This is a Prototype or an MVP? Or, maybe a Proof-of-Concept?

Jan 25
Do you need a proof-of-concept (POC), a prototype, or a minimum viable product (MVP)?

What’s the difference?

Here’s a hint: they follow this exact order! POC-prototype-MVP

💡 A proof-of-concept (POC) is a non-user-friendly, internal test to see if a product *can* be built.

- Question to answer: Can we build it?

- Example: Not all companies need a POC. If you’re creating a new product, you definitely do (hey, Theranos, no Bad Blood, eh?). If you are trying to sell vintage glasses to a new market, then a POC is not required.


💡 A prototype is a working model that approximates the final product but isn't ready for customers. It is tested *internally*.

Question to answer: How do we build it?

- Example: Google testing an early version of a self-driving car on campus with *their employees*.


💡 An MVP is the simplest possible *customer-ready* version of a product. MVPs are designed to test customer interest, not functionality.

- Question to answer: Will people buy it?

- Example: Launching a programme that gives few customers early access to your product.


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