Every startuper knows that the path from initial idea to final product is a long and challenging one. Custom software development has never been easy, on the contrary it is always related to all kinds of risks. And unfortunately most of the startups cannot predict and handle those risks and end up failing.
According to the research, only 80% of new businesses and startups survive after one year of existence. And speaking about technical projects, the failure rate varies depending on the project size. Here are some real numbers:
So now you may be wondering, how you actually can create a truly successful product that will solve your particular business problem and will last you for years. Is there any way to avoid software development failure and budget loss? The answer to this question would be: “Yes, if you choose to create proof of concept first”.
In this blog post we’d like to cover proof of concept, point out its advantages for your project, describe main development steps and insights you can collect down the road and use to your advantage.
Proof of concept defined and explained
To begin with, let’s talk about proof of concept in software development – what it is, why it is used and what you can actually get. Basically proof of concept is a methodology that lets you verify and validate your software idea.
So you will get proof whether your future project can really work and bring value to the intended users, and whether your business plan is realistic.
There are many situations when startupers and business owners face “expectation vs reality” during their software development and release. This happens mostly because they focused on false values and didn’t build a solid ground for their project. And in software development proof of concept is exactly that ground that can guarantee you product success.
Whatever project you have in mind, you need to pay special attention to preparation, planning and validation of your ideas. Without a clear understanding of what particular problem and how your project will solve, you do not have a chance to win the attention and loyalty of the intended audience.
While creating your proof of concept you should stay focused on several main aspects such as:
- project opportunities;
- functional, non-functional requirements;
- possible limitations;
- development risks.
Speaking about the deliverables of proof of concept, they can be different. For example, it can be a document with detailed description of a concept, requirements and features of the solution.
Or it can be an early version, a so-called demo of a project including only basic functionalities wrapped in a custom design. That demo can be used to demonstrate the proof of concept to all decision makers or to attract new investors.
Here are some other forms of proof of concept that a software development team can offer you:
- demo of a project or its certain option;
- landing page to present future project;
- project prototype to click and check usability;
- expert document describing tech challenge and potential risks;
- holistic research of the target users and certain market niche;
- documentation exploring idea feasibility;
- well-structured presentation of a concept;
- cost/benefit analysis of upcoming solution development.
High level differences between PoC and minimum viable product
Most people often think that proof of concept and MVP are the same concept. Well, it’s understandable because they both are used to validate and organize your software idea to turn it into a project bringing actual value. However these two concepts differ a lot.
Proof of concept
It is a simple prototype of a project with a certain UI and back-end code that is connected to a database. So with the help of proof of concept you can demonstrate how a certain feature works.
You cannot put this prototype in production or give it to the target audience to collect feedback. It is created for you so that you can decide if the further software development is worthy of your investments. Proof of concept creation is fast and it usually takes weeks.
Minimum viable product
This is a way more functional solution that provides actual value to the users and is created during 3-6 months. MVP can help its owner to gather valuable feedback from users, check what pain points are addressed and what should be changed to improve the solution.
It’s a great starting point for startups and complex business projects, as it helps you understand what target audience expects from your project and adjust it to meet all their needs and expectations.
Unlike proof of concept, MVP may have unique features that are able to attract potential users and offer new solutions to their problems. We have already described how MVP helps startups win the market, and where should you start. So in case you need this information, check this blog post.
So if you give it a good thought, you should not choose between a PoC and MVP because the first one flows smoothly into the second one. A high quality prototype can be used to create a solid MVP which will later transform into a fully fledged solution. Here is a visualization that proves our point:
Not sure whether you need MVP or PoC? Let our experts help you to make the right choice and develop a great solution for your business.
Top 5 advantages of PoC development
As you’ve understood, the proof of concept development process is an important step on the way to a highly functional and marketable product. However, this concept has way more advantages than you can imagine. Let’s take a look at the top 5 most important ones that can become decision making points for you.
How to create proof of concept: step-by-step guide
To create a PoC project, you need to find a great technical partner. It can be a software development team that will help you with every single stage and guide you through all crucial processes. Speaking about proof of concept development, we should emphasize that there are several important steps that should not be skipped. Let’s delve into them right now.
#1 Define real needs
The first and most important step is discovering what needs your target audience has and how your software product is going to meet them. So before you start shaping your software idea, understand who your target audience is. Focus on their pain points, expectations, habits, and user behavior.
We would highly recommend you to complete the Discovery stage first. You can use the services of a professional business analyst who will complete market research, explore competitors solutions, and help you with your project requirements.
All the requirements should be detailed, to make it possible to identify how many proper resources you need and how long the software development may take. In the end of this stage you will have clearly set goals and some validated ideas that can be turned into a plan.
#2 Complete solution brainstorm
Solution brainstorming is the next important step that includes selection of one main idea that will be turned into a project, thorough planning, and discussion of technologies. It is an early stage but it can influence the destiny of your solution.
Once you have your project requirements, you can provide the software development team with them. The technicians will help you create different project scenarios and guidelines, specify timelines and possible constraints, select an appropriate technology stack and even perform features prioritization that will help you with the iterative process of project creation.
#3 Write all documentation
Technical documentation is the most important part of every project creation. All experienced developers need a well-defined project roadmap and specifications. However, these are not the only documents that are a must have. The full list of project documentation that is provided by the business analyst usually includes:
- project estimation;
- project requirements;
- API documentation;
- software architecture;
- UI/UX documentation.
#4 Create software prototype
When all your ideas are validated, and all documentation is all set and ready it is time to create a prototype. It can be a mockup, a wireframe or a software demo that requires some coding. In any case, you will need the help of designers and developers.
During this stage you will also be focused on the look and usability of your PoC, since your goal is to get a deliverable that can be tested and presented to stakeholders or investors. The prototyping may take several weeks depending on the project and expected outcome.
#5 Perform testing of prototype
When your PoC is ready, you will need to complete an extensive testing process and gather either stakeholders or actual product users feedback. It’s not a secret that poorly tested PoC cannot be turned into a successful project, so pay special attention to the testing phase.
Try to collect insights about product usability, intuitiveness, design and overall concept. Ask what people like and dislike about your PoC, what they would change, etc. And also don’t forget to set your own success metrics in accordance with your business goals.
#6 Polish the idea and finalize project roadmap
Since PoC is the very beginning of your fully functional solution, you can easily adjust whatever you need taking into account stakeholders and users feedback.
Once you’ve finalized your business idea and overall project concept, you can adjust the roadmap and get a more precise step-by-step plan. By following that plan you will turn your successful proof of concept into a marketable product really fast.
Get help with PoC development
Stay focused on your business while we will work on in-depth market research for your project and do all further PoC development job for you.
Benefit from our PoC software development services
A successful proof of concept can be created only by a technical expert, and our team is exactly that kind of expert you may need. For more than 10 years in business we have completed hundreds of software development projects and most of them started with PoC and MVP.
By choosing our software development team, you get access to a wide talent pool of 100+ specialists including:
- experienced developers,
- business analysts,
- project managers,
- QA and DevOps engineers,
- award winning designers,
- marketing crew.
They can build a software product of any complexity, a mobile or web application able to impress even the most demanding user. We use an Agile approach that implies thorough planning and iterative development and grants you a high level of project flexibility.
Our team has every necessary and useful tool to perform seamless development and communication (we use Jira, Slack, Google Meets and many more). So we handle every specific process easily and keep you updated about the project progress providing all necessary reports.
We can build a proof of concept and turn it into a fully fledged solution for a wide range of industries starting with real estate, healthcare and banking, and ending with manufacturing, entertainment, and retail.
And what’s more important, we can empower your solution with the latest technologies to make it even more attractive for your users.
Speaking about the technologies that we use to create business and startup software development, we can name the following ones:
Proof of concept we created for our clients
When it comes to a software product, our main goal is to make it a perfect fit for target market and future users. Therefore we pay special attention to the Discovery stage and proof of concept development. We take an original idea and think what potential solutions can be built around it.
Recently we have created two PoCs for our clients who are involved in NFT and retail. NFT proof of concept was created to demonstrate what NFT marketplace can be built based on the client idea, and what technologies should be used for it.
It took us several weeks of work to shape the idea, research the most popular NFT marketplaces, how they are built and monetized, and what options they offer their users. In the end, we created PoC proving idea feasibility and what can turn out of it during further development.
The second PoC we worked on was a demo of an AI reader for orders. This is a specific tool that can be implemented into an ordering app to provide fast access to menu or items list and help complete the order faster and smarter.
This AI reader can scan the text or image to recognize what’s on it and use the information for order making. So all restaurants, stores, bike and scooter renting businesses can make use of this AI-powered tool that uses text and image recognition.
Whatever idea you have on your mind, you can share it with us and receive a free consultation or start PoC development. We will help you with the research, requirements, specifications and all technical steps to turn even the boldest solution idea into a unique project able to bring you lots of benefits and even stable income.
Every project starts with an interesting software idea, however not every project ends with success. Software development process is complex and tricky, so unprepared creators always end up losing some money and a lot of nerves. If you do not want to become one of those, then you definitely need to start with proof of concept.
By creating PoC you get a chance to set the right software requirements, understand your users better, find your unique selling point, and prioritize all features properly. With a thorough preparation like this, you will lose no time and resources and enter the market seamlessly.
PoC can help you attract more investments and more potential users, which is a great starting point for every project. So wait no further and jumpstart your project development journey with us.
Jumpstart project development with us
We will guide you through all processes and build brand new solution for you at great price/quality ratio.