If you are looking to create a prototype for your products, you might want to reconsider. While many in the marketing world would love to convince you that prototypes are essential. There are some benefits of going right to market without that phase. Here are some things you should know about the disadvantages of prototypes:
Getting a prototype done right is essential if you are going to do it at all. After all, how can you have proper feedback without an accurate representation of the final product. However, high quality prototypes cost a lot of money and could take cash flow from other parts of your business.
As a business owner, your time is your most valuable asset, even more so than money. If you spend all your time getting a prototype out to market, you won’t have time to manage other aspects of your company. Skipping the prototype can give you that extra time each day to be even more productive.
Developing a prototype carries with it a lot of complexity. Take getting a patent, for instance. There are a lot of legal hoops to jump through and paperwork to sort out. For the average entrepreneur, it introduces more confusion into their daily workflow that detracts from other core competencies. You don’t need a prototype before you patent your invention, so save yourself the trouble and file the patent first.
Opportunities are not infinite in today’s business world. They come and go with surprising speed. The opportunity cost you give up by pursuing a prototype might not be worth it in the end. On the other hand, the opportunities you are free to leverage could make up for a lack of a prototype in the form of more sales.
There is no guarantee that your prototype will still be relevant when it hits the market. With how fast business cycles boom and bust, and the rate at which trends come and go, you could end up spending money on a concept that the market no longer needs or wants. Consider getting a real product into the hands of customers first. If they like it, you can ramp up production or use those profits to inspire new innovations on that product. A prototype might just stand in the way of this market feedback.
If you want to get a prototype done for your product, you might think again. There are various ways to get feedback on your product, such as marketing landing pages and getting grassroots surveys done. Consider the benefits above of skipping the prototype and getting down to business.