Proof of Concept

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A Software Proof of Concept (POC) is the next step from an Idea. It is your initial plan.

 

Its primary purpose is to verify if your idea is valid and has a chance of success. 

Would you build a house without knowing how many rooms to make and what materials to use? Unfortunately, in Software Development, many people rush to build a house without checking the contractors, without having a plan. Most think that they’ll figure it out along the way. 

(picture of a neighborhood of software houses) 

You can build a POC for a new startup, for a new product, or simply for a new project you want to make on your existing business. In the three cases, they follow more or less the same rules and guidelines. 

 

However, if you are still unsure about the stage that your project or business idea is at, we recommend you check out our Introduction to a Software Development Plan.

 

Why is it essential to have a Proof of Concept 

 

  • You will have a better picture of your project and idea 
  • If you need to show it to investors, they’ll need some proof of what you want to do 
  • To gather and document feedback 
  • To save you money 

 

You will have a better picture of your project and idea 

 

When you convert your idea into words in a POC Template, you’re reviewing your entire concept and finding issues that you wouldn’t uncover otherwise. 

This process also helps you slow down your thoughts and think more clearly about what needs to be done. 

 

Show it to investors; They need proof 

 

Even if your investors are family and friends, you still need something to show them in a straightforward and orderly way. That’s the POC. 

 

Feedback 

 

This is ultimately the most valuable benefit out of a POC. The feedback you will gather will help fine-tune your idea. It will also help you understand if you found a gem or if there’s nobody interested in it. 

 

Save you money 

 

A POC helps you save money in two ways:

  • It lets you verify if your idea is feasible before putting any significant amount of money into building an MVP. 
  • By setting the ground for the subsequent phases. It helps clarify the Scope so that you don’t spend money on the features and functionalities that aren’t required. 

 

Key Questions you need to answer for a Remarkable POC 

 

Creating a POC is the very first step to any software endeavor and must answer the following: 

  • What’s the goal of the Project / Business or Idea? 
  • What is the project about?  
  • What need does it fulfill? 
  • Is it technically viable?  
  • Is it financially viable? What’s the revenue/monetization plan? 

 

Goal 

 

Clearly Define the objective of what you are about to do. Are you aiming to be the next Unicorn? If so, how will you get there? Wouldn’t it make sense to start small and then build from it? 

 

About the Idea 

 

You must clearly state the concept behind your idea. When working on this part of your POC, you need to organize it from three different perspectives: 

  • Technically – How is it going to be technically created. Is it going to be you or are you partnering with someone to do it? 
  • Commercially – What’s your plan to seeling it and to whom? 
  • Intellectual Property – Will your idea generate IP ? does it infringes any patent? Are you aiming to register a brand? 

 

Fulfilling and Verifying a need 

 

This is probably the most crucial aspect to consider when writing your POC. According to CBInsights, this is the number one reason why new startups fail 

Make sure your idea has a need on the market. An excellent indicator is if you already have customers for your idea.  

Try to answer the following: If you showed your idea or proof of concept to a potential customer, would you be able to get a contract signed before the product even existed?  

It would be best if you did a significant amount of research with your potential customers as well as the competition you’ll face. 

The more you research, the more confident you’ll feel about your project, and the more you’ll be able to convince others. 

Avoid technology for the sake of it just because you think AI, ML of Social, or any trending buzzword will sell. It doesn’t mean it’s needed. 

 

Technical Viability 

 

Almost everything is possible given the correct sum of money. However, when evaluating how your product will see the day of light, you must correlate your vision correctly with the required amount of cash to execute it. Implementing sophisticated projects is expensive. 

It would be best if you answered these: 

  • Is it viable to create it?  
  • Wouldn’t you be easily outcompeted?  
  • Is your concept easily copied?  
  • Is there rocket science involved?  
  • Do you need to use innovative or immature technologies? 

Often, entrepreneurs want to build a particular product as cost-efficient as possible. However, realizing what is possible with the given financial resources must always be on your mind. 

The Technical Viability is also about answering: What can I technically do with the resources I have? If I need to get a partner or hire someone to execute the project technically, is it reasonable what I’ll ask to be done? 

If you ask someone to build you a Facebook clone with a budget of $10.000, you would probably have some candidates bidding. Would you believe that it was technically feasible? 

 

Financial Viability 

 

Countless times, projects ran out of money and die because of bad planning. The POC is where you start to control it. 

Do your math on Expenses / Costs and Revenue. 

Take into account Development and Maintenance Costs, Marketing, Customer Service, Logistics, People Management. Check how much it will cost you to do it yourself or what partners you need to find to share the cost and risk. 

A word about Marketing – How will you grab your customers? Do you have an idea of what your CoA (Cost of acquisition) will be? 

Although, you should not be creating a Marketing plan at this stage. 

It would be best if you start drafting it. It will give you deep insight into what your future costs could be. Ultimately, you can extract the most relevant findings to your POC. 

 

So, in essence, a POC is a Document  that: 

  • Demonstrates in practice your Product, Concept or Business 
  • Determines if an Idea can become real 
  • Tests and verifies the idea on paper 
  • Identifies possible technical and non-technical issues 

 

Do you feel ready to start your Proof of Concept? Schedule a Free Consultation Call with our experts. We will guide you about the next steps you should take to grow your business idea.

 

So, how to create a Proof of Concept? 

 

You should get used to how projects work. At its basic level, define the following: 

  • Estimate the Duration it will take to create the POC. 
  • Define the Scope. What will be in it? 
  • Define who will do it? You or you will pick a partner? 

Then break down into tasks of what you defined your Scope will be and assign tasks to your partners & coworkers for research. 

If you need more information, check out some Proof of Concept Templates to guide you in your process.

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