Prototypes, Pilots, and
Proof of Concepts
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Resources
When you come up with a brilliant idea, it is advised that you first prove that your idea is practical, useful, and commercially viable, thereby worthy of your investment in resources and that of others. A Proof of Concept is a piece of evidence that this idea can be technically implemented to deliver its intended benefits.
A Proof of Concept can be a prototype for physical products (as a design or tangible object), minimum viable products (MVPs) in software, and pilots for sizeable projects. For large-scale projects, it is important to uncover their prospects of success and the conditions that will be required. A feasibility study helps to make this assessment and can be extended further to estimate the resources and timeline that will be required for the success of a project. The best feasibility studies are those that are not only theoretical but also put into use a Proof of Concept.
For visual representation of products, graphical tools such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and CorelDraw.
For physical products, they can be designed with CAD Software such as AutoCAD, Revitt and Solidworks. Your design can be produced and replicated with 3D printers.
For software, web and mobile apps, you can use tools such as: Balsamiq, Figma, Sketch and Visio. To develop the applications, you can start with low to no-code tools such as Bubble, Microsoft PowerApps, and Mendix.
Included in the checklist of an appropriate feasibility study are:
- Is there an existing clear need for the product or solution?
- Can you find quantitative (data) evidence or qualitative evidence (real stories of people) to support this need?
- Is there any effort by those affected to meet this need?
- Do you have the resources needed to make the product or have a means to access these resources?
- Is the cost of developing the product/producing the product affordable to the payers?
- Do you have the personal capacity or someone you can team up with to develop a prototype?
- Is there a willing payer for the solution you are providing? Either by those who will be using the solution directly or another person or group connected or interested in them?
- Can you generate revenue or profit that can sustain your continual development of the solution?