Importance of Proof of Concept in Startup App Development.
“Over 90% of all startups fail,” industrialist Anand Mahindra claimed in a tweet in October 2022. This widely reported assertion is backed by a 2017 IBM-sponsored study, which found that as many as 90 per cent of Indian startups fail within the early years of their inception, with more than two-thirds of them never delivering a positive return to investors.
The foremost reason cited for this failure is emerging businesses’ misreading of market demand for their product. This arises out of these emergent businesses’ tendency to proceed directly to the design and development phase rather than mapping out the product life cycle as close to reality as possible such that any consequent risks of failure or limitations might be identified.
Especially for products not proven to be a market fit (typically meeting a strong market demand), a proof of concept is essential as a first step before venturing to finance the project.
Proof of Concept (PoC) in App Development:
A proof of concept – in the context of app development – (also known as PoC), refers to the methodology adopted at the initial stage of building an app that allows developers to verify whether or not their specific idea or assumption is viable. PoC is understood to be a rudimentary exercise in technical understanding of the concept’s practicality.
To ascertain the technical feasibility of an app, a functional prototype or a small-scale version of the app is developed to mimic its fundamental functionalities and features; to know whether any adjustments might be needed to instil absolute confidence in the respective partners and investors.
Benefits of Proof of Concept in Mobile App Development:
Technical Validation: The primary purpose of PoC is to establish the technical viability of a product for practical implementation. This empirical exercise indicates the correct technical direction to achieve the app’s purpose, and the viability of the various components, features, and external dependencies, and whether these details can be effectively implemented.
Risk Identification: Achieving PoC before development gives confidence in the product. Potential technical challenges, compatibility issues, and performance bottlenecks are confirmed throughout the process. This early recognition enables you to test critical hypotheses before going for final development.
Resource Efficiency: Developing a full app without a PoC can waste costly resources and time if the idea ultimately proves to be a failure. Preceding the development with a PoC phase can minimise resource investment and allow the developers to prioritise the functionality more intelligently while reducing uncertainty over costs, especially when it’s driven by external financing.
Informed Decision-Making: A functional PoC pre-test provides tangible evidence for developers’ grounded decision-making. It helps assess the app’s fundamentals and how they align with the investors’ and developers’ objectives about the project.
Stakeholder Confidence: Demonstrating a working functional model through PoC instils confidence in stakeholders, including investors, clients, and team members, since it crystallises an erstwhile idea into a tangible model.
Focus on Core Functionality: PoC development centres on implementing the core functionalities, omitting and amending any possible design intricacies and including any additional features that might have been overseen. Such a narrowly focused approach allows validation of an app’s critical aspects and fine-tune its characteristics before diving into the final stage of development.
Quick Iteration: Despite the PoC phase being usually one of the shorter stages of the app development cycle, it enables quick validation and iteration based on real-world testing.
Strategic Direction: By starting with a PoC, it is possible to gauge sufficient user feedback and market response early on to strategise about the future course of the app’s feature enhancements.
Minimised Costs: If the PoC reveals that a particular approach or an aspect of the respective app isn’t effective or viable, its features can be refined without the expense of a full app development cycle.
Foundation for Development: A successful PoC serves as groundwork for subsequent app development stages as it highlights the validations, drawbacks and intricacies that can be expanded or reworked to further refine the app’s marketable value.
In essence, a Proof of Concept is a vital headstart for mobile app development for it affirmatively demonstrates to partners or investors that the idea works. Given the expansive and varied apps in today’s world, starting off with a demonstration of confidence and workability, which PoC entails, is of utmost importance. Not to mention the fact that the competition in the field of apps has made it important for an emergent product to showcase its disruptive functionality or just how innovative it is to stand out, an objective that proof of concept before design and mobile solution development duly fulfils.