Do you wonder why some businesses fail with their new products? There can be many contributing factors, such as cluttered user interface, sloppy implementation, lack of quality control, and ineffective market strategy.

However, following a proper product development strategy will help you build a product that meets customers and business needs. Prototype and MVP development is an essential part of the development process, and when implemented accurately, it can construct a successful product.

With the help of Prototype and MVP, you can test the product attentively and identify if the product is a success or a flop at the earliest stage. Or, you can also find out the features that might flop your product and improve your product’s functionality so that your product fits in the market.

MVP and Prototype methodologies are popular among tech companies due to having several benefits for product development. But what is the difference between these two terms, and which one is more suitable for building your product?

Both Prototype and MVP help you build successful products that people need, which results in confusion between these two methodologies. This blog will explain the difference between Prototype vs MVP and the suitable approach to implement at a particular phase.

Prototype vs MVP

What is a Prototype?

A Prototype is the early version of the product model designed to demonstrate and evaluate the design, user flow, and functionality of the final or under development product. It is one of the initial phases of the product development cycle, which allows the designer to interact with the application. But it does not showcase the accurate logic of the final product.

The fundamental use of the Prototype in product development is to provide an outlook of the objective behind the product. This methodology offers a well-defined abstract to the developers to let them know the product to be developed over time. Developers will know what features they need to integrate, and designers will design screen and user experience as per the Prototype.

Benefits of Prototype

  1. Provide the look and feel of the application to the client and developer. Also, it describes what will be developed in the final product.
  2. It helps clients and product teams to provide insights on your product and keep them on the same page during the development.
  3. It helps to gain feedback on the product to understand your project’s design better.
  4. It also helps to reduce the risk of product failure.

What is an MVP?

A minimum viable product (MVP), as the name suggests, is the initial version of the version with core (or essential) features. It contains necessary features and represents the core value of the product. Unlike Prototype, which is a product model, an MVP is a product with minimum features.

An MVP development company may use this approach to attract early-adopter users and stakeholders. It validates the project idea early in the project development cycle. Additionally, it helps the development team get user feedback to improve the product functionality before the product release.

The primary objective of MVP is to know how the product will perform in the market and how its functionality can be improved before the final release.

Moreover, it helps to understand whether or not the product fulfills the company’s benchmark in the market so that you don’t waste your money by funding an outdated or not feasible product idea. When you invest a budget in the fully-fledged product’s development, it assures that it offers a great ROI.

Benefits of MVP Development

  1. Unlike developing a full-fledged project, MVP development does not need a large amount. So, even if your MVP idea fails to perform, you will not lose a considerable amount.
  2. Not only is it cost-effective, but it also saves you from investing your time and effort in unnecessary ideas.
  3. You can test your business idea, whether or not it will work in the market.
  4. It also helps you gain an initial set of customers and attract investors.

What is the Difference Between Prototype vs MVP?

MVP and Prototype are quick and cost-efficient ways to test a project idea. If you want to enhance your product functionality and the probability of success, these approaches will help you avoid common product mistakes, including faulty features and outdated products. At the same time, these methodologies will ensure the entire team is on the same page throughout the project development lifecycle.

It is necessary to use each method properly to maintain its individuality at the proper development stage. Also, when used properly, these methods will test your crucial business concepts, help win over stakeholders, or validate marketability.

Some of the fundamental differences between Prototype vs MVP are explained using four different categories.


The main objective of prototyping is to demonstrate the look and feel of the product. It showcases design concepts and functionality to be audited by customers, clients, and the design team.

However, MVP is the product itself, which consists of enough features to meet users’ requirements. It helps to improve the product functionality and quality based on user feedback and the market demand.

Time and Effort Invested

The idea behind developing a prototype and MVP is to test the product earlier in the development process quickly. However, a prototype is an early sample that requires little time and effort for development. The ideas fabricated during prototyping can be adapted, altered, and thrown away quickly.

On the other hand, MVP takes a slightly more extended period for the development, and more effort with more resources as you explore the product idea in this approach. You receive the user feedback and make the changes to update the product feature. Ensure that you do not spend redundant time in MVP development as it is supposed to test the product idea for the final product launch quickly.

Product Approach

A prototype is a suitable approach to develop when you are sure of the product idea and its feasibility and want to test the product design concept. Using this approach, you can represent product features and user interfaces to the project design team.

MVP is a suitable method when you only have the project idea and want to validate it prior to the final launch. Also, you can test the project’s technical possibilities and get user feedback on the product’s core features.

Targeted Audiences

Since the primary purpose of developing a prototype is to check the product’s design, it is tested by the professional testers and the clients within the product development company. At the same time, an MVP development company builds a minimum viable product to be tested by a wide range of target audiences.

Usually, the MVP version is released to the audience to gather their feedback.

Prototype vs MVP: Which Approach to Choose and When?

A product goes through various phases during the development process, including ideation, competitor analysis, market research, and designing. Therefore, it is essential to decide what approach among MVP and Prototype is suitable for building a product at a specific development stage.


  • To get feedback and validation on the project design.

The primary focus of the Prototype is to help your developers visualize the product’s overall look and feel. It will prove that the project you are working on functions as the end-user intended.

  • To help determine user flow.

Prototypes help you determine the user flow of the application and how the user interacts with the features. Also, it showcases how the product components that need to be integrated will look and feel in the application.

  • It represents project visuals and ideas to the developer.

Developing a prototype is a suitable approach when you need to show your developers what to build. Thus, prototypes help explain your project idea to your design and engineering teams.


  • It validates the project idea.

MVP provides insights on the project idea early in the product development cycle. It helps the project team receive user feedback on market perspective and initial customer feedback. MVP allows you to verify your project on user integration and functionality parameters.

  • It helps to attract an initial set of users.

A product has to satisfy customers’ needs, and MVP testing can be suitable for analyzing it. This is the best-suited approach to attract early-adopter customers before the final product release.

  • It helps to attract investors and monetize your project idea.

By developing an MVP, you can gain confidence in the product and its ability to achieve desired outcomes. Therefore, it is a perfect approach to present your project idea to your investors more effectively.


After reading this blog, we hope you have a clearer idea of the difference between Prototype vs MVP. If you have an innovative product idea, a prototype will provide you with the look and feel of your product. At the same time, MVP is a functional product that helps to validate your product idea.

Both of these strategies influence successful product development. However, your product idea is also one of the concluding parameters of what methodology you can implement. Thus, you can implement these strategies stepwise and proceed with your product objective.