So the first question we come to is, “what does your business really need?” With the online culture getting continuously evolved and rapidly changing trends, it’s important to know the correct meaning of the keywords that are generally used in the tech industry.
Do you actually know the exact differences between Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Proof of Concept (POC) and a Prototype? Let’s understand each term in their entirety.
MVP is the work-in-progress version of your technical solution. It allows you to do a test run with the target customers and see their reaction when they use the product. This helps you save a lot of money instead of making a complete product that the customer’s don’t want to use. MVP is a way to understand if people want to buy the solution that you are trying to build.
Eric Ries, an American entrepreneur, blogger and author of The Lean Startup, quotes, “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
Proof of Concept (POC)
A proof of concept (POC) is a demonstration, the purpose of which is to verify that certain concepts or theories have the potential for real-world application. POC is therefore a prototype that is designed to determine feasibility, but does not represent deliverables.
Definition Source: https://www.techopedia.com/definition/4066/proof-of-concept-poc
In one short sentence, proof of concept is all about testing if a certain idea or concept is feasible or not. For example, the client needs to build a messaging app. It’s something that people use a lot but it might not do as well because people are already using Whats App and Facebook Messenger, so your app needs to now come up with a little extra something that could spice up your app. Well that “little extra” something could use some POC.
Before the entire development of the application, it is necessary to build interactive prototypes to understand the screen for core app flows, usability of the app and special features to test out. The prototype involves stakeholders and investors. It will be valuable to know how people would interact with your product.
MVP vs. POC vs. Prototype
Trying to decide how and where to fit these methodologies while developing your app is surely a struggle! Let’s clearly understand with the help of an example.
A certain toy company has designed a new toy and has decided to build a company around it. Firstly, they would need to implement the POC method to ensure that they are not wasting time on something that doesn’t interest the users. The concept needs to be proved in the market. To achieve a POC, you need to ask questions like, “Does this toy have any extra features or values that the other toy doesn’t offer? Or “Is there a need for this toy?” If there is a positive answer or a solution to these questions then your idea is validated.
Once your idea has been validated, the next step is to build a prototype. You need to feature the prototype in a mall that has different toys and see if it generates any interest from the target audience. If there is no positive response from the audience, then it clearly will not get a response later either.
But, if it does get a good response from the audience, it’s time to move on to the MVP stage where you make your first batch of toys with the most basic features and test it in the marketplace. People will actually buy the product and test it by paying money. This will also help you understand if you have priced it correctly.
A MVP app is the core-value-proposition-wrapped-up-in-essential-features-only version of the product to bring value to the market as soon as possible. The approach towards MVP should be, “What is the core value of the app?”
The proof of concept (POC) method revolves around testing if an idea is doable. It is the simplest, fastest, most precise way you can think of to either confirm or infirm your hypothesis about the user and your app. The approach towards POC should be, “Is this concept feasible?”
A prototype of an app is an interactive, working visualization of the product, meant to identify usability flaws in design. The approach towards prototypes should be, “How should you build the application?”
Isn’t it simple; now, we are sure you know what your business needs!