When you have an idea for a product, it’s a vision of perfection in your mind. You probably know exactly what you want it to look like and how you want it to function. Even if you don’t have all the details solidified, you have the big picture in view, and you really want to see that vision come to life in all its glory.
Because founders are so tied to their product vision, it’s sometimes hard to think in terms of getting the product to market as quickly as possible so that you can continue to operate as a company before your funding runs out — whether that funding is coming from investors or whether you’re bootstrapping it. We hear story after story of great ideas that never came to fruition because founders were pursuing perfection before introducing their product to the marketplace. Building something you can sell is truly more important than building the perfect product.
What’s the solution? Do you have to compromise with a product that doesn’t meet your vision? You don’t have to settle for “good enough” in the long term — we all have plenty of experience with so-so products that almost-but-not-quite meet our needs. But it’s smart to think in terms of iteration while you’re working towards the most amazing version possible.
What is a Proof of Concept?
First, what exactly are we talking about when we say proof of concept? When it comes to software or app development, a proof of concept is a process is designed to determine whether a software idea can be built in the real world, what technologies should be used in development, and whether the software is likely to be adopted by its intended users.
Why a Proof of Concept is so Valuable to Startups
Creating a proof of concept gives you the ability to test your idea in the real world, among a limited number of prospective users. It provides you with an opportunity to get vital feedback that will inform future development. It will answer the all-important question of if the product in its current form resonates with users and stakeholders.
A proof of concept will ensure that you prioritize the features that are most essential to users. With a proof of concept, you know that you’re building a product that includes the must-haves, while holding off on features that don’t move the needle much.
Building a proof of concept allows you to save time and money in the process of development because you’re not wasting resources on building out non-essentials. Once you have a working minimum viable product (MVP) that resonates with your intended audience, you can then do additional market research and add new features and functionality.
A Roadmap for Success
Through the process of creating a proof of concept, you’ll gather a collection of insights that will be a goldmine as you move forward. Whether you’re pitching investors or whether you’re further along in the process, you’ll be more effective at everything from product development to marketing.
With the information you’ve gathered, it’s helpful to create a roadmap that describes what you’ve learned and outlines a step-by-step process for further development and and marketing. This roadmap will serve as a guide for both your team members and your stakeholders, keeping everyone on the same page and focused on the destination.
Building a proof of concept is smart because it will ensure that you take the most direct route to success. No matter what stage your startup is in, you’ll benefit from the invaluable insights that a proof of concept will provide.
Want to talk about your software solution or app idea and explore a proof of concept? Get in touch.