At Oak City Labs we love that we have the privilege of working with clients at all different stages of business. From the quintessential start-up, to long-established businesses, and those all in between, we have a history of helping folks at any stage.

Regardless of your business size though, it’s often a good strategy to consider developing a Proof of Concept (PoC) or Minimum Viable Product (MVP), before diving deep into a full-fledged app. A PoC illustrates the ability to solve a core problem, but often is not ready for users and may not be feature complete in terms of usability. An MVP is similar in that it is a bare-bones version of your app, however, it is feature complete in terms that it can be used to accomplish a certain task or tasks. Additionally, the MVP’s goal is often to appease external users – be that outside investors, early adopters, etc.

Today, I’m sharing a few of the benefits of investing in an MVP or PoC for your next mobile app or web app.

Mitigating Risk

PoCs or MVPs are an excellent way to mitigate the risk involved with creating a new app. The goal? Maximize value, minimize costs.

Depending on your organization’s business practices, introducing a new app to the masses can be a scary thing. What if it doesn’t integrate well with your current operations? What if your team has a hard time implementing it? Before investing your entire budget into a full-fledged app, consider creating a smaller PoC and rolling it out to a subset of your users. In doing so, you can perform acceptability testing or secure buy-in from key stakeholders. By gaining feedback from them at this stage of the game, you can adjust and iterate on your idea before rolling it out to a broader audience.

The same goes for an MVP. Oftentimes, even if you do your due diligence and perform market validation for your app idea, building out a full-scale app can be a costly investment that still doesn’t hit the mark. Consider the value of an MVP to bring the app’s most basic functions to life. Then gauge your users’ interests, likes, pain points, etc. before moving on to additional features.

Time and Money

Time is money. Smaller projects like MVPs and PoCs mean a quicker turnaround. And while we always implement an agile process for all of our projects, these smaller projects will (obviously) get to you quicker than full-scale build-outs. With a working product in-hand, you’ll be able to move on to your next business goal faster – be that testing the market or acceptability testing with your internal users.

Smaller scale projects also lend themselves to smaller-scale budgets. By building out out an MVP or PoC, you’ll spend only a fraction of your total budget, then spread out remaining costs over time as you iterate on the concept.

Influence Funding

Finally, MVPs and PoCs are a great option to build out in an effort to influence funding. With a working demo in hand, you’ll be able to sing the praises of your app to key decision makers that hold the company purse strings. If you’ve struggled to explain the concept of your app idea to them or are looking for a way to gain critical buy-in, consider jockeying for a smaller budget to be used to develop a PoC. Alternately, an MVP is an excellent option for sharing with potential investors and partners that may be interested in funneling capital into your business as you build out a full-scale product.

What are you waiting for?

So where are you in the process? Could you consider building an MVP or PoC for your next app idea? If so, let us know! We’d be happy to help.