When you are seeking additional funding as part of a grant application ensure you present your proposition using the right term(s). Your application shouldn’t be evaluated with any other open source data, so a key attribute to a successful bid is to demonstrate you have researched, planned and prepared your project to achieve maximum success.
Frequently when I am supporting clients to shape a project or obtain equity-free grant funding I need to clarify, the difference between MVP and Prototype.
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A Minimum Viable Product (MVP):- What is an MVP?
An MVP is an early version of a product that contains just enough features to enable you to launch your proposition to the first group of customers. An MVP reduces wasting effort on developing features that customers do not want or work the way they want.
I recommend this initial version to be used to gather feedback which will inform you how to refine further development of the product.
A Prototype — how does this differ from a prototype?
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The prototyping process makes something that was previously theoretical more real.
A prototype is best described as an early sample or demonstration version of a proof of concept. It is a term used in numerous industries for physical and digital products. It can be used to demonstrate a product idea or feature, it does not have to be an entire product. Some parts of the prototype may be fully functional. Others may only appear to be working, used to illustrate ideas and how things could fit together.
The prototype approach allows for rapid development before spending significant effort developing the final version within the product itself.
Fundamentally both approaches are different, which should I use?
MVP is the ideal term if your product will be launched with a small set of fully functional features. It will be a solid foundation upon which development can continue, it will be a quality product which potentially will generate an income.
A prototype may be a single feature or just one of many which enable you to gather feedback in a controlled way. The analysis from the feedback obtained will be used to inform the product roadmap. The prototype will provide you with the means to demonstrate your proposition and is unlikely to be of a quality that could be used to generate sales.