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July 20, 2021

MVP vs. POC: What is the Difference?

When we find ourselves developing a new product or in the early stages of building a startup, it’s extremely difficult to know if it will be accepted or which will be its place in the market. This is why it’s crucial to define our goal from the beginning and make sure we are providing a solution to the real problems of our end users. This is where the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and the Proof of Concept (POC) come to play: two of the most widely used methodologies in the digital era, each own with its own advantages and processes.

Before we choose which path to follow, we should ask ourselves some questions: Is my idea unique? Who is my target audience? What are the evaluation criteria? What technology do I need?

To help you determine which of these techniques best suits your project, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about both of them, their synergies, and their differences.

What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?

As its name suggests, the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a methodology in which the product is developed with the minimum amount of features for it to be usable. Therefore, it’s part of the final product that will be launched to the market.

One of the main advantages of this technique is to be able to see your users’ reactions before the product is officially launched. Moreover, you only need to invest the minimum amount of resources needed to develop the basic functionalities of the product, while also identifying its weaknesses and strengths, as well as its usability and viability.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is extremely important as it ensures the development of successful products and services while identifying best practices and mistakes to avoid.

What is a Proof of Concept (POC)?

The Proof of Concept (POC) is a small exercise performed internally to provide a realistic overview of a potential project to determine its viability. It’s mainly used to verify technical concepts such as methodologies, technologies, or integrations and test their scalability and rentability.

Being applicable in multiple sectors, it’s a fundamental step when building a prototype to analyze its feasibility in the market and calculate its profitability. Essentially, it’s used to evaluate whether the product performs as expected and without any problems, which can lead to alterations from the start or the cancellation of the project.

Minimum Viable Product vs. Proof of Concept

It’s essential to have a clear idea of the differences between both concepts to be able to choose which one fits your project better. One of them is the fact that the MVP offers a foundation on which we can work on, as it includes functionalities that are viable, while it also provides valuable information going forward.

Differently, the POC will give you a general idea about the acceptance and interest that your product would generate in the market, and also its estimated projection and growth.

In conclusion, both methods share some similarities but their differences make it possible to use them together when developing a product or service. Below you’ll find some of their benefits:

Benefits of an MVP

  • Save and optimize time and costs.
  • Attract early-adopter customers after they test the first version of the product.
  • Catch the attention of investors.

Benefits of a POC

  • Attract initial investors.
  • Save time.
  • Choose the most appropriate technology.
  • Be one step ahead of your competition.

Don’t forget to watch this short video where Joan Sintes, Business Development Manager at Plain Concepts, quickly explains everything you need to know about these two concepts. (Subtitles available in English)

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