Prototyping for Feasibility

The third prototyping lens relates to the feasibility of the product idea. Applying this lens helps define and validate the technical requirements for product development. To define and validate these requirements does not necessarily mean building the product in its entirety. 

The focus here lies on continuous learning about underlying (technical) challenges by creating artefacts that can be used to elicit feedback. As the main goal at an early stage is continuous learning, you should not yet strive towards building refined and fully functional products. Instead, try creating multiple low-fidelity prototypes with varying foci to quickly validate your assumptions and get a more realistic estimation of the requirements and timeframe of the necessary product development. When planning your feasibility prototypes, think “fast, rough, and cheap”.

Questions a feasibility prototype will help to answer:

  • What are the technical challenges of developing the product?
  • Will we be able to fulfil our target user requirements?
  • Can I estimate how many resources I need to develop the product? (e.g. development costs, invested time of the founding team, external capital, required development partnerships, etc.)
  • Is it worth investing in a certain feature? How do I need to prioritize product development? (impact vs. effort)
  • How could a realistic development roadmap for the product look like?

Note: Feasibility prototypes – especially when there is proprietary hardware involved – can take considerably longer to build and are more expensive than desirability or viability prototypes.