Topic: Benefits Of Building A Prototype
With a new business model armed with an arduous marketing strategy, I was even confident about my startup’s success now. It felt like a higher force was taking action to piece together my ideas. Introducing the grading aspect to my idea was a much easier way to create pitches, product designs, and plans for the future. I was finally ready to move on the final step and draft up a prototype.
According to blogger Michael Grothaus, “The goal of a prototype is to evaluate an idea.”
The wisdom in this statement is phenomenal; prototypes provide credibility and an excellent source of research for the creator. It is too easy for entrepreneurs to have an idea and develop a large number of what-if strategies then support it with meaningless volumes of data predicting future revenues. Investors prefer to support ventures that have already done the leg work and have an mvp already generating traffic or revenue. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to learn first-hand the ins & outs of the industry for the product. Launching a prototype will give entrepreneurs an idea of the barriers to entry for the product, validation for the target audience, and proof if money can be made. Lastly, it’s a rite of passage for the entrepreneur to go through for confirmation that this venture is truly what they wish to pursue.
Keeping it simple and focusing on the functionality of the product is considered the best way to get it done. In the past, I have discussed the importance of simplicity in streamlining products in the initial stage. Then build up on the idea as the product becomes more successful. Prototyping is basically taking that concept one step further… The prototype aspects are the fundamental basics that make up the product. Not giving much attention to the cosmetics, as those will be better manifested in the final product stage. Remember the general idea is to just take your idea and transform it into reality. It’s the step that proceeds writing your idea down before you forget it. You will be surprised how realistic the idea becomes when you have a physical representation to show off to potential clients or investors.
In my situation, my product was based around the concept of grading memes, pictures, and videos. Therefore, in order to build my prototype was to just create a simple platform with a grading scale and uploading feature. Since, my initial idea of a college recruiting website was school related; it wasn’t hard to relay that same concept to design a grading platform.
Lastly, it was important for me to note that a prototype is essentially another way of saying your product is a work in progress (WIP). Entrepreneurs are typically perfectionists and there is a strong desire to focus on making every aspect flawless in the MVP. Nonetheless, it will be considered acceptable for the product WIP to have flaws as that’s the WIP’s real purpose. Obviously, more time and resources are needed to make the final product.
I took the time to draft some website and app designs to bring to the developer to get help for my product. It wasn’t about asking for help in designing the actual product, but about getting advice too. My business resolve was finally ready: refined idea, marketing strategy, and prototype designs were ready in hand. The time was finally here to discuss my plans with the developer and see if he could help me truly bring my idea to life!
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