Given that your startup is unique and finds its roots in a unique set of ideas, no two startup ideas are the same. However, regardless of whether you are investing yourself in a new startup idea or bettering an existing one, you should prototype your startup idea.
Why? Because your startup idea is just a concept and in the end, it all boils down to giving that idea a concrete shape. Any successful startup is the by-product of numerous test runs.
Ideally, you should put in an immense amount of effort into researching market conditions and demand situations. The reality is that an idea alone cannot impress investors or attract the right talent to do the job.
Hence, you must prototype your startup idea to test the waters before you invest yourself into starting a tech business.
Why You Should Prototype Your Startup Idea?
A prototype helps you gauge the risks and problems associated with the successful execution of the idea.
You will be better prepared to tackle any unforeseen situations without letting it disrupt the entire idea. Regardless of the industry, you are operating in, prototypes can make all the difference.
The prototype will give you enough experience to stand out and do well in the market.
To put it differently, prototype your startup idea not only to gain a clear understanding of the opportunities and startup challenges but also to ensure a clear cut roadmap for your entire plan.
9 Reasons Why You Should Prototype Your Startup Idea
1. Prototypes help you engage with the client
A working prototype is the most successful exhibit for your idea. The prototype helps engage the client as they can see the end design instead of just having to rely on their imagination.
The actual visualization offers the chance to “touch” and “feel” your product and even compare it with the other products.
2. Prototypes help you gain clarity
Prototyping allows you to see the bigger picture and hence helps you stay clear from walking down the path of failure.
Without a well-defined plan, you are very likely to make rookie mistakes which in reality will have a significant impact on the success of the startup idea. And all this is almost impossible to identify without a prototype.
A prototype not only helps you to define the actual plan but also defines a definite and gradual action plan. It helps you to better understand your own idea and how to better it.
3. Prototypes help you identify red flags
Prototyping your idea helps you get a head start on almost every red flag before they become a serious threat to your idea’s sustenance.
Any potential problems that are discovered in its nascent stage can have solutions crafted for them accordingly.
Make it a habit to prototype your startup idea to identify early signs of any issues, fix them, and get going by successfully implementing the idea.
4. Prototypes give you the flexibility of analyzing different variations
By building a prototype for your startup idea, you can gain an extra edge over your own ideas and your competitor’s ideas.
Once you have your product or idea take an actual form and shape, you can analyze its strengths and weaknesses and how to optimize it for better results.
Prototyping gives you the liberty to explore different variations, angles, and component relationships.
It also allows you to try out various twists and turns to be included in the final execution of the idea.
5. Prototypes help to optimize costs and launch faster
Launching your startup idea does not come cheap and costs anywhere between a few thousand to millions of dollars.
Trying to put up the whole show without a prototype can burn a hole in your pocket over time, especially if the final product is packed with issues and errors.
In reality, a prototype is not an extra cost. A prototype helps to reduce expenses.
For instance, creating a prototype can do go a long way to optimize your Augmented Reality (AR) app.
From understanding where the app needs maintenance to which bugs need to be fixed to unraveling 3D modeling issues to file size optimization, launching a prototype cuts the fluff and allows you to get started quickly.
6. Prototypes awaken the creative you
Prototyping is the most fun-filled stage in the whole process. This stage is for trial and error. You are allowed to be creative and bend some rules.
Even if the experiment does not work out, you have the flexibility to make the required changes in no time, and that too at a minimal cost.
7. Prototypes help you get valuable feedback easily
Feedback is the most vital ingredient for the success of any startup. After all, successful ideas are built on a solid foundation of statistics and market study.
Prototypes help you score feedback from customers, clients, stakeholders and all other people involved. Feedback allows you to better your idea and have a well-prepared launch.
8. Prototypes help you plan better
A prototype for a startup idea gives you a detailed insight into the level of work required in implementing the actual project.
But what prototyping most certainly helps with is to plan and allocate the time and budget for a successful launch of the idea.
9. Prototypes create trust and brand confidence
A lack of concrete structure to an idea may incite doubt in consumers and investors.
Moreover, the lack of information on the project or a faulty specimen of your ability to deliver the idea initially promised can seriously hamper the reputation of your business.
Prototyping helps bridge the gap and allows your brand to build a personal relationship with investors and consumers alike. A prototype helps them gauge your potential growth and hence builds loyalty and trust.
Prototype your startup idea to determine how effective your idea is and if it has the potential to achieve the promised results.
Creating a prototype will not only save you time and money but also show the investors the proficiency of your idea. The prototype will help convince both investors & consumers and help build a brand reputation.
Also, it will allow you to improve the product with continuous feedbacks and testing and that too, at a minimal cost. Therefore, as a rule, always create a prototype before you fully develop your idea.
After all, in the words of Win NG, an artist, entrepreneur, and designer, “Developing a prototype early is the number one goal for our designers or anyone else who has an idea, for that matter. We don’t trust it until we can see it and feel it”.