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MVP vs POC vs Prototype in Software and App Development

  • 6-7 min read
  • September 21, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 5 (3 votes)

To start a new product is very risky in highly competitive landscapes. it is not only about taking care of the quality and keeping the right price but about the concept of product/market fit. 

According to the definition, the product/market fit is a product that can satisfy the market needs. Going further, we can say that it is an analysis of whether the product will be able to survive in the market, bring some profits, and continue generating revenue.

Basically, estimating a product can be done in three ways before launching it in the market, namely, MVP (Minimum Viable Product), Prototype, and PoC (Proof of Concept).

Today, we want to give you a 360-degree view of MVPs, POCs, and prototypes so you can make the right business choices regarding app development. You’ll then be able to approach investors and agencies and see how your product can best bring value to your customers.

The percentage of startups that failed due to the lack of market need is staggering.

Proof of concept

As you can see by the name, POC is useful in testing out the viability of a product in terms of practical implementation. In our practice, it is more about testing a flow, not about all products. In this way, we can check if it works as we planned.

Proof of concept is one of the most creative ways to test out if that idea functions on full time. In the development, the proof of concept is able to execute a small-scale project or a fundamental functionality. This information is closed and it won’t be shown to publicity or customers. It helps in the exploration of whether or not the environments, platforms, or technologies are suitable for creating a solution. After confirmation of the functional or technical feasibility of the project, the product development starts.

Are you looking for a reliable Tech Partner to build a PoC, a Prototype or an MVP for your Startup?

There several reasons why proof of concept is concerned as viable means of estimating product/market fit:

  • POC is a momentary process of testing the potential and viability of the projects;
  • It provides a quick “yes” or “no” in relation to the feasibility of a project;
  • It’s easy to detect the bugs or errors in the system of the idea during the initial stages;
  • At short term the proof of concept will help you to validate whether or not you are moving in the particular direction;
  • You will be able to find alternative solutions to the problems, in case the one you are considering seems unfeasible.


There are few that understand the difference between POC and prototype. They are usually used as synonyms because the proof of concept is a part of prototype roughly speaking. 

It is important to define the terminology before starting the development for everyone to understand what this is about.

Prototype is a part of your product that gives you the opportunity to test a process or concept. A prototype is an interactive mockup of your product, built without a line of code which helps to understand the workflow, along with its usefulness. Also, it responds to taps and imitates how a user inputs data, to give an almost real-life experience of your product.

When we are talking about prototype vs proof of concept, it is not like a separate system, but the prototype provides insights into user experience you can expect from your product.

Using prototypes facilitates finding the faults and errors, which affects the flow of an app or impedes the user experience. The usual components of the prototype are user flows, design layouts, mock-up, and wireframes. There can be designed four different kinds of prototypes for testing as a visual prototype, working prototype, functional prototype, and user experience prototype. 

It is a great benefit in the evaluation of how trouble-free the user journey can be with your solution. The prototype is a useful way to estimate product or market fit because of:

  • the business gets the understanding of all product issues before the start of developing the solution;
  • the user experience is one of the main factors to involve customers and prototype helps in the estimation of that;
  • it is a fast way of testing the acceptance, scalability, and feasibility of a product along with the visual effects;
  • there is no need a lot of investments when it is considered in terms of time, efforts, and finances;
  • there is a possibility to get information about the limitations of the system at the initial stage.


Here’s an example of a prototype of a mobile app built using Figma. Even though the prototype interacts, without a line of code was involved in making it.

A PoC, a Prototype or an MVP aren’t different forms of your Product. Actually, only the MVP refers directly to your end-Product.

Minimum Viable Product

The Minimum Viable Product is the first product version that is created for testing the market acceptance of the idea. In other words, MVP is like the basic model of the product, with the most valuable features.

Also, this approach is known as the most effective method of measuring product/market fit because it allows the product to enter the market.

As well it helps to understand how the users perceive a product, the barriers to its performances, and the improvements that can be made for improving the usefulness of the product in terms of UX, UI, and the technical aspects.

After all these aspects get analyzed, the businesses can invest confidently in the future development of a product, think about premium features and services, and expect to get a good return on the investment. Read more about Minimum Viable Product here

Proof of Concept, Prototype, MVP. Differences

You may say that it’s up to you to decide whether to choose for testing the product-market fit a proof of concept, a prototype, or an MVP. 

There might be cases when you will recommend doing at least two of the three before launching your product. For better decision making here’s an overview of the differences and each.

Remember that all of the named types can help you gain insights about your audience, the tech stack you need, and your business model. That, in turn, will help you save costs and set yourself up for as a successful product maker.

So Which One Do You Need to Build a Successful Product?

You need to consider what kind of product do you want to build and what you need to validate before development starts.

Innovative products should pass full circle, from a POC to a prototype to an MVP. This gradual approach allows you to verify a product idea carefully before committing significant funds to a full development process.

No, you don’t need it if your Project doesn’t have any tech challenges that you aren’t sure how to deal with.
Yes. Another difference between a PoC and a Prototype or an MVP is that you may need to create multiple Proofs of Concept to validate tech assumptions for different parts of your Product.
As early as possible. It’s better to create a PoC before a Prototype and an MVP since it proves whether your idea feasible at all. If it’s not, building a Minimum Viable Product or a Prototype will be a waste of time and resources.

Simple business ideas are be realized by jumping directly into building an MVP and further upgrading and expanding the product. Such a strategy bears a comparatively high risk of failure. To minimize the risk, an interactive prototype of a product can be built before developing an MVP – send it out for demand estimation and customer evaluation to make a balanced decision about your next steps.

Have an idea for app development? Don't know where to start?


Expert & Evangelist in business optimization tools like fintech, logistics, on-demand services apps who will help you to understand the core ideas of the outlined themes by my articles.
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