MVP vs. Prototype: What's the Difference?

MVP vs. Prototype: What's the Difference?

consulting
Allan Porras
Allan Porras Jun 18 2023 • 3 min read
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When you're starting a new product, it's important to build something that people will actually want to use. But how do you know what people want without spending a lot of time and money on development? That's where prototypes and MVPs come in.

Prototypes and MVPs are both early versions of a product, but they serve different purposes. A prototype is a proof of concept that shows that your idea is feasible. It can be as simple as a few sketches on paper or as complex as a working model. An MVP, on the other hand, is a product that has just enough features to be released to the market.

So, which one should you build?

The answer depends on your specific goals. If you're just trying to validate your idea, a prototype is a good option. It's quick and inexpensive to build, and it will give you a good sense of whether or not there's a market for your product.

If you're ready to start generating revenue, an MVP is the way to go. It's a more polished product that will give you valuable feedback from real users. This feedback will help you to improve your product and make it more successful.

Here's a table that summarizes the key differences between prototypes and MVPs:

FeaturePrototypeMVP
PurposeTo validate an ideaTo generate revenue
ComplexitySimplePolished
CostLowHigh
Time to buildFastSlow
FeedbackFrom developersFrom users

Which One Should You Build First?

In most cases, it's a good idea to build a prototype first. This will give you a good sense of whether or not your idea is feasible, and it will help you to identify the most important features for your MVP.

Once you have a prototype, you can start to gather feedback from users. This feedback will help you to prioritize the features for your MVP. If you get positive feedback from users, you can start to build your MVP. If you get negative feedback, you can go back to the drawing board and make changes to your prototype.

How to Build a Prototype

There are a few different ways to build a prototype. You can use paper, wireframes, or a prototyping tool. The best way to build a prototype depends on the complexity of your product.

If you're building a simple product, you can use paper or wireframes. Paper is a great way to quickly sketch out your ideas. Wireframes are a more sophisticated way to prototype your product. They allow you to visualize the layout and functionality of your product.

If you're building a complex product, you'll need to use a prototyping tool. There are a number of different prototyping tools available, such as Figma, Axure, and InVision. These tools allow you to create interactive prototypes that you can share with users.

How to Build an MVP

Once you have a prototype, you can start to build your MVP. The best way to build an MVP depends on your budget and timeline.

If you have a limited budget, you can build your MVP using a low-code or no-code platform. These platforms allow you to create functional web and mobile apps without having to write any code.

If you have a larger budget, you can build your MVP using a traditional development process. This process involves writing code and then testing and debugging the code.

Conclusion

Prototypes and MVPs are both important tools for product development. Prototypes help you to validate your idea, and MVPs help you to generate revenue. The best way to use these tools depends on your specific goals.

If you're just starting out, it's a good idea to build a prototype first. This will give you a good sense of whether or not your idea is feasible, and it will help you to identify the most important features for your MVP.

Once you have a prototype, you can start to gather feedback from users. This feedback will help you to prioritize the features for your MVP. If you get positive feedback from users, you can start to build your MVP. If you get negative feedback, you can go back to the drawing board and make changes to your prototype.

By using prototypes and MVPs, you can increase your chances of success in product development.

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Founded in 2012, 4Geeks is a global software engineering and revenue growth consulting firm for Fortune 500, Global 2000 and fast-growing SMBs. Provides top solutions to multiple industries including Retail, Healthcare, Banking & Financial Services, B2B SaaS, Manufacturing and Education. HQ in the USA, and delivery centers across Latin America.

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