PoC vs MVP vs Prototype: What Strategy Leads to Product-Market Fit?

Navdeep Garg
PoC vs MVP vs Prototype: What Strategy Leads to Product-Market Fit?

Introduction

poc-vs-prototype-vs-mvp

Keeping user satisfaction as the primary goal is a general practice when creating or launching a new product. Doing so creates a product-market fit, but achieving it is not as simple as it may appear. You can avail numerous approaches to build your product, but the real confusion starts when you have to choose between MVP vs PoC vs Prototype.

Each strategy is a tried and tested one, but they are ideal for different purposes. You cannot always choose MVP as your method nor will banking on PoC will be a rational choice. Always opting Prototype is not a viable choice either.

So here we have gathered as much relevant information necessary on the topic to figure out the best product development approach.

What is Proof of Concept (PoC)?

poc vs prototype vs mvp

Proof of Concept, also known as PoC, is the initial step of the product development process. Like the name suggests, PoC as an idea is flexible and can easily convert in a product.

In case your product idea is already available on the market, then PoC is not something you should opt for. Contrarily, in case of an innovative startup, PoC is the first step you should undertake.

Why Choose PoC?

  • For validating the idea’s practicality
  • For saving resources, time, and money
  • For convincing investors to support the idea
  • For getting the idea of upcoming risks

Real-Life Example of PoC

Twitter introduced an early OAuth version in 2009 on a discussion group of Google. The idea is a prime example of PoC in practice as it demonstrates the idea’s execution possibility.

What do you mean by Prototype?

You can call prototype the draft version of the final product focusing on the user semantics and experience. The word originally meant “primitive form” but nowadays it means “alpha grade.” It’s the initial version showing the product’s elements and overall feel.

MVP should not be availed without a prototype as it gives an idea of what an MVP should be.

Why Choose Prototype?

  • For visualizing the design and functionality
  • For validating the UX design
  • For gaining early product feedback
  • For attracting potential investors for seed funding

Real-Life Example of Prototype

In 2019, Twitter released “twttr” for users to experiment with some new features. The goal was to gather as much consumer feedback as possible.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

An MVP can be summed as a functional product loaded with mere essential functions defining the product. With MVP, you get a launch-ready app to garner valuable feedback from the end-users.

MVP in no way or form should be inferior to the final product for garnering genuine feedback.

Why Choose MVP?

  • For gathering early end-consumer feedback
  • For facilitating quicker marketing
  • For saving product failure
  • For saving money, time, and additional resources

Real-Life MVP Example

Odeo, a podcast platform released the idea to create a text-based platform for facilitating communication. It was also named “twttr” with minimal features usable in internal uses.

Intent

  • PoC’s intent is to validate the platform’s technical feasibility.
  • Prototype’s intent is to validate the UI and UX design alongside the elements’ flow in the interface.
  • MVP’s intent is to check the product’s likeability. It is launched with serious intent to refactor.

Estimated Build Time

  • PoC requires days to build.  
  • Prototype requires weeks to build.  
  • MVP requires months to build.  

Target Audience

  • PoC’s target audience is developer groups.
  • Prototype’s audience is restricted to end-users, investors, and developers.
  • MVP’s target audience is end-users.

Best-Use Case

  • PoC’s best-use case is digital disruption when the idea is never seen before.
  • Prototype looks for opportunities for attracting seed funding.
  • MVP ensures quicker marketing and assessing the initial user response.

What to Choose between MVP vs PoC vs Prototype

workflow of poc

When should you use PoC (Proof of Concept)?

  • For making an informed call before you invest valuable money and time.
  • For building a new product unseen in the market.
  • For representing the idea’s technical feasibility.
  • For encouraging the product’s possibility.

When should you use Prototype?

  • For checking the product feel and look.
  • For garnering seed funding from investors.
  • For representing your idea on a short notice.
  • For assessing the product’s likeability before the app’s development.

When should you use MVP?

  • For ensuring quick marketing time and knowing the product’s value via digital transformation.
  • For gathering early feedback from the user base.
  • For understanding industry dynamics and market response to the product.
  • For creating a user-centric product.

Wrapping Up

MVP, PoC, and Prototype are one of the most prevalent product development approaches in the industry. Therefore, it is viable to get confused when to choose what. The blog has mentioned some relevant information regarding all three, so give it a read and assess what to choose for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Navdeep Garg
Article written by

Navdeep Garg

I'm founder and CEO of Revinfotech Inc. I traits in leadership and brilliant practitioner in the Financial Services and FinTech. I helped ban in connecting to the FinTech ecosystem through payment acceptance in blockchain as a service and even help i... read more

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