Proof of concept vs prototype and MVP: The differences you need to understand

In the world of software development, you’ll hear these three terms thrown around during almost every project: Proof of concept vs Prototype, and minimum viable product. Because all three describe a version of your future product but at different stages of completion, it’s easy to get confused as to what exactly each one entails. So in this article, we well point out the differences among Proof of concept vs Prototype, and minimum viable product.

Proof of concept vs prototype
Proof of concept vs prototype and MVP

Definitions of Proof of concept vs Prototype and MVP

A prototype can be described as a model of product development focused on answering the “how” questions:

  • How will an application look?
  • How will it be made?
  • How will the users interact with it?

A prototype answers these questions through wireframes, user flows, and mockups. Prototypes help founders and stakeholders who invested in a project see a more detailed version of a product compared to the bare-bones one provided by a POC.

An MVP is a version of your product, but with features pared down to reasonably minimal complexity, just enough to get initial customer feedback on which further development will depend. An MVP lets you validate your idea and tweak it. So that it responds to the needs of your target audience as accurately as possible.

A proof of concept serves to answer the question whether an idea can be realized or not. It’s a bare-bones viability test of your core assumption. A POC is therefore the first attempt to materialize the operational feasibility of your project.

Proof of concept vs Prototype vs MVP: The differences and which one to choose

The dilemma of choosing between an MVP, Proof of concept vs Prototype can still be confusing to you, and an incorrectly choosing from the three will end up leaking your organization’s finances, wasting your efforts, time and other resources affecting your business’ overall growth.

Now it’s time to learn in detail about the differences between all the 3 approaches- MVP, Proof of concept vs Prototype, and how to choose the right one for your organization.

The PoC Approach

What is a Proof of Concept?

A PoC is like doing a small research on the app concept that shows you whether the idea is worth pursuing or not.

When you aren’t sure if your app idea or a particular app feature will work, you build a Proof of Concept. For example, when you don’t know if a feature can be built, you test the idea’s feasibility by creating a PoC.

A PoC is built to verify some minor technical assumptions before getting down to the actual development. It will cover a small part, not the entire system. The users will never get to see the PoC because its used inside the company just to clarify which way to go with the app development.

PoCs help you save money; by helping you know if a particular approach possibly works — leading to a lower risk of failure. A PoC can also help you in getting the seed-stage funding from investors.

Key Features of PoC

  • Demonstrates feasibility and confirms potential
  • Helps in realistic implementation of small portions of the project
  • Less cost and time for detailed feature validation
  • Explore innovative ideas in the initial stage
  • Discloses errors, bugs, and risks involved at an early stage
  • Gives clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ viability of your project

The Prototype Approach

What is a Prototype in app development perspective?

Proof of concept vs Prototype are often used interchangeably, but they really mean different things. Just like the PoC, a prototype’s main purpose is to help you make the right development decisions and reduce the number of mistakes and save your product. But a prototype does it differently than a PoC.

While a PoC offers you a model of just one aspect of the app, a prototype is a working model showing several aspects of the app. The development team usually uses PoC to find errors in a concept while prototyping to discover errors in the entire system.

Prototypes are created for the sake of finding those errors and often are far from being perfect. By building a prototype, you can test the product’s design, functionality, and usability.

Key Features of Prototype

  • Early feedback on the product
  • Identification of mistakes in the design and development phases
  • Less expensive and lucrative and faster
  • Simplifies complex ideas into an understandable format
  • Application/System flow validation by business users

The MVP Approach

What does MVP mean?

If a prototype feels like a draft, then an MVP is more of a separate product itself. The MVP version of an app has just enough features to stay viable but not more. Simply said, an MVP doesn’t pack dozens of cool features but only has the core functionality.

The main reason startups fail is that they end up launching a product that absolutely no one needs. The purpose of building an MVP is to get the minimum version of the product to the market and find the most cost-effective production method.

With the MVP approach, you can build a working app without spending a fortune and compromizing app development timeline. And you’ll get to know whether it has any value at all. And if the app idea does have value, you can start making money right away from your first customers.

Key Features of MVP

  • Increased Production Readiness
  • Offers the right subset of features to keep users satisfied
  • Continuous feedback and improvement creating value for customers
  • Gives valuable insights to grow gradually keeping customers in mind
  • Garners high retention in a small investment
  • Helps in preventing wastage of time, money and efforts
  • Sets the path for increased feasibility and value

Proof of concept vs Prototype vs MVP: Which One Will You Choose for Your App Idea?

Many web and app development firms label MVP, Proof of concept vs Prototype as the same service. But after all our discussions it is clear that each of the processes has its own use and place in the development cycle.

All three approaches- Proof of concept vs Prototype, MVP have somewhat different goals and definitely unique in application. So, it is better to talk to an expert business analyst before deciding on which approach at the time is right for your app idea.

Moreover, if you are still confused about any problems related to you business, web and mobile development company is the best choice for you to solve those problems. Thus ArrowHiTech is the first IT Company you should consider. We also provides the best Outsourcing Software Development service. If you want to have successful business, don’t miss our awesome services.