What is Proof of Concept (POC)?

Definition: A Proof of Concept is a measurable evidence that a given idea or project has enough potential to be fully developed. It is normally a prototype that had a positive result after being tested.

What Does Proof of Concept (POC) Mean?

Proofs of concepts might come in very different shapes and sizes depending on the nature of the project or idea. The main purpose of them is to show the degree of feasibility of what is being developed. By presenting a small-scale prototype or a test result the person pursuing the idea is showcasing the potentialities of the venture to get enough support to launch it full-scale. In business, this is a common procedure for both start-ups and established businesses.

In the case of start-ups, the company does its best to design a prototype of what they would like to do, in order to get people and resources on board for further development; for established business, before releasing a new product to the public, trials and tests are made to correct any mistakes or even to gauge the market’s reaction to what is being presented.

For tangible goods, the best way to show a proof of concept is normally through a prototype or a sample of the product being developed. For services, market research, tests and controlled pilot-tests are presented to back the project.

Example

Unbreakable Co. is a start-up company founded by a retired engineer named John Smith. The company is currently designing a set of dishes made of an unbreakable material. It doesn’t matter how hard they fall, they are unbreakable. The dishes look like regular ceramic dishes but they have a coating that keeps the dish’s molecules together tight enough to deal with the hit. The company is looking for new investors to gather funds to mass-produce.

They secured an appointment with a big venture capital firm and in order to show them a proof of concept they made a demonstration for these investors with many different scenarios where a dish is hit and the result was that it didn’t break. The way they showcased the proof of concept secured enough money for the company to continue growing.