Category Archives: Prototypes

3 Pros For Prototyping

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What is a prototype?

A prototype is an early sample, model or release of a product built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.

– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prototype

Wondering what the pros of prototypes are? We think they’re great and here’s 3 reasons why.

  • They get more realistic reactions about a product.
  • They’re quick to build.
  • They’re more affordable then fully featured products.

Prototypes help show instead of tell by turning ideas into tangible products. Products that you can hold, your customers can hold, or your future inventors can hold. Often times, it’s easier to demonstrate something real than to describe it in words or even pictures. The feedback from a prototype will achieve a more natural response to using the product rather than than responding to the idea of a product.

Prototypes are quick to build. They are quick to build because they generally only have the most essential features to convey a concept. Building a light weight prototype is helpful to quickly iterate upon features that worked, features that need optimization, or features that can be removed all together.

Prototypes are more affordable. Since a prototype is often a way to test a market or an assumption, they are not fully featured mature products. In general, things that take less time to build, generally cost less to build.

What are your thoughts on prototypes?

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PickAxe- A Tightly Defined Prototype

One respondent on our survey asked the question:

Would the work get subcontracted out to an offshore body shop or would the entrepreneur have access to the peeps working on the idea via daily scrums?

This triggered a longer conversation between Kyle and I last night, mostly because we saw this drifting into a territory of: we are not a mobile consulting shop. Instead, we deliver a tightly defined prototype displaying the “secret sauce” of your business idea. The idea is that you can then present it to funders to get funding, to build out the real product. Or, you can use it to get your customer base to follow a path of Lean Development/Customer Development.

We create, for you, an operational, functional, live (in store/play) mobile app. It’s not going to have all the features you want. It’s not going to be entirely what you want, but it will be out there, getting users for your business idea. It’s a start.

To specifically answer the respondent: you can contact me any time during the project. Kyle and I, and other team members, either remote or local, do daily scrums at 11am to discuss our tasks, and organize yourselves. You can be in on those if you want. We don’t like tasks to go directly to engineers, we like to flow it through the process, which is very tightly controlled, which is how we deliver so quickly. We may or may not hire contractors to help out from other countries. Some  are offshore, some are in the Americas, some are (gasp) in the South Bay! Since we charge project cost none of those issues should effect you.