As many of you guys know, our main focus of expertise is building applications for startup in the tech industry. Speaking with alot of startup founders, we noticed that many of them are in the dark when it comes to phasing the scope of work, so we wanted to make an attempt at shedding a light on the topic.
Working Prototype / Proof of Concept
Most startups we’ve been talking to start off by funding the project out of pocket and minimum bootstrap operation. At this point, we would recommend building a working prototype that will allow you (and maybe family & friends) to see if you can build a valid business by turning it into a product. We define a “Working Prototype” as a product with core functionalities without bells and whistles. The prototype also uses basic UI without any design elements in terms aesthetics. You may be able fool some angel investor to give you some money with a prototype, but no real tech investors will consider it, which is why most of our clients start out with an MVP.
MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Many investors may require some sort of traction or results (at least in a test market) unless the idea itself is extraordinary. In this case, you will need to build out a MVP. At Night Owl, we define MVP by the following method:
- All core functionality tested and bug-free.
- Product branding and design.
- Basic marketing features (such as FB connect).
- Ability to administer the app by the stakeholder.
- Ability to measure results.
With most projects, we’re able to see if the “core” of the product works or not after putting a MVP out there. After that point it’s constant tweaking to make everything work. At Night Owl, you can expect to build a MVP in about 3 – 6 months.
V2.0 will make a significant upgrade to the original application in terms of both scale and features. Usually at this point, there will be enough users to make some of the decision in terms the type of technology/hosting infrastructure should be based on the cost of operating and maintaining the application.
At this stage, most companies will have at least one developers in-house, so most of the work we do are development in very specific subject-matter or consultation. If you’re at this point, hopefully you are busy raising your Series A and not really concerned about development scope. =)
As always, please feel free to comment/ask any questions!