POC, Prototype, and MVP as Great Tools for Launching a Successful Startup
It always takes much money and effort to build a product that is able to survive in a competitive market. However, few entrepreneurs manage to do it despite the fact that startup movement today has already gone global. What are the main lean startup principles that can help you successfully launch and then improve your project?
Creating a project in a full isolation from third-party assistance and without learning customers’ needs is a tremendous mistake of many startups. Young entrepreneurs are often blinded by their own enthusiasm and beliefs that’s why their ideas may fail. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, only a half of U.S.-based startups come into their fifth year of the operational activity. The two main reasons why startups fail are 1) the fact that they create something nobody needs and 2) lack of investments.
That’s why today we are going to cover techniques that will help you understand where you should move next in terms of startup company development.
What Is POC
POC stands for a proof of concept. This term implies testing an idea to find out whether it’s feasible. POC is a low-cost experiment that can help founders understand what their chances are and whether their idea is worth further development, effort, and investments. This experiment can have a form of a survey aimed to determine whether the target audience needs a certain solution or an alternative way to solve the target problem with low investments. Therefore, the main goal of a proof of concept is to figure out if people really have the problem you are aiming to give solution for and do they really need it.
What Is Prototype
When your idea, at last, have clear proofs meaning it has a legitimate potential, then, you can start building a prototype – not a fully working product that possesses all necessary features but a model that clearly determines a future concept of your idea. It may not be able to solve the problem it’s supposed to, but it has to let both your investors and target audience understand how it will work and look as well.
That’s why you should present this prototype to your potential customers and current investors to get assured you’re on the right way. One way or another, with a timely feedback, you can understand what you still have to improve while saving your funds because the longer you do things wrong, the more expensive your faults are.
What Is MVP
MVP stands for the minimum viable product which is a simplified version of your project. On this stage, a design, additional features, and customization don’t matter. An MVP can only do the main thing your product supposed to. In short, it’s what your customers are ready to pay for.
An MVP is a basic and core-value-oriented product that can be released to collect valuable insights and test the project.
How to Use POC, Prototype, and MVP to Build a Lean Startup
A POC, prototype, and MVP can be used as an efficient and cheap methodology to analyze your project, detect defects, and improve it in order to establish a strong base for its further success. The use of each of these concepts will help you avoid common mistakes. Each approach has its benefits for testing key product concepts.
Experimenting with these methods will ensure better final results and help you create a product that will have a significant value for your target audience. Due to a deep understanding of all these techniques, you’ll be able to efficiently build a complete project that will quickly pay off.
Lean Startup Principles
In his book called The Lean Startup, Eric Ries introduces the Build-Measure-Learn principle as an effective approach to startup development.
The main goal of these three principles of the lean startup implementation is to help founders choose the right revenue model to be achieved in the close future. According to the Ries’ book, the Build-Measure-Learn approach is a foundation for ensuring the fast and cost-effective improvement of any startup.
The very first task of every startup founder and his or her team is to adopt the main idea that needs testing and find answers to their questions. This task can be solved by creating a hypothesis as a prediction of what is going to happen. This is where a proof of concept (POC) comes in useful.
You should determine metrics you will measure during the experiment and methods how you will collect necessary data (surveys, big data analytics, studies, purchasing available reports, tools, etc.).
This stage implies developing both a prototype and MVP we were talking about in previous paragraphs. They will allow you to test your hypothesis.
Once your MVP is complete, you should tell your audience about it. On primary stages you can use landing pages, presentation slideshows, mock brochures, representation of how your algorithm works, etc. When your audience becomes aware of what you offer, you should start analyzing their reactions to make the right conclusions.
On this stage, you actually analyze the results that you’ve got once you represent your MVP. DId you manage to prove your hypothesis? How different was the obtained result compared to the one expected? Does it still make sense to continue developing your project? Was the feedback positive?
Learn-Build-Measure Instead of Build-Measure-Learn
In the previous paragraph, we have mentioned those three principles in the wrong order compared to the one in the book for purpose. The thing is that we, at Unicsoft, believe that startupers should first learn and then start building their MVPs. With the globalization, the information became easily accessible that’s why we can get smart insights much faster than it used to be twenty years ago.
To build a successful project with the minimum waste of money, you should learn the market, learn your target audience, and deeply analyze previous similar experiences. When you obtain all necessary information and develop a wise hypothesis based on valuable insights, then you can build your MVP.
This preparation period can cost you time, but it will definitely save your money. Smart insights and others’ faults will reduce the chance of the need for making a pivot in the middle of the development stage. Consider it as an investment of time for collecting more data instead of making mistakes and correcting them as a form of learning. It doesn’t mean your MVP will be perfect in this case, but it means you will need to enhance and improve your product instead of dropping an initial idea and starting over.
The main goal of each startup is to turn ideas into real projects that will be appreciated by customers and make them ready to pay for it. Do your homework by learning your market, build a prototype and MVP as soon as possible, and measure customers’ reaction. Then, taking into account their feedback, improve your idea and make your product perfect for your customers because continuous improvement is a key to success. To quickly create an MVP or even complete digital solution, you can approach our dedicated team of experienced software, and app development experts. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how we can help you build a successful startup.