The Difference Between PoC, Prototype, and MVP - Updraft Blog

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The Difference Between PoC, Prototype, and MVP

by Ethan More

The world of digital technology is evolving rapidly. Many new digital products are being created every minute, and this trend is not going to go down. On the contrary, this phenomenon is dictated by the growing demand among consumers. The conditions of the pandemic have forced humanity to adapt to the new realities: the consumer has gone to satisfy his or her needs in the online environment, while the entrepreneur has worked to develop online venues for the sale of goods and services. All this has led to increased competition in the market and the rapid growth of start-ups. But why, it would seem, do only a few projects with similar potential survive? You can read about this in detail in the article about software poc. And in this article we will discuss three basic concepts (Prototype, MVP and PoC), without which a startup is doomed to failure. Shall we begin? 

What is MVP?

Why do startups fail? Generally speaking, the main problem is lack of knowledge. A poorly understood market, the wrong target audience, and, of course, a lack of sufficient funding leads to disastrous results. And all these things are interconnected. To attract investors, you need to show the strengths of the project, its prototype, and its potential benefits. This is where the previously mentioned concepts come into play. 

MVP means “minimum viable product”. That is to say, in order to start testing your idea you have to create something tangible. One can compare it to a rough basic brushstroke in painting: one can understand what is shown on the canvas, but there is still a long way to go before the details are defined and the painting is brought up to date. 

Very often the main goal of MVP is ascribed a role which it does not fulfil, namely to verify the feasibility of an idea. In reality, the purpose of a minimally viable product is to assess the chances of the idea being implemented on the market. This way you can see if your product is needed and if it makes sense to invest further in the idea. 

It is worth noting that the MVP includes only the vital functions. You won’t need to spend a lot of money to implement it. But, it is through it that you will make your first connection with potential customers – understand what they need. That way, you can avoid a money pit in case people don’t like the idea. Yes, it sounds sad. However, it’s better than being up to your neck in debt. 

What is PoC?

The acronym stands for “proof of concept”. Compared to a minimally viable product, PoC is a small product and is created for a different purpose. In this case, it is the main ideas which precede a full-fledged development, not the initial (or raw) one, that are put to the test. This test is most often performed when technically complicated IT products have to be implemented. This format of project is implemented to cover only small parts of the system that are unlikely to be seen by potential users. This is due to the fact that the test objects are often of a purely technical nature. All studies that are conducted during proof of concept have value as a theoretical basis in one way or another and may include the results of studies of marketing components, feedback from potential users on product launch advertisements and even the results of technical tests. Thus, another fundamental difference between PoC and MVP is that its field of work is theory, whereas the second concept works on practice. 

What is a Prototype?

It often happens that Prototype and MVP are equated with each other. However, we should not consider these two notions as synonyms. It is important to understand that the second concept is not the prototype. It is, as we have said above, rough strokes on the canvas. What is the difference between them, you may ask. Let’s look into it:

  • Prototype has a fairly limited list of features. That is, only vital functions are included. But, unlike minimal viable product, it’s no longer strokes and the basic shapes on the canvas are perfected. In other words, everything runs like clockwork. So this product shows how well the underlying idea withstands the pressure of competition. 
  • The word prototype itself implies that the product is not put out into the world. Its purpose is to be a demonstration tool. Therefore, you cannot call it a finished product. For the background and the incidental elements of the painting have not yet been applied to the canvas. The task of the prototype is to become a product which is a proof of the profitability of the idea being introduced.


Thus, understanding the differences in the basic concepts when working on a start-up is key to its successful implementation. However, although the above information seems simple and straightforward, implementing these approaches requires in-depth knowledge and good preparation. That’s why, in addition to more detailed information, the link above will provide you with support from a team that has been working on startups for a number of years. If your idea is your passion, it worths to work on it with the best professionals. It is also important to take a personalised approach.

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