?

A prototype is a visual representation of your product or one specific feature of your product. A prototype is the alpha version or a draft version of your product that focuses on your product’s overall look and feel.

Building a prototype before moving onto the MVP stage helps the designers and developers understand what the product will look like and enable them to create a positive user experience.

Let us discuss three kinds of prototypes you can use as per its purpose:

1. Paper Prototype
Paper prototypes are wireframes of your web or mobile applications made with paper models. It provides the designers with an idea of how the users will interact with the application and help them add or remove visual elements.

2. Horizontal Prototype
The Horizontal prototype is a wireframe of your web or mobile applications made using interactive UX wireframes or UI screens without a backend. These are used to create prototypes in the early stages of product analysis and is one of the most commonly used prototype kinds.

3. Vertical Prototype
The vertical prototype is used in later stages of product analysis and implements a product feature built from multiple perspectives. A vertical prototype has a user interface with a backend and can be connected to a database to demonstrate the product feature.

The Main Purpose of A Prototype
1. It enables you to visualise the functionality and design.
2. It helps you validate the user experience.
3. It helps gain early feedback on the product and help spot design flaws at early stages.
4. It helps attract seed investments from your potential long term investors

What is a Minimum Viable Product?

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a working product with a minimum set of features that fulfils user needs that it’s addressing. An MVP is user-centric and helps you understand how your users (target audience) interact with your product and what they like or expect from the product. Remember that MVP is not a final product it is a development tool for building it.

With the inflow of feedback and other information, it is easy to develop a standalone product or application that’s ready to launch. An MVP helps make further product developments and add the remaining features based on continuous valuable feedback from the end-users. When building an MVP, ensure that software development is well thought through and in a flow that’s easy to reiterate and maintain over time.

You can keep modifying and updating your product with the help of your MVP until you achieve the desired results. An MVP also helps gain an early customer base and enables you to understand how your product is performing and the overall market dynamics.

The Main Purpose of A MVP

1. It enables you to gather valuable feedback from your audience.
2. It helps you launch the final product into the market faster and offer immediate
value through digital transformation.
3. It helps you save a lot of money, time, resources and saves it from big
impending risks or failure.


We hope this article helped you understand the importance and purpose of building a POC, Prototype and MVP. A product development process is an experimental ride in which you keep moving forward while hitting milestones and overcoming setbacks with your vision in mind. The startup teams must be aware of their responsibilities and geared up with the product knowledge, awareness and commitment towards successfully moving forward with product development.

All of this starts by building the right foundation for your startup as it helps validate your idea and enable you to develop a fully-fledged product ready to roll out into the market.

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